By Joe Pelletier
The King of the Mountain Foot Race, the Northwest’s most historic challenge, will return to Terrace Aug. 11.
This will be the iconic race’s 41st year on the trails of Terrace Mountain. It was started in 1977 by local runner Trevor Whitaker. Ed Ansems and the original Skeena Valley Runners quickly adopted the race, which proved to be the only one that has survived the sands of time in Terrace.
In the race’s early days runners would travel from the arena up Kalum Hill to what is now known as the Munthe trail head, though the trailhead has moved a couple times over the years. Runners would race to the hiking viewpoint and down the steep hiking trail.
By 2012 the course changed to it’s current status, partly due to traffic and property development concerns and partly to the creation of other trails on Terrace Mountain. Runners now leave the arena and head up Park Hill to the Johnstone Trail Head where they run the Flat Head mountain biking trail in a counterclockwise direction. They then return to the arena.
People from all over the northwest came out to challenge themselves against the mountain — including Smithers’ Richard Harrison who has won the event a record 13 times.
On the women’s side Sue Simpson and Nadene Butler have been the most dominant runners, winning six and five events, respectively.
The newly-formed Skeena Valley Runners will take over the event for the first time this year, following several years of Transcend Fitness doing an excellent job. New to the event this year will be finisher medals for everyone.
Local wunderkind Connor Block will be looking for his third consecutive win, an amazing feat only matched by Harrison, Butler and Rose-Marie Cheer. He would be the first to do it on the new course. The women’s side will see a new winner, as two time champ Rheannon Brooks will not compete this year.
Runners and walkers can sign up for this year’s race at www.SkeenaRunners.com