Twenty-three runners took off from the Terrace Sportsplex Arena at 10 a.m. on August 11 for the 9-kilometre trek up, around and down the Terrace Mountain. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Runners crowned at 41st King of the Mountain Race

The event was organized by the Skeena Valley Runners for the first time this year

Derek Flynn and Natasha Papachristoforou beat out 21 rivals to the crown this year, assuming the titles of King and Queen of the 41st annual King of the Mountain Race.

Twenty-three runners left the Terrace Sportsplex Arena at 10 a.m. on Aug. 11 and headed up Park Hill to the Johnstone Trail Head, where most of the nine-kilometre route continued on the Flat Head mountain biking trail and back down to the arena.

The Skeena Valley Runners took over the event from Transcend Fitness for the first time this year.

“We were very respectful to the history of the race and we tried not to change too much,” said Skeena Valley Runners president Joe Pelletier.

READ MORE: King of the Mountain Foot Race set for Aug. 11

Pelletier said having Kitimat’s Tough Mudder race on the same day may have impacted registration numbers, but that organizers will be building on the run for future races.

“We’re tougher than any mudder,” Pelletier said.

There were a few new surprises on the trail for runners trekking up the 325-metre elevation climb, with notes of encouragement posted along the route. Every finisher received a medal this year, with prizes given out to runners throughout the event.

And thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Terrace Community Foundation and other sponsors, 50 per cent of the proceeds from the race went to Terrace Search and Rescue.

This year’s winners and top three finishers for each division listed below:

Thornhill’s Derek Flynn won the male 20-39 category and was crowned King this year, finishing first overall with a time of 50:19, followed by Terrace 20-39 division runners Kurt Gasser with 51:08 and Charles Paquette with 53:56.

Taking the Queen’s crown was Terrace’s Natasha Papachristoforou, who finished first in the female 20-39 division with a time of 1:01:49. Starla Penner came second at 1:10:01, followed by Royleen Wensvoort with 1:20:24.

In the male under 20 division, there was only one runner with Owen Muller crossing the finish line at 58:18. There were no female runners under 20 this year.

In female 40+ there were two runners, with Kitimat’s Erin Baker crossing first at 1:11:54, followed by Jenny Fitzmaurice at 1:21:41.

First for the male 40+ division went to Mitch Hobenshield at 1:03:13, with Adam Brown in second at 1:12:07, third place going to Dwayne Watson at 1:13:40.

For more results and times, visit the Skeena Valley Runners website.

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Terrace’s Natasha Papachristoforou and Thornhill’s Derek Flynn were crowned King and Queen of this year’s race. (Skeena Valley Runners photo)

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