The bright Sunday Sun shone on the John Heintz Cup relay race, Rossland’s quintessential quintathlon that combines our town’s favourite sports in an all out dash from the top of Red Mountain to the Lion’s Campground.
Typically teams of five people sign up, one per leg of the race, but two of this year’s 12 teams were single men.
“That’s something I always like to see,” said race coordinator Kathy Wallace.
“It’s quite a feat to do it by yourself, especially with all the gear changes.”
The race began at the top of Sally’s Alley and contestants skied or boarded down Dale’s Trail to the bull wheel at the bottom of Red.
They passed off to a biker who headed down the Old Red Mountain Road to the Centennial Trail where a cross-country skier took over.
From Centennial trailhead, a snowshoer blitzed down the Centre Star Gulch Trail to the Esling Park Lodge. From there, a runner took the last leg, going west on Columbia Avenue, down Dunn Crescent, up into Black Bear and Centennial Park, onto the new trail up to the highway, and finishing at the Lion’s Campground.
For the fourth year in a row, the race was won by the Double-Ds — that is, they’re undefeated since they first entered the relay four years ago.
Max Banks skied, Dave Diplock biked, Dave Norens cross-country skied, Josh Swain snowshoed, and Colin Adamson ran, completing the course in 21 minutes.
It was Bank’s idea to enter the team, but their win that first year was a surprise. “I knew they were great people, but I had no idea they were fast!” Banks laughed.
Will they enter again next year?
“We’ll see if we can get everyone together,” Banks said.
“It’s always a juggling act with the kids.”
Banks added, “What’s really impressive is the guy who did it himself in 27 minutes. By yourself, that’s amazing.”
“Drew, that’s all he put down,” Wallace said, referring to her notes.
“Twenty-six minutes. Wow, that Drew guy was really fast!”
Not far behind was solo contestant Alar Ruutopold with a time of 30 minutes.
There were two family teams this year, and the three-person team of Chuck, Jess, and Nevon Fuller won the family category.
Two family teams this year, Chuck, Jess, Nevon Fuller… Fuller Brush team, the three of them did the whole race, winning the family category.
Les Boys won in the women’s team category yet again this year, all dressed up in suits and moustaches.
Wallace had a personal favourite, however. “A group of four year old kids did it with their parents and, maybe they had a little help here and there, but they finished it themselves!”
The team registered late, so did not get an official time, but rumour has it the four-year-olds did it in 57 minutes.
Winter Carnival organizer Kelly Acheson also watched the team.
“It’s the die-hard nature of the outdoor culture of Rosslanders.”