The MOMAR’s TOP 20 PHOTO MOMENTS from 2012

January 14, 2013 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on The MOMAR’s TOP 20 PHOTO MOMENTS from 2012

Wow! Wow! Wow!  What a year. 13 years in the bag and so many great moments to add to memory bank.  A big BIG thanks goes out to our talented team of photographers who came out and captured the MOMAR experience.


#1 – CLASS PHOTOphoto by Mark Teasdale (top) and Dave Silver (bottom)

The racers and volunteers pose for the group shot minutes before the start of MOMAR Burnaby (top) and MOMAR Cumberland (bottom).  For many, this will be the last time them smile until they cross the finish line… :0)


#2 – MERRELL TECH TOPSphoto by Mark Teasdale

Our sponsors are simply the BEST and Merrell led the way by stepping up and providing each of our racers and volunteers with a high quality tech top.  Team S&M2 from Courtenay model the new shirts during Friday Night check in at the Riding Fool Hostel.  This good looking team went on to finish 2nd in the 4C category.


#3 – I WOULD CLIMB 500 STEPSphoto by Simon Whitefield

The City of Burnaby’s Parks Crew was busy over the past year building the new 500+ stair Velodome Trail up the backside of Burnaby Mountain.  The Space Cadets hammer up the steps like it’s another day on the Stairmaster 3000.


#4 – X-FILES “O”photo by John Crosby

Once again, one of the coolest parts of the Burnaby MOMAR was the Orienteering stage through the campus of Simon Fraser University.  Here, Geoff Langford leads his Raid the North team through the GVOC designed course.


#5 – SHRINKAGE!photo by David Murphy

Colin Rennie and Sandra Hardy punch the last CP in the waters of Burrard Inlet.  Everyone can thank Tom Jarecki for hanging the CP in this location.


#6 – WITH THE MAVERICKSphoto by Mark Teasdale

For the first time, we added “Social Media Mavericks” to the team of volunteers.  Sarah and Casey-Jo stepped up and provided us with awsome live coverage on Twitter and Facebook and we also had some great tweets from competing teams too.


#7 – LIKE ANTS ON THE WATERphoto by Dave Silver

This photo RULES!!!  The sight of seeing all of the kayaks lined up on Comox Lake for the start of the race is pretty amazing.


#8 – MYSTERY PEAKphoto by Dave Silver

Cumberland’s terrain is truly phenomenal and filled with many hidden gems. While on a weekend of course scouting, we found a huge open bluff with an incredible view of the valley and we knew we had to make it a checkpoint.  Bushwhacking got you there the fasted, but you had to feel good about your compasss skills.  In this photo, Hailey Van Dyck and Jesse Crane clear the CP and venture off to the next.


#9 – REFRESHING SWIMphoto by Mark Teasdale

The Mystery Checkpoint was a popular stage at this year’s MOMAR Cumberland.  It was a short swim with the aid of an air matress or pool noodle.


#10 – CUMBY TRAILSphoto by Dave Silver

A big reason why people keep signing up for the MOMAR Cumberland is the amazing network of mountain biking trails.  The community of trail builders are a dedicated and phenomenal bunch of guys and continue to impress the hundreds of out-of-town participants.


#11 – SEADS AT SEEDS!photo by Mark Teasdale

Seeds Natural Food Market in Cumberland has been a sponsor of the MOMAR for many years now and it has become one of the racer’s favorite checkpoint.  Christina and her staff put out the treats as a mini-reward for the racers.  Sarah Seads (photo) would agree that this extra bit of sugar is the perfect kick needed to make the final push to the finish line.


#12 – INTO THE WILDphoto by Dave Silver

Going off trail can be a very unnerving experience–you can save heaps of time or you can find yourself “off the map”.  This year at the Cumberland MOMAR, teams had many chances to use their compasses and venture in the woods and many felt it was the highlight of their race.


#13 – SYCRO ADVENTURE RACERS!photo by Dave Silver

We have to give another shout out to our sponsor over at Frontrunners who have been with us for the past 12 years.  Norm, Stefan, Nick and Mark are all first class dudes!!!


#14 – WATCH OUT FOR BEESphoto by Dave Silver

The final stage of the MOMAR Cumberland course is a small technical romp through the giant bolder and cliff-laden forest behind the Cumberland Campground.  This stage puts the final stamp on an adventure filled day of racing and an we owe a big thanks to Carl Coger of the Victoria Orienteering Club for making it happen.


#15 – THE CHAMPphoto by Mark Teasdale

It was another series sweep for Todd Nowack bringing his total overall win total to 12. Yes, 12.  Todd has moved to Australia though and unless he makes a special trip back for the MOMAR (and we hope he does), we’ll be crowning a new champ in 2013.


#16 – ABSOLUTE KAOSphoto by Brett Wilson

We thought they were great last year, but this year Kootenay Kaos stepped it up in a big way with thier Red Men/Women outfits and wonky helmets.  Their speed walk across the finish line was a riot and their finish line shot is the bomb.


#17 – THEY ARE THE BEST!photo by Kimberly Kufaas

This card says it all.  Our volunteers are the absolute best.  Thanks Team Chels for making up these cards and handing them out to all of the volunteers along the course!


#18 – THE CHAMPSphoto by Dave Silver

They train hard, they race hard, they make smart decisions, and they come out on top. These are just some of the podium finishers from this year’s MOMAR. Winners took home sunglassess from Ryders, Frontrunners gift cards, and a box of Clif bars!


#19 – PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999!photo by Mark Teasdale (top) & Dave Silver

Another year, another killer party at the MOMAR Cumberland.  The cover band was kick ass and the party was a blast.  Can’t wait for 2013!


#20 – THE ULTIMATE BOTTLE OPENERphoto by David Murphy

This year’s finishers medal not only acknowledged the completion of your MOMAR experience, but was also functional as a bottle opener for the celebratory beer.  Thanks to Rod Tasaka at for the great design!

Posted in: Race Recap

MOMAR Memories: Top Racers from Then ’til Now.

April 26, 2012 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on MOMAR Memories: Top Racers from Then ’til Now.

by Heather Stewart, MOMAR Media Coordinator

The 2001 Galaxy Girls (L-R: Joanna Brownell, Tania Tasaka, Julia Bergman, and Heather Stewart)

Wow, what a stroll down memory lane!! I began my MOMAR career very unofficially as Bryan’s roommate and assistant course scouter. I have very fond memories of the MOMAR early days, hiking our bikes over dried up river beds, running into bears, grinning from ear to ear while zooming down Mt. Tzouhalem, and getting into great shape while Bryan dragged me up and over mountains. The first MOMAR, Duncan 2000, was the beginning of an adventure racing legend. It was the definition of fun. Truly. The after-party was such a blast, and it set a precedent for all MOMARs that have followed. The importance of celebrating such a grueling accomplishment has become the MOMAR norm… and deservedly so.

Denis Fontaine

As the MOMAR Media Coordinator, I have the fortunate job of summarizing the race results from the beginning until now. There are so many names that bring back very fond memories. For me, the name that stands out the most is Denis Fontaine – a name that when reading it fills me with such hilarious memories, and very sad ones.

For any of you that had the fortune of meeting him, I’m sure you will feel the same way. Denis was one of the top racers from day one, but even more than that, he had an unforgettable personality – comical and kind, with the capability to be both the life of the party and a professional representative at the same time. We lost Denis in 2007 to a tragic kayaking accident, but he will most definitely not be forgotten. His name lives on at the MOMAR, with the Denis Fontaine Spirit Award.

Calla Romses

Calla Romses is a name that you early MOMAR racers may remember. Calla came in second overall, along with her teammate Randy Hunter, at the inaugural MOMAR, and was instrumental in getting quite a few of us ladies out on the race course. She was new to the world of adventure racing but still managed to bust her butt and come out on top.

I remember grilling her on her training regime, and then got the nerve to attempt the Duncan 2001 MOMAR. Our team of four ladies, the Galaxy Girls, came first in our category! Well, to be truthful, we were the ONLY team in our category. We barely made cut-off and came in second to last, in front of a racer that had recently had back surgery. But did we have fun?? Hell yes!

There are too many names to mention, but many of them are below in a summary of the top racers throughout the history of the MOMAR. All of these names bring back great memories, plus so many names that are not on that list. If you’ve raced a MOMAR, congratulations, even if you came in dead last. Seriously. I admire you for your attempt and perseveration. It ain’t easy out there!


Number of times on the podium:

Normon Thibault and Dave Norona at the 2001 Lake Cowichan MOMAR

1. Norm Thibault (19)
2. Shawn O’Toole (15)
3. Michell Steel (14)
4. Gary Robbins (13), Justin Mark (13)
5. Todd Nowack (12), Tom Roozendall (12)
6. Sean Lunny (11)
7. Randy Steel (10), Garth Campbell (10), Sarah Seads (10)
8. Dave Norona (8), Denis Fontaine (8), Wendy Simms (8), Shane Ruljancich (8)
9. Bart Jarmula (7), Jeremy Grasby (7), Ina Ervin (Kerchoff) (7), James Luxmoore (7), Gord Horth (7), Aimee Dunn (7)
10. Ryan Ervin (6), Graham Cocksedge (6), Heather McIntosh (6)
11. Doug Doyle (5), Jason Sandquist (5)

Number of times first overall:
1. Todd Nowack (9)
2. Dave Norona (7)
3. Gary Robbins (4)
4. Norm Thibault (3), Sean Lunny (3)
5. Jeremy Grasby (2)

Number of times second overall:
1. Norm Thibault (6)
2. Sean Lunny (3), Jeremy Grasby (3), Garth Campbell (3), Shane Ruljancich (3)
3. Gary Robbins (2), Jason Sandquist (2)

Number of times third overall:
1. Bart Jarmula (3), Shane Ruljancich (3)
2. Norm Thibault (2), James Luxmoore (2), Gary Robbins (2)

Number of first place finishes in ‘solo female’ category:
1. Sarah Seads (8)
2. Genevieve Burdett (3)
3. Annick Kvick (3)
4. Caroline Daubney (2)
5. Linda Morten (2)

Fun facts:
– The two women to have a MOMAR first place overall win: Caroline Daubney, Ladysmith 2002 and Tasha Dilay (with teammate Todd Nowack), Ucluelet 2006.
– From then to now, our most dedicated podium toppers (first time to most recent time):
o Team Where’s my Sherpa: Cowichan 2001 – Cumberland 2011
o Norm Thibault: Lake Cowichan 2001 – Cumberland 2009
o Ina Ervin (Kerchoff): Duncan 2000 – Squamish 2008
o Gary Robbins: Cumberland 2002 – Squamish 2010
o Sarah Seads: Cumberland 2003 – Burnaby 2011
o Sean Lunny: Comox Valley 2001 – Squamish 2008
o Jeremy Grasby: Cumberland 2004 – Cumberland 2011
o James Luxmoore: Duncan 2000 – Shawnigan Lake 2007
o Denis Fontaine: Duncan 2000 – Squamish 2007
o Amy Dunn: Ladysmith 2002 – Squamish 2008
o Wendy Simms: Cumberland 2002 – Cumberland 2008
o Justin Mark: Cumberland 2003 – Squamish 2009
o Tom Roozendaal: Cumberland 2002 – Shawnigan Lake 2008

*** THE COMPLETE LIST:  To view the list of 1st – 3rd place finishers from 2000 to 2011, click here. ***

Posted in: Race Recap


January 8, 2012 by Bryan Tasaka | 1 Comment on THE TOP 20 PHOTO MOMENTS FROM 2011 + 2 GREAT RACE VIDEOS

Once again, there were so many great moments from the 2011 season of the Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Racing Series.  We started the year off in a brand new venue, Burnaby, and ended in Cumberland for the 12 year in a row.  I had hundreds of photos to review and came up with 20 images and two videos.  Enjoy!!!


1. WE WERE THE FIRST  – Photo by Mark Teasdale  —- A partial group shot just before the start of the inaugural race in Burnaby, BC.   The weather was ideal — cool in the morning and bright sunny skies in the afternoon.  The race started and finished at Barnett Marine Park, a bit of a hidden gem in the Lower Mainland.

2. WHAT A PADDLE LEG  – Photo by Mark Teasdale  —- Todd Nowack leads this group of paddlers on a 10km paddle in Burrard Inlet /Indian Arm and up to Jug Island and back.    Todd won this race and Cumberland (another series sweep!)  and adds two more to his overall win tally.

3. SWEET SINGLE TRACK ON BURNABY MOUNTAIN  – Photo by Matthew Beckett  —- Frontrunners’ Stefan Jakobson cruises down the trails during the MOMAR Burnaby.  Frontrunners is our longest running sponsor having been with us for the past 12 years. Love you guys!

4. COMPASSIONATE VOLUNTEER  – Photo by Andrea Beckett  —- The MOMAR has the BEST team of volunteers.  They are always so hardworking, enthusiastic, and ready to help a racer out when needed.  Here, longtime volunteer, Thomas Howard (and his chicken) takes the time to click a shot of a wiped out racer before helping him up (and asking if he’s ok).  What a guy!

5. CELEBRITY APPEARANCE   – Photo by John Crosby  —- Not only did we have one of the best female adventure racers (Jen Segger) on the start line of the MOMAR Burnaby but we also had Raid the North’s race director, Geoff Langford, too!

6. CHAMPAGNE WISHES – Photo by Mark Teasdale  —- Team Beer O’Clock (Nicole Gibbons, Beth Henschel, Alison Perras, and Jaimie Isaac) from Vancouver celebrates their first place finish (4F) with champagne and big smiles. They found all 36 checkpoints in 7h and 13m.  Great job!

7. HEART AND SOLE  – Photo by John Crosby  —- The Momamas were the winners of the Sole Spirit Award. Tons of spirit all day long.

8. VIDEO:  WATCH THE FOOTAGE   – Video by Erik Nachtrieb of 1iOpen Productions  —- Big thanks to Erik for coming out and shooting video and putting together this stellar video that captures the essence of our inaugural race in Burnaby. Click  here to watch.

9. WELCOME TO THE FOG – Photo by Erik Peterson —- Paddlers set out on Comox Lake for the start of the Cumberland MOMAR.  This was the foggiest morning that we ever had and it made for a really eerie but calm paddle stage.

10. NEW CHECKPOINT – Photo by Erik Peterson —- There has been 12 races in Cumberland and finding new terrain is always a treat.  Here, a new trail was cut allowing us access to a set of fantastic bluffs with a great view of the glaciers to the west.  Team Frontrunners Westshore (Nick Walker and Eric Findlay) look pro as they approach CP 3.  I predict a big year at the MOMAR for this duo in 2012.

11. A FAMILY AFFAIR – Photo by John Crosby  — It was great having Vernon’s Sheila Sovereign take on the 30km sport course with her niece Karly.  The Vernon Morning Star reported: “We did really well with the route finding, but we really had to take our time and think it through,” said Sheila. “I did the Squamish MOMAR and the trail finding was way easier. This was actually pretty tricky so we really had to pay attention.”

12. LOST AND CONFUSED – Photo by Erik Peterson —- We’ve all been there… you know… in the Orienteering Stage of the MOMAR… your navigator isn’t quite sure where to go as your teammate waits (im)patiently for a quick decision. Right?  Sarah Newman and Geoff Huenemann from Bike Over Teakettle figure things out in the final stage of the MOMAR Cumberland course.

13. SPIRIT OF TWO BODIES IN ONE Photo by John Crosby —- In the most touching story in the history of the MOMAR, Steven Crerar from Campbell River races the MOMAR Cumberland in memory of his brother  Bryan Crerar, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2009.  Steven and Bryan had raced together for four previous MOMARs and this was now Steven’s first solo.  More on Steven’s story, click here.

14. FOUND IT! – Photo by Erik Peterson —- Aside from crossing the finish line, is there any better feeling than finding a Checkpoint?  Sometimes they can be found easily and sometimes they are hidden; either way, seeing the orange and white flag is a great feeling.  In this photo, ELM Fearless Leaders (Kathy Campbell and Lynn Swift) punch the CP at the top of DCDH.

15. OH THOSE CUMBY TRAILS – Photo by Erik Peterson —- A forest is sometimes just a forest but when you get a community of dedicated trail builders you can end up with a forest with it’s own very unique identity.  The trail network behind the Village of Cumberland is simply the best on the Vancouver Island.  In the first years of the MOMAR Cumberland, we took racers on the Crafty Butcher trail, but subsequent logging kept it out of future course routes. Last year, the trail was refurbished and a wicked double teeter todder was added making this the must ride trail of the race. Super fun, super fast, super buff.

16. OH THOSE CUMBY TRAILS – Photo by Erik Peterson —- Just south of the start/finish line for the MOMAR Cumberland sits a steep boulder filled forest and rugged cliffs.  The terrain here is super cool and is the home to a rock climbers, wasp nests, bears and our final orienteering stage. It’s one of my favorite places in Cumberland.

17. YOU’RE ONLY AS FAST AS YOUR SLOWEST TEAMMATE – Photo by John Crosby —- Last Year’s Losers (Irene and Neil Borecky) cross the line with almost all of their limbs attached…. Runner up for the Sole Spirit Award. What a riot.

18. ATMOSPHERE  – Photo by John Crosby —- A big BIG thanks goes out to our title sponsor Atmosphere who have been with us for the past three years.  Without their support and the support of all of our other sponsors, the MOMAR would not be possible (or at least you wouldn’t get a cool shirt, shiny medal, tasty dinner, rockin’ party, accurate maps, heaps of prizes, a crazy MC, etc… ).  And it was great to have a staff team from the Victoria store compete too! In this photo: Steven Craig, Hannah Mashon, William Rankine, and Nick Brame.

19. ROCK STAR – Photo by Erik Peterson —- What a great moment it was when MOMAR’s own event coordinator, Tamara Rhodes, took the stage and sang a few songs with Megalicious at the MOMAR Cumberland after-party.  This capped off another killer after-party!

20. THREE AMIGOS – Photo by ‘some dude with my camera’ —- Dave Norona, Normon Thibault, and me (Bryan Tasaka).  These guys were at the first MOMAR back in 2000 and they are still here today — 35 races later.  Wow. What a run.

21. THE REAL HEROS OF THE MOMAR – Photo by Erik Peterson —- The MOMAR is produced by a core group of hard working, organized, and dedicated event team.  Thank you Tamara Hung, Janine Tasaka, Sheron Chrysler, Elaine McHugh, Lisa Au, Liz Tribe and Gary Robbins!!!  (Note: Dave Norona represents Lisa, Liz, and Gary for the purposes of this team picture)

22. THE NASTYASS ADVENTURE RACER – Video by Kootenay Kaos —- Words cannot properly explain what the Kootenay Kaos are all about… it’s best if you just watch the video.

That’s it!  Nothing but great memories! Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.

Posted in: Race Recap



 As told by Team Atmosphere MOMAR’s captain, Pete Cameron.
Square one…the starting point.  Often times, one returns to square one to shake off a less than perfect beginning.  Once regrouped and refocused, it’s time to get going again.  Square one became a familiar place relating to the start to our participation in this year’s Atmoshere Raid the North Extreme in BC’s West Kootenays.  

The first time – Raid the North Extreme ’07 in Haida Gwaii.  We were making our way from the mountain top height of CP2, down into a valley and up over the next pass to CP3/TA2, when we got cliffed out again and again.  We just didn’t have the mountain experience to overcome this seemingly insurmountable challenge.  We were convinced that we would be hearing helicopter blades all night long as team after team got plucked off of the mountain side in rescue…just like we probably needed to be.  Nope.  It was our problem.  Ugh.  We pulled the pin and got a boat ride back to the race HQ.  Back to square one.  We’d need more mountain experience on our team if we were to be competitive in a future race in British Columbia. 

The second time – OK, let’s put a team together for RtNX ’11.  Strong female?…check.  We’ve got Lee.  Wrench and strong, mule-like teammate?…check.  James is in.  Navigator?…check.  That’s me…but…what about that whole mountain experience thing?  Ugh.  I hate finding teammates.  Who can we get?  Pause for a few weeks while we suss the scene out a little more.  Oh, what about Todd Nowack?  We were supposed to race together at Explore Sweden a few years ago and he’s from out west.  Cool…he’s in.  

The third time – 2.5 weeks until go time.  Really?  Todd’s out?  Back injury…yikes…I wish that stuff on no one.  Shit.  Oh wait, I know…back to square one.  After a nutty week of hosting 75 Salomon footwear dealers at Mont Tremblant, I switched focus to finding another teammate.  We need someone strong.  We need someone with a positive attitude.  We need someone who compliments our collective skill set.  I became an AR stalker.  I spent 48 hours (save the 8 hours of sleep at night) at my laptop and phone, scouring race results, team rosters, facebook, attackpoint, and soliciting feedback from those whom I trust on various candidates.  If you’ve ever raced, I likely know of your name now.  Then, from out of nowhere, came our saviour – Jean-Yves Dionne.  Sure, he sounds like he should be a right winger for the Habs but this guy’s got the AR stuff we need.  Can we convince him at such a last minute?  Lucky for us, we did.  Square one must be in the rearview now. 

It seemed like from then on, the AR gawds looked down positively on our foursome, Team Atmosphere MOMAR.  All gear to Nelson, BC via Greyhound and Air Canada?…check.  Getting James on our Castlegar flight just minutes before it departed, saving him hours of bus riding from Kelowna?…check.  Having our shuttle driver offering to run us around Nelson to collect all of our gear bins and get everything to our hotel?…check.  Nabbing a little, doored-in corner of the ballroom for our gear-prep and map work?…check.  It had to be time for some sh!t to hit a fan somewhere close by…no?  

*  *  * 

Adventure Racing has changed over the years.  Having been in the sport since 1998, I’ve seen things transform.  Backcountry epics slowly morphed into on-trail speed fests where a racecourse design mindset of challenge for the sake of challenge took over.  Point-to-point journeys changed into cloverleaf, out-and-back, matrix style racecourses where teams saw the same terrain again and again.  True tests of team mental toughness and navigation strategy were replaced by long-distance sprints where physical talents trumped all else.  I lamented recently when I realized that before last year’s Wilderness Traverse in Haliburton, I hadn’t done a proper, long-distance bushwhack with a myriad of route options in several seasons.  Looking over the maps for the 2011 RtNX, I quickly realized that we were in for a classic, a throwback to the type of racing that hooked me onto the sport all those years ago.  This was big land with so many contours.  Trails were sporadic on the treks and none of them seemed to go the ‘right’ way.  While short in distance at ~500km for a 6-day race, this racecourse was going to punish us both in mind and body. 

* * * 

‘Blaaaarrrrgghhh’, or some sort of sound to that effect emanated from my throat about 5 times over as we reached to punch ‘OK’ on the SPOT tracker at CP2 atop the pass alongside Whitewater Mountain.  I took a knee.  ‘Great’, there goes all of my hard fought nutrition I’d worked to get into my stomach throughout the day.  Square one again.  At least that shitty bush is behind us for the moment.  

It had been a hot one from the starting gun at 10h00 on Sunday, July 24th.  I think I put back almost 4L of water and 10 salt tablets by the time we had completed the 23km gut-busting climb on our bikes from the start line at Marblehead and the first 8km of the trek.  I had that awful nauseous feeling where anything less than juicy or moist food made my insides turn sideways.  Race starts are always so stressful.  Teams are all over the place.  Jockeying for position is unrelenting.  It’s hard not to get caught up in it.  Good or bad, we found ourselves on our own pretty quickly as the gears shifted more and more toward the spokes.  Up and up and up some more.  There’s no training for this in SW Ontario.  A 10 minute hill is a monster back east.  That’s not even a warm up out here. 

Now what? We started trekking from CP1’s bike drop, the first objective being the intersection of South Cooper Creek and Cooper Creek.  There was no ‘right’ way to tackle this.  Do we head west for the switchbacks down to McKian Creek, hoping that there’s a worthwhile trail headed to where we want to go?  Or, do we bush it due south to cut off a whack of distance and hope we don’t get cliffed out in the process?  Are those contours too close together?  Gulp.  ‘Pull up and shoot, Pete’, I said to myself and steered the team to the bush.  Remember, ridges and spurs are your friends…I’d learned that much in my unimpressive mountain racing history.  Go with it.  And we did.  All the way down to a cut block just above a very discernable east/west trail.  So far so good.  Let’s run! 

We moved well on trail, crossed a fast-moving river, and reacquainted ourselves with Mr. Devil’s Club and Mrs. Slide Alder as we got deeper and deeper into our southerly route toward CP2.  That couple are real a$$es.  One is everywhere and won’t let you take hold of it while the other is a little more sporadically placed but always seems to be lateral to your intended direction.  Either way, we were delighted to be wearing our soccer shin pads and full-fingered gloves. 

We weren’t sure what place we were in but traveling close to Teams Wild Rose and YogaSlackers made us believe that we were doing alright.  The climb to CP2 was a steady one and while we were tempted to cross back and forth across South Cooper Creek to find ‘better’ travel, we knew enough to just bury our heads and get the work done.  Thick bush gave way to rocky, alder infested coniferous forest, and eventually to alpine in the fading light.  ‘Just stay where the contours are farthest apart’, I kept telling myself.  Jean-Yves took over.  His Alberta and BC tree planting days came back to him in full effect.  We followed obediently as he kicked and foot planted in the snow.  I led us too high and we had to come back down to CP2.  Ugh…wasted effort.  Stupid navigator…shit, that’s me. 

* * * 

“Just pick up the trail down the valley a little and it will take you right to the TA”, advised the CP2 staff as we warmed ourselves by the fire (read: me wiping stomach contents from my cheek).  They had to say it.  Now we were jinxed.  I could see the trail they were speaking of on our map as I had drawn it in from what Backroad Mapbooks indicated.  Of course, we missed the trail’s start.  Team Wild Rose had gotten too far ahead to see and the footprints in the snow disappeared after a few rocky bits.  There’s nothing worse than moving slowly along with an annoying feeling in your head that there’s a parallel trail close by.  


My carbon trekking pole broke in half.  ‘Awesome’.  We’re moving slowly and I’m now three legged.  F^&k it, we’re climbing.  Up we went through the bushy mess and in stunningly too quick a time, we hit manna…the trail.  We trekked into CP3/TA1 at Retallack Lodge as the sun rose on Day 2 of the race.  I had been eating a little more, Lee looked good as always, Jean-Yves seemed in his element, and James…well, James is always strong.  We downed some much needed Boost, replenished our food stocks, and headed out on our bikes for…wait for it…more climbing. 

Reco Pass, ghost towns of Cody and Sandon, Idaho Peak, Wakefield Trail, and switchback after switchback.  Our legs burned.  I drank so much water and still I felt like a-s-s.  Lee, James, and Jean-Yves climbed like maniacs.  VJ from Team Wild Rose climbed even better as her and her team went by us with smiles on their faces.  Damn Western Canadian-based teams and their VO2 max.  What impressed us more was their skill and reckless abandon on the Wakefield Trail.  Picture a 60cm wide trail with a wall on your left and certain death on your right.  Sound like something you’re going to travel quickly on?  Nope, not us.  As for Team Wild Rose, they took off and only the sounds of their laughter and ‘woo-hoos’ were left behind.  Very impressive. 

“POP”….”Ssssssssssssssssssssssssss”.  Shit.  Lee’s got a flat.  What?  The sidewall’s busted through?  It was at this moment when I realized how long we’ve been doing this AR stuff for.  Simply patch the tire up with a boot, replace the tube, CO2 this sucker back up to the right PSI…and we’re off.  Once in the TA, replace the tire altogether with the spare 29”, pump it up quickly with the floor pump, and we’re good as new.  Not too long ago, this would have gone something like this: try hopelessly to patch up sidewall with PowerBar wrapper (who eats those things?), futz about with and likely snap all tire levers but one, realize that the one pump we brought is a piece of sh!t and can’t get the tube beyond 22 PSI, scooter bike at 10-15 kph for the rest of the ride, and beg for a replacement tire at the next TA. 

* * * 

Paddling south on Slocan Lake from Silverton’s CP6/TA2 to CP7/TA3 in Slocan, was kind of like the warm up match before the big title fight.  The Valhalla Range lay off to our west.  This was going to be the BIG trek.  If we could get through that without too much damage, then perhaps we had a chance to finish this racecourse with the big boys and girls.  We paddled by the point where a trail that we would later take heads due west, climbing 3,000’ to Beatrice Lake.  Those mountains looked big.  Very big.  Then, of course, the skies turned grey and opened right up with a deluge of rain.  Mother Nature was laughing at us.  I think my stomach growled for food for the first time since yesterday morning’s pre-race breakfast.  The silver lining…my appetite is back! 

While the rain poured down, we slept soundly in a small cabin at TA3.  I didn’t hear much as I had jammed ear plugs in nice and deep.  When we awoke, Team Wild Rose had left but Tecnu had arrived and had bedded down the same as us.  It was dark now but we weren’t worried about that as the first ~18km of this trek were on trail.  We focused on eating and drinking, trying to gain some much needed strength for what lay before us – a likely 35 hour epic through the crux point of this entire racecourse.  Heading west, we couldn’t believe how much water was coming down the drainages.  We’d never seen so much white water hurtling downhill so hard and so fast.  I hoped that we’d never be forced to cross something like this.  Out of nowhere, we bumped into Team Custom Cellular who was headed back to the TA as one of their teammates was suffering from asthma attacks.  Having a very mild form of that myself, I wish it upon no one and hoped she’d be okay. 

* * * 

About 2.5–3 kph, I figured.  That was the speed we were going on our little sneaky route strategy at Raid the North in French River, Ontario back in 2005.  Our team sat in little pack rafts and bobbed along the wide open lake as others trudged through the thick bush.  By the end of the lake and after a run into the TA, we found ourselves in 5th place, having left the previous TA in 12th.  Yes!  It had worked.  Fast forward to 2011 while bushwhacking alongside Beatrice Lake and I had never wanted for a local Canadian Tire and a $15 inflatable pool toy more.  We even contemplated a freezing cold 3km swim as this vegetation and rocky terrain was brutal.  While only 4km long, this little section took us 5 hours+ to get through.  At times, we moved at 500m per hour.  James and Jean-Yves led us west, hardly stopping for anything.  That’s just what needed to be done.  Don’t think, just go.  Thinking or complaining takes too much time and wastes energy.  Eat.  Drink.  Bushwhack.  That’s the successful recipe for sections like this in my view. 

Hitting the Demers Lakes chain was such a welcomed reprieve…right up until we saw what had to be climbed next.  It was a freakin’ wall.  My heart sunk as I looked at it from afar – 1,000’ straight up.  Nowhere else to go.  A waterfall cascaded down from the next lake higher up.  A chute full of snow edged its way up to the top.  Rocky ledges were everywhere else.  There was only one thing to do.  Stop and watch what Teams DART-nuun and Wild Rose do.  ‘Thank you AR gawds for allowing us to be here in the daylight when these two teams are.  We are only a meager Eastern Canadian team.  Take pity on us.’ 

They both skillfully maneuvered their way over to the waterfall and Spiderman’ed their way up the alder and coniferous vegetation alongside it to the top.  Perfect, let’s get going!  Our luck ran out soon thereafter a few kilometres further west.  CP8 was located at the Ice Creek Lodge in a bowl alongside a small lake.  It was quite a descent to get down to it from the most westerly Demers Lake.  For the top teams, I’m willing to bet that there wasn’t much delay as they simply picked their way down over the rocky terrain.  However, with images of being cliffed out dancing in my head, we paused a little and eventually found our friendly spur to descend on.  The only problem was that our idiot navigator (sh!t, me again) wasn’t diligent enough in the elevation calculation.  The result?  We descended right by the CP to 700’ below the intended target.  I felt so stupid and badly that I had added this extra work onto our already challenging trek.  Admittedly, I was really tired but that’s no solace to the rest of the team.  At the CP, we learned that they had watched us go right by…not literally, however…digitally, as they watched our little SPOT tracker on their laptop.  At least we added a little comedic relief to their day. 

“You can have a sauna if you want”, announced the CP staff at Ice Creek Lodge.  We were losing light and in hindsight, we likely should have slept for a couple of hours, but instead, we trudged on.  There was still 18km left on this trek and Teams Wild Rose and DART-nuun had left not too long ago.  In addition, Teams YogaSlackers and Tecnu had arrived and looked hungry to put us behind them.  So, we climbed the 1,800’ to Urd Pass in the fading light with 8 other headlamps bobbing close by along with us. 

We were ‘experts’ now.  I felt buoyed by the mountainous challenges that we had overcome and now behind us.  Jean-Yves and James surged forward, glissading down the snowy hills while Leanne filmed one of the longer descents as she slid down on her bum.  We had to be careful, though, because rocks peaked out from underneath the snowpack and every once in a while, you’d hit a hole and sink up to your thigh.  In the pitch black, save for the 8 other headlamps, we aimed to negotiate the Hird and Rocky Lakes before making our assault on the Lucifer Peak pass.  Sounds ominous, huh?  Try out its adjacent peaks named Devil’s Dome, Mount Diablo, Satan’s Peak, and Banshee Peak.  Real uplifting stuff.  Team DART-nuun seemed to take off on us while we continued to cross paths with YogaSlackers.  The sleepmonsters took over us now a little but at the risk of pumping my own tires a little, I was pretty focused.  We kept moving east until I was happy with our position and so began the long slog up.  Water rushed by us all around and underneath the snowpack we walked on from time to time.  More and more rock became exposed and we used that, too, in order to get higher and higher.  Lee had seen this all before.  Her déjà vu was crystal clear.  She whispered to James that she knew we were on the right path because she’d been here before and all had worked out a-okay.  As a last joke played on us by the land, we hit what we thought was the apex of the pass when we were confronted with a small lake.  ‘What the f^&*?’  A lot can happen between 100’ contours I kept telling myself between hallucinations.  Just keep climbing!  And so we did, to the top of the pass and down the sketchy rock-strewn fields on the other side, right to the welcomed reprieve of CP9’s campsite at Gwillim Lakes.  We had done it! 

I don’t remember much about the 9km downhill trail walk/shuffle thereafter to CP10/TA4 as I drifted in and out of sleep.  Why did these other three people keep asking me where we were or how long did we still have to go?  I honestly didn’t understand.  After all, James had been here before, right?  Didn’t he bike this stuff during TransRockies or something?  James kept us on the main trail, although I’m not entirely sure how in reality he knew where to go, and through my dreamy state, we were spit out onto the access road at daylight…and for the record, James had NOT ever been there before. 

“Sorry guys, you seriously have to keep trekking to the original TA location”, we were informed by a volunteer at what was no longer a switch to bikes.  Our feet pulsed at the thought of it – 18km on a gravel road.  Already close to hamburger status, having been on them for 33 hours during the BIG trek, we set off gingerly toward a nice sleep at CP11/TA4.  There was a lot of tip-toeing and grimacing as our wet and battered feet took more punishment.  ‘I’ll take 500m per hour in the bush over this road crap anytime’, I said silently to myself.  As a sadistic form of torture, each KM was nicely marked alongside the road and we slowly watched the number tick down as we death marched south. 

* * * 

As I lay down to sleep in the cool shade at TA4, my last thought was hoping that my swollen feet would be able to fit into my bike shoes…Zzzzzzzz.  It always amazes me how much faster, relatively speaking of course, we move after a couple hours of sleep.  The smart teams like know this phenomenon all to well and had likely gotten double our sleep count so far.  They were also 15 hours ahead of us.  How do they do it? 

We jumped onto our bikes, giving chase to Team YogaSlackers and trying to stay ahead of Tecnu, who had arrived while we slept.  The tyrolean traverse over Koch River was pretty uneventful but in a gorgeous location.  From there, we climbed toward what I believed would be a navigational crux point in the race.  Just north of Mount Lequereux, the northerly mapped trail ended and then picked up again 15km later, leading us right to TA5 in Burton.  We had scoured Google Earth and Backroads Mapbook for over an hour on this little section alone, trying to sort out how to connect the two road systems.  There were basically two options: 1) stay on the due north heading and chancing that there was an ATV trail that wound its way through the pass and then down the other side along Cony Creek; or, 2) hook west to a cut block and cross our fingers that an ATV trail snaked through and eventually to Burton Creek.  Coin flip?  Nope, let’s stay conservative and head to the cut block.  Skidders and trucks would HAVE to have gotten there from the north when this area was being actively logged.  All of what I drew onto the map matched up perfectly and we joined up with Team YogaSlackers in the cut block.  They looked as though they’d been searching for a bit and we did the same for a while…to no avail.  After some more searching, we cut bait and headed back to take the other route.  We passed Team Tecnu en route and were curious as to what they would ultimately do.  As for us, we successfully negotiated the ATV trail across the pass and screamed down the other side on wide logging roads.  However, our hearts sank when we learned that Team YogaSlackers had in fact found a passable route and had gotten here 1.5 hours ago.  Of course we now wished that we had looked just a little longer in the cut block for a navigable trail.  That’s racing, I guess. 

* * * 

“Yup, you’ve got to paddle with your bikes in your canoes” 

“I’m just asking because you also mentioned that we’ll be paddling through class II and III rapids” 

“Maybe up in Canada you’re not used to this but down here, this is pretty standard” 

…or something like that was how my conversation went with a race director when I learned that the event in the USA we’d signed up for had us paddling with our bikes in the bloody canoes.  I was not happy.  My brand new 29” frame hardly fit in the canoe to begin with and now with water splashing everywhere for hours on end, we would all be compromising the hubs, bottom brackets, and drive trains on our bikes.  After the last rapid, featuring a 1.5m drop, where we somehow managed not to dump (almost all teams thereafter did), I vowed that I wouldn’t do a race again where they forced us to do this.  Leanne’s ruined fork agreed with me. 

So, yeah, I broke my little rule as we had to take our bikes apart and secure them inside each boat for our 70km paddle on Arrow Lake at RtNX ’11.  What made it ‘better’ was that the rear triangle of my bike and derailleur jutted toward my nether regions and took up all sorts of space that my (now) cramping legs needed. 

“Let’s sing a song”, chirped Leanne. 

‘Let’s swear really loud and pout about my extreme discomfort instead’, I thought to myself but started to belt out verse one of The Tragically Hip’s ‘Nautical Disaster’ instead.  Our two boats took turns towing the other as we made our way in the darkness to CP14, about ½ way through the paddle. 

“I’ve got a dog who won’t shut up and two kids who you’ve now woken up so stop shining your lights everywhere”, the family matriarch firmly explained to us as we searched in vain for CP14 marked by a glow stick.  Hopped up on caffeine pills since a little lakeside nap and a bike part firmly placed uncomfortably against my groin, I wasn’t feeling much sympathy and asked Lee to get out and find the CP staff.  I’m a bad person, I know. 

On we paddled through the remaining darkness, grabbed some more food and dry clothes from CP15/TA6 at Deer Park Mountain, were greeted at Renata by food-and-water-toting locals (such a great oasis!), and continued to be chased by Team Tecnu.  Those guys just won’t disappear!  We weren’t sure where YogaSlackers were…perhaps they were smarter than us and slept a little more than we did.  Bulldog Mountain lay before us, a 3,000’ climb.  Awesome (he said in jest).  Leanne was feeling pretty low.  However, James and I had learned a little trick with Leanne.  When she gets like this, let her lead.  She gets so pissed off with herself and it manifests as increased speed.  As a result, she hammers and we have a hell of a time keeping up with her.  I might have sworn a couple of times when she rode up some ascents that my legs would have rather walked.  That’s what great teammates are for!  Our final push on this ride took us through an abandoned train tunnel (a welcomed reprieve of chilly air) and then 17km along a rail trail which, of course, felt ever so slightly uphill the whole way. 

* * * 

I was nervous.  We had a sneaky little navigation plan on the trek ahead of us but if it didn’t work, it meant extra punishment on our already broken feet.  Let Team Tecnu go ahead so they don’t catch wind of our scheme…off they went.  Here was the rule, “Travel on HWY 3 is strictly forbidden”.  Okay, what about ‘underneath’ HWY 3?  I asked Geoff Langford, the Race Director, the day before the start of the race and he confirmed that ‘underneath’ was okay.  In short, we had to travel 5km south on the rail trail from TA7 to a waypoint.  Once there, teams traveled east overland to CP18 at a junction of two forest service roads.  Sounds easy enough except for a few obstacles: massively steep drainages running perpendicular to the line of travel; cut blocks; unmapped logging roads and XC ski trails; and, a switch in contour interval from 100’ to 40m.  We wanted to be as navigationally clean and safe as possible.  When I saw the large drainage just to the north of where HWY 3 crossed the rail trail when we first saw the maps, I had a little ‘eureka!’ moment.  There had to be a culvert there to flush out all of the water.  There just had to be. 

My heart was in my throat as we shuffled the 3km back up the rail trail to the drainage.  We hated doing the extra distance but each waypoint was mandatory to reach so there was little choice.  Here we go, let’s see what the AR gawds have for us this time.  This was certainly a significant waterway…the runoff HAD to go underneath the highway from the other side…oh wait, what if there is a culvert but it’s barred off?…please be passable!  And there it was.  I climbed the last of the rocks and sure enough, there was a 5.5’ tall culvert going from west to east, 100’ underneath the highway.  There was a steady stream of water flowing through and falling away to the rocks below.  We just have to get into that sucker.  I clambered up and Jean-Yves, our climber extraordinaire, monkeyed his way into it and showed us where to step.  All in, we turned the headlamps on and soaked our feet in the ankle deep water as we walked through it.  YES!  We had done it.  We figured we just saved ourselves a few thousand feet of climbing and maybe even a couple of hours.  Was DART-nuun catchable?  They left TA7 three hours before we did and we were both travelling eastbound in the darkness.  I love this about a well-designed trek.  Anything can happen with different route strategies. 

I felt so buoyed by our good fortune and ate ravenously as we followed Jean-Yves up some steep climbs, into cut blocks that we wanted to see, and eventually on a road system that headed generally east.  It was soon time to bushwhack and I set the compass to 90°, in hopes of hitting the next road system on the other side of a VERY steep drainage.  Nailed it.  There was our north/south road…just keep travelling east on it and we should…oh no…this is bending far too far north.  Must sleep.  No, must keep trekking.  What about this route?  Nope, dead end.  That dirt pile looks really comfy.  No, focus!  ‘Seal Creek Trail’ sign.  Maybe this goes where we need it?  Screw it, the team smartly informed me, we needed sleep. 

Compass points danced in my head and a faux CP staff called out as I faded in and out of fitful sleep.  Shivering kept me awake, too.  As it turns out, we were short of our CP18 objective by a mere 2.5km after only 6.5 hours of trekking from TA7.  We had had a great route but just couldn’t finish the job on such little sleep and no daylight to guide us.  Team DART-nuun had hit CP18 90 minutes before us by the time we emerged from the bush, a scant 50m from the staff.  3rd place just didn’t seem to be in the cards for us.  What about Team Tecnu?  Were they through yet?  Thankfully not but we didn’t think we had too much time before they started to chase us down yet again.  We moved as quickly as we could on Glenmerry Creek Rd and into Nancy Greene Provincial Park before hitting TA8, the start of the final bike.  The scratchy voice over the radio informed us that Team Tecnu had in fact reached CP18 and were likely about 2 hours behind us.  Great.  

* * * 

The final push.  One more bike ride.  Could we catch Team DART-nuun?  Or, would this turn into a head-to-head race with Team Tecnu to the finish line?  We gave it what we had up the climb to the pass between Mounts Neptune and Crowe.  Sure enough, the riding turned into bikewhacking about 1km short of the top.  How did my bike get so heavy?  Lee and James led us through the tough undergrowth.  The ride down the other side shook my body to the very core.  My wrists hurt.  My fingers had a hard time clenching the brakes.  My whole chest cavity ached.  Crossroads ahead.  Right, I remember now, this ride was going to be a b!tch with no seemingly obvious route to Strawberry Pass and the waypoint marking the start of the Seven Summits Trail.  None of us felt like taking on extra mental challenge at this point in the race.  Keep it simple.  So, we climbed back up on a road that ran adjacent to Mount Crowe, bushwhacked down to another road, and took it right to the waypoint.  Holy sh!t.  It worked! 

I was fried.  My mind turned to Jell-o and I just couldn’t think anymore.  Evidence of this was the circular tour we did on the Seven Summits Trail which cost us over an hour.  I felt so badly but I was out of intellectual horsepower.  Just climb back up and keep going south.  Team Tecnu would surely be on us now.  Ugh.  My teammates climbed so well and I did what I could to keep pace.  Hitting CP20 beside Old Glory Mountain, we were supposed to leave our bikes and climb up and down it on foot for a total of just over 2km.  Hmmm, let’s check the racecourse instructions.  It was 18h45 on Friday, July 29th and the cut-off for the out-and-back climb was 18h00.  While there was no CP staff at CP20 to police it, we made the decision to keep riding in accordance with the rules.  We were not disappointed in the least…in fact, as Leanne described, we were elated. 

The Seven Summits Trail is said to be one of the most epic rides in Canada.  I don’t think I can agree or disagree with this moniker because we pushed our bikes for 40% of it.  Our legs were trashed.  We’d climbed so much over the last 5 days that we were almost officially on fumes.  The downhills were fun but we were in survival mode at this point.  Hitting Granite Mountain amongst Red Mountain Resort was a great relief…except for the fact that getting down to the bottom was unclear.  We re-read the racecourse instructions, surveyed the land in the dusk light, and finally found the rocky road that led us to the Resort.  If our upper bodies hurt before, they were screaming now.  It was 4,500’ of descent down to the finish line at the Waterfront Park in Trail.  Jean-Yves bailed hard in a rocky rut in the road.  Careful boys and girls, we’re almost home.  We raced through Rossland as quickly as we could and onto a matrix of rocky downhill trails that were to lead us into Warfield.  I just followed my instincts for what felt the right direction as I knew the team was on a knife edge of patience should we have gotten on the wrong one and needed to climb back up at some point.  Luck was on our side as we spit out into Warfield, jumped on HWY 22, crossed the bridge over the Columbia River, and headed due north for the finish line. 

As always, finish lines are anti-climactic.  All we knew after 5.5 days of racing was ‘one foot in front of the other’, ‘just keep pedaling’, ‘continue to put the paddle in the water’, eat, drink, repeat.  Now we were done.  Team DART-nuun had nabbed 3rd and we had somehow staved off Team Tecnu’s unrelenting forward surges to earn 4th.  Given that we had almost not even reached the start line, we were elated with our result.  We had ‘slayed the dragon’ that was our DNF or Unranked at RtNX’07.  Square one had moved a little now as 500km of unforgiving terrain were behind us.  Our feet were hamburger meat, our upper bodies were spent, we looked terrible, but there was no better feeling than reaching our objective as a unified and complete team.

Posted in: Race Recap


December 29, 2010 by Bryan Tasaka | No Comments on TOP 20 BEST PHOTO MOMENTS FROM MOMAR 2010

It’s not easy capturing the essences of an adventure race that spans 50km of remote wilderness. However, the MOMAR is incredibly fortunate to have an amazing team of both professional and amateur photographers moving throughout the course on race day taking some awesome shots.  BIG THANKS goes out to David Silver, David Fornier, Nick Sopczak, Sophia Ha, Matthew Beckett, Carla Yarrow, Rumi Kodama, Aimee Asselin, Melissa Marsh, Earl Purvis, Jordy Ydse, and Caroline Falconer!

Here is my list of the Top 20 Best Photo Moments from the MOMAR in 2010. The first ten are from Squamish and the last ten are from Cumberland. Enjoy!

1. MOUNTAIN BIKING DOWN HALF NELSON – Photo by David Fournier  —-  The Half Nelson Trail opened just in time for the MOMAR in Squamish.  Local trail builder Ted Tempany led the design and construction which was a government funded project. This 3km roller coaster like ride is a true rush for the XC rider and was a highlight of the Squamish course. This photo captures the Trent Hillbillies in fast action.

2. UP THE CHIEF – Photo by David Fournier —-  I still remember the ‘oh shit’ look on many racers’ faces when on race morning ’09 we handed out the maps and it revealed the tightly guarded secret that we were sending them UP the 600m Stawamus Chief. This stage was near the end of the race again this year as David captures the ‘death march’ up to the top. It’s all about the reward though, right?  Next stage: Rappel!

3. RAPPELLING OFF THE CHIEF – Photo by Nick Sopczak—-  A team member of the Ponytails descends off the top of the Stawamus Chief down to a rock shelf 150′ below.  The Sea to Sky Highway and Howe Sound are in the background.   The MOMAR is the only company to have ever used the Chief trails for an organized race.  Big thanks goes out to Colin Moorhead and his team at the Squamish Rock Guides for managing the rappel!

4. TEAMWORK AND FUN PERSONIFIED – Photo by Rumi Kodama—-  Richard Alm lead a team of Innovative Fitness trainers and clients through the rigours of the MOMAR. There are other photos showing Richard crossing the fast flowing and glacier cold Mamquam River numerous times with not only his teammates’ bikes, but also with his teammates on his back. What a stud!

5. CROSSING THE MAMQUAM – Photo by Jordy Ydse —-  This is the Mamquam River crossing where the water is cold and the bottom is slippery. Team Corsa Cycles look like pros making the trip across.  Big shout out goes to Dave and Sandra at Corsa for their incredible support since our first year in Squamish.

6. BATTLE WOUNDS – Photo by David Fournier —-  Megan Fretter and Hailey Van Dyk of Team Atmosphere show off their injuries during a rest stop on the Chief. Megan apparently went over the handlebars and cut both knees; the medics had to order her to stop and get patched up. Hailey’s is more in the ‘boo boo’ category.

7. MAKING RICHARD SIMMONS PROUD – Photo by Earl Purvis  —-  There’s always a strong contingent of teams that bring some serious spirit to the MOMAR. At the Squamish MOMAR, it was The Richard Simmons Fan Club (Brie Ansell and Erin Van de Water) who had the most and walked away with the Spirit Award.

8. FINALLY! FINALLY! FINALLY! – Photo by Earl Purvis  —-  Vancouver’s John Markez is an incredible adventure athlete and is always a favorite to win the MOMAR. For years now, John has come close but something (big crash, urban nav, controversial CP location, etc) always seems to prevent him from having that totally clean race. But at the Squamish MOMAR this year, there was NO stopping John and he FINALLY won it all! Woohoo!

9. HOW DO THEY DO IT? – Photo by Mark Teasdale —-  It always amazes me that the MOMAR racers can hammer through eight hours of racing and then still have the energy to stay until last call. This year’s afterparty at MOMAR Squmaish was fantastic with a great band and DJ that kept the dance floor packed all night long.

10. JEN SEGGER RULES! – Photo by Mark Teasdale —-  Yes. She. Does. For years, I had always wanted to bring a MOMAR to the Sea to Sky corridor but it wasn’t until I saw professional adventure racer, Jen Segger, at the Yeti that the ball actually started rolling. Jen became Squamish’s Course Director and designed some of the most challenging and spectacular MOMAR course to date. Thanks JEN for raising the bar and for your amazing work with the MOMAR!


11. IT TAKES A GREAT TEAM TO MAKE THE MOMAR HAPPEN – Photo by David Silver —-  Friday Night Registration is a big part of the MOMAR’s complete weekend experience.  In Cumberland, we’re hosted by the Riding Fool Hostel and the casual and historic nature of this venue is great for giving the racers and volunteers a chance to hang out with a cold beer.  In this photo, we have our volunteer Emily handing out beer, RFH staff Innis, and MOMAR staff (Tamara and Lisa).  Cute MOMAR shirts too! 

12. THAT’S A LOT OF KAYAKS – Photo by David Silver —-  It’s always a great sight seeing the hundreds of kayaks take to the water on Comox Lake for the start of the Cumberland MOMAR.  I would bet that there is not another race from Alaska to Peru that has this many kayaks on a race start line as there is at the MOMAR. Of course, this could not happen without the incredible support of all the kayak companies that rent and deliver boats for this race!


13. GREAT RIDING IN CUMBERLAND – Photo by David Silver —-  Cumberland ‘s trail network is amazing and it’s a big reason why the MOMAR has remained in the Comox Valley all these years.  Two new trails were build last winter called Thirsty Beaver and Blue Collar and both were part of this year’s MOMAR.  Racers love them both despite the mucky conditions. Thanks to all the people like Jeremy Grasby, Dan Espeseth, Terry Lewis, Al Munday and many more who dedicate countless hours to creating all the flowy trails.


14. WHERE THE #%$& ARE WE? – Photo by David Silver —-  A significant portion of the MOMAR Cumberland course requires teams to self-navigate from one checkpoint to the next. Here’s a team trying to orient themselves from a viewpoint on the Trekking Stage. Those teams with good map reading skills and patience usually have the advantage over the teams that rush their way through or follow other teams. It’s always interested to watch from the transition to see who emerges from the trails first (and last).

15. ASS OVER TEAKETTLE – Photo by Matthew Beckett —-  We’ve all been there. Wikipedia should use this photo to go with the phrase “Ass Over Teakettle.”  Enough said.

16. REDNECKS LOVE ADVENTURE RACING – Photo by David Silver —-  I think this is my favorite costume of all time. The Bong Cousins (Irene Borecky & Dave Hope) came complete with mullets, beer hats, and a pregnant belly. They were the unanimous winners of the Spirit Award for the Cumberland MOMAR. Seeing this photo still makes me laugh.

 17. PROPS TO JEREMY – Photo by David Silver —-  He’s the owner of the Riding Fool Hostel and has raced in 9 of 10 Cumberland MOMARs. He’s won a few and been on the podium pretty much all the other years. And he does it all in a plain old sea kayak and a single speed mountain bike. Jeremy Grasby is his name and we honoured him with an Award of Excellence for his amazing support for the MOMAR over the years. Great guy.

18. THE CHILI MAN – Photo by Sophia Ha —-  Not only has Al Bergman of Berg Bikes sponsored the MOMAR for the past six years, but the Berg Chili Stand has become a fixture at the MOMAR finish line. Credit goes to Berg Bike athlete Lisa Hughes Fisher for making the awesome veggie chili.  Think custom when it’s time for a new bike.

19. ALL DONE! – Photo by Carla Yarrow —-  It takes racers up to 8 hours to finish the MOMAR and for those that come in close to the cutoff time, the MOMAR inflatable arch and finish line chute is enough to make them (almost) weep.  We put a lot of effort into making every racer’s finish line experience special — MC Dave Norona will call your name and cheer you on, volunteers will give you a finisher medal and rattle some cowbells, and we’ll take a souvenir photo of your sweaty smiling face to prove you did it!

20. SUPPORTING MAKE-A-WISH – Photo by David Silver —-  The MOMAR is very proud to have the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC/Yukon as our official charity. Over the past four years, MOMAR participants have generously donated $17,000.00 to a cause that “enriches the lives of children with life threatening medical conditions through its wish granting work.”  Here’s a photo of Dee Raffo who was the lucky winner of the trip for two anywhere WestJet flies. 

Well, that’s it!  So many great photos and so many great stories to go along with them. I could easily do a TOP 100 but 20 took me long enough.

Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at the MOMAR in 2011.

Bryan Tasaka
Event Director

Posted in: Race Recap

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