In amongst the trees

Katie
Katie Brickman
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5 Peaks takes runners off the road

Running up Wakamow Valley’s steep weed-filled hills, around the river and through the bush hardly seemed like a challenge for Mike Tighe. 

Participants of the 5 Peaks Trail Race trudge up the first hill in Wakamow Vally on Sunday morning. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman

Although sweat dripped off him, Tighe blew past the other 27 participants, in a time of 30:18 in Sunday’s seven kilometre enduro race as part of the 5 Peaks Trail Run.

“It is nice to have something a little different … a little off the map,” said Tighe. “The hills were quite good. The trails are fairly easy to manage. The footing is pretty good, but you do have watch your step.”

The first Moose Jaw 5 Peaks trail run was held in Wakamow Valley on Sunday morning with a five km sport race and a seven km enduro run that took participants up hills and off the beaten path.

“I think it was amazing. I got up to the top and actually saw some of the runners coming across the first set of fields and all of the sudden, they had their second hill. You could start to see it separate the runners. That second hill challenge definitely was a major teller,” said Shad Ali, 5 Peaks Saskatchewan race director.

The 5 Peaks races have been a big hit in British Columbia for many years, but this is the first year they have decided to move east into the Prairie provinces. The goal is much bigger for the future, though.

“We want to build a strong presence as a we work towards to the year 2017, which is when Canada will be celebrating its 150th anniversary,” explained Ali. “We want to have 200 runners strong at each of our races by then.”

The 5 Peaks race boast itself on taking runners off the road and through different trails through local parks, much like in Wakamow Valley.

“From what we heard, the folks got to see Wakamow park in a whole new light,” said Ali. “Each one of the races has unique features. This one, it would have been the number of hills. We would have had more hills in this race than any other. Secondly, this is called the river of turns and we used just about all of the turns and a number of the bridges here. Those would have been unique features for this race.”

Some of the runners had comments about the course, but realized there would be some growing pains in the inaugural race.

“With it being the first year and not many people knowing about it and with other races to do around the province, I think it was a solid event,” said Tighe. “Hopefully by next year, it will three or four times the size of this event. I will definitely be there again.”

The next 5 Peaks races are set for Aug. 18 in Wascana Park in Regina and then Aug. 29 in Saskatoon.

For more information about those races or to register, visit www.5peaks.com/region/saskatchewan.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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