Race’s phantom finish disappears into the night

This is how the race ends, not with a bang but a whimper

It’s an appropriate eulogy for an event that for most went unseen, unheard and for all intent and purpose might just as well never have ran at all.

The Raid the North Extreme (RTNX) adventure race swept through the West Kootenay last week filled with hype and promise from its organizers as the biggest event of the year.

The City of Trail jumped on board offering up $5,000 for the privilege of hosting the much-anticipated finish.

Just think of the great exposure – large crowds, reporters, cameras, TV crews from news outlets, a promised documentary and Outdoor networks all clamoring at beautiful Gyro Park, highlighting the mighty Columbia and the best of Trail, B.C.

Except it didn’t quite happen that way.

The winning team came in under the cover of darkness, Friday at 4 a.m. Only two more teams would cross the finish line legitimately. Considered by race survivors to be the most difficult course on the RTNX circuit, only three of 30 teams completed the whole track in the required time.

I first viewed the course online, a 500-kilometre gauntlet ranging from extreme difficulty to the ridiculous variety. Having hiked a few of the areas, I was familiar with some of the brutal territory but I’ve had the luxury of exploring it over 10 years not five days.

No one can deny that the finishing teams’ accomplishment is tremendous, even those that completed a modified course.

But imagine what Nelson Rocha from Nelson’s Kootenay Kaos must have thought when upon completing the most difficult part of the course from Slocan City, up and over the Valhallas to Gwillim Lakes, the team was told their bikes weren’t delivered and rather than ride, as the course directed, they had to walk the next 20 kilometres.

That was just one of many logistical glitches along the way. Volunteers were stretched to the limit, and teams forced to withdraw stayed on to help.

And despite high tech GPS, race organizers were telling media and local dignitaries to be at Gyro Thursday at 7 p.m for the finish… then 11 p.m. and so on. Their  website’s online tracking showed the only way they’d be at Gyro by that time is if they hitched a chopper ride off Granite Mountain.

Unfortunately, nothing panned out.

In the end, there were no crowds, few cameras, and no documentary.

Photos taken by the RTNX photographers of the finishing team, had them popping a cork while standing under a big yellow archway that read, “Silver Star – My Mountain”,

So even if someone did go to the RTNX website and viewed the photos, they’d think it was on a ski hill, 400 km away in Vernon, coincidentally the hometown of RTNX race president Geoff Langford.

Which still doesn’t explain why photos of the mass start in the burgeoning town of Meadow Creek six days earlier had the same arch, except with the ‘Raid the North- Kootenay’ sign respectfully covering it.

Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs attended the race awards dinner at the Riverbelle and enjoyed the opportunity to meet the adventure racers.

When asked about its organizers, the finish debacle and whether it was worth it for Trail, he remained magnanimous.

“We would probably want certain changes but personally it was a real experience to meet these kinds of people.”

Other officials weren’t so generous, calling it one of the worst organized events they’d seen but for Trail’s first adventure race, taking the high road is probably the best way to go.

At least for the B.C. Seniors Games, Trail will be hosting the opening ceremonies.

Just Posted

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

The author during GoByBike Week. Taking a break from all that high-flying on the Isador Canyon Trail. Photo: Christina Blaskovich
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read