The Kootenay Kaos team celebrates at the end of the Comox race late last month.

High fives and dance moves in the mountains for Nelson team

The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race series wrapped up their season in the Comox Valley in late September.

The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) series wrapped up their season in the Comox Valley in late September. Members of team Kootenay Kaos competed in the sport course, bringing so much more than athletic ability to the race.

Having raced the 50 km enduro course last year, the team — including Nelson’s Dustin Eagleston, Vincent Hempsall and Nelson Rocha, plus Sacha Kalabis of Winlaw — decided to try the 30 km sport course this year to maximize on the fun.

They wore red, one-piece skin suites that covered them from head to toe, printed with a customized Kootenay Kaos logo.

The team also brought along an iPod with a speaker tucked into a fanny pack.

“At a few different junctions we had impromptu dance parties that a few of the other competitors took part in,” said Hempsall. “I would have to say that was my favourite part of the race — the interactions with the other competitors.”

The team also made a rule that they had to high five teams that they met on the trail.

“It was great to see people’s faces light up as we approached — inevitably they’d ask us if we could see through the costumes or comment about how great the music was,” said Hempsall.

Hempsall said his favourite checkpoint was the one where they had to swim 50 m towards the centre of Allen Lake.

“That definitely embodies what I think is the spirit of adventure racing: be prepared for anything.”

According to the race director Bryan Tasaka, not only are the Kootenay Kaos racers strong, they also bring so much joy, laughter and positive energy to everyone involved with the MOMAR.

“Their speed walk to the finish line was absolutely hilarious,” said Tasaka. “There was no question that they would receive the MOMAR spirit award. They have become an important part of the MOMAR, and we sure hope they keep coming back.”

The Sport Course started with a 6 km kayak on Comox Lake, followed by a 5 km bike ride to the third checkpoint. From there, racers had to trek along a 4 km route, navigating to three checkpoints. Next was a 12 km cross country mountain bike stage which included a 50 m swim. The race finished with a 3 km orienteering stage, ending on the shores of Comox Lake.

All racers were required to use three maps at different scales, and were unaware of the course route until an hour before the race began.

For more information on the MOMAR series, visit


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