Victory can be sweet! Last year’s Sufferfest competitor and Kaslo resident Morgan Handley

Victory can be sweet! Last year’s Sufferfest competitor and Kaslo resident Morgan Handley

Kootenay Sufferfest gaining momentum

Three West Kootenay hamlets play host to a mountain marathon, cross country mountain biking, cyclo-cross and duathlon this weekend.

The sixth annual Kootenay Sufferfest is filling West Kootenay hamlets Kaslo, New Denver, and Nakusp as they play host to a mountain marathon, cross country mountain biking, cyclo-cross and duathlon this long weekend.

The event began in Kaslo today with the 50 km Milford Mountain Marathon which is anything but flat. The wet weather tested athletes as they pushed their endurance with an elevation gain of 2535 m as well as an elevation loss of 3160 m to the finish.

Kaslo played host to variety of trail running events today. New Denver takes the torch on Sunday as various cross country races cycle through. The Sufferfest finale takes place in Nakusp on Monday with cyclo-cross and duathlon events.

With more than 300 adults registered and more than 40 children for youth events, the three day annual event boasts stunning lakeside towns for the hundreds of athletes with a strong appetite for dirt trails.

Race organizer Janis Neufeldt said the flagship event brings in athletes from all over the world, from countries like New Zealand, Holland, Australia and the US, because it offers three days of multiple events ranging from a 50 km trail run to mountain biking.

Neufeld said the 100 km point-to-point all-trail mountain bike race is the only one of its kind in North America. Last year’s winner, Peter Watson hailed from Kelowna finishing in 5:42:13, while Nelsonite Travis Hauck was the top local finisher in fourth with a time 6:12:07.

More to come.