2009 January - Foolish Gerbil Twenty-Four Hour Trail Run - Results


January 17/18 - 17 starters

The biggest difference between gerbils and fools is that gerbils have enough sense to get off the wheel when it gets tedious.

Thirteen would-be gerbils toed the line at Pacific Spirit Park on Saturday morning.  Four more started at various other times. All had their goals; some ambitious, others more sensible.  Most reached their goals; a few came away somewhat humbled.

The course presented something of a challenge.  The open areas, especially the Imperial and Heron trails, were covered in snow that was always difficult and sometimes impossible to run on.  It was soft and slippery in the relative warmth of the day. During the night the footprints created earlier froze and became holes that made extremely uneven footing.  Day-time temperatures were relatively mild and comfortable for running.  However, during the night it was quite variable: cold when the sky was clear and bone chilling when the fog rolled in.  At 6 AM it was –1C.

Shawn and Tony came from south of Seattle to join us, leaving there at 4 AM.  Both are training for the McNaughton 150 Mile Race in April. They kept up a strong, steady pace and lapped the two Fools in the middle of the night.  Eventually the cold took its toll, however, and they retreated to their car to warm up.  But hey, this is Canada -- it gets cold eh! Tony recovered and did a lap by himself.  Shawn joined him for the next lap, but even two caffeine pills couldn’t keep her awake so she went back to the car to sleep.  Gentleman Tony couldn’t let a young lady sleep alone in the wilds of Vancouver and joined her. 

Lorie and Barry took a 2 PM start because Lorie had to teach a morning Pilates class in Kelowna.  They ran very strong, but also succumbed to the cold.  They did get out again, but the last time the Fools saw them they were fast asleep in their car.

Kirsten, Wendy joined the Fools and others for the early loops, but had to leave for other, more interesting, commitments.  Kirsten came back in the afternoon for another couple of loops.  Wendy returned in the late evening with donuts and ran another loop.  Kirsten returned again at around 6 AM bringing more donuts.  We love you ladies!

During the cold, dark hours the Fools’ pace was pretty much reduced to a death march, but with Kirsten’s arrival and her gentle but insistent “encouragement” the pace quickened.  Lap 15 ended at about 23 ½ hours.  That was good enough for the Fools, but Kirsten would have none of that so they grudgingly followed her out for an out-and-back to get them to the 24-hour mark. They returned a bit early, but no amount of “encouragement” on Kirsten’s part could get them to go out again.

Thanks to all who came out.  We wish we could have spent some time with each of you, but some were too fast.  Others, perhaps, just avoided the Fools. 



 Gilles Barbeau

144 K

 Karl Jensen

144 K

 Tony Covarrubius

140 K

 Shawn McTaggart

130 K

 Lorie Alexander


 Barry Hopkins


 Kirsten Ramage

64 K

 Tim Wiens

63 K

 Arthur Gee

50 K

 Carrie Walsh


 Marla Weinheimer


 Neil Ambrose


 Wendy Montgomery 30K
 Claudia Bullington

30 K

 Ran Katzman

30 K

 Steven Lee

20 K

 Carolyn King



Craig Moore's picture

you are some tough gerbils

and not one of you is foolish in my books. Well done everyone.

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