Flash - Sunshine Coast Trail 180

Where and When?


How Much?


This is not your average Club Fat Ass event. In fact, it's not an event at all!

The four runners who attempted to run the Sunshine Coast Trail in 2003 and 2004 were Club Fat Ass members. They they wanted to share their experience with others who might want to run the trail in the future. As well, they wanted to leave a legacy that those close to the trail might adopt as a fundraiser or medium for generating awareness of the trail at some point in the future. So, the Sunshine Coast Trail 180 is an event only if you choose to make it one.

If you decide you want to adopt the "event" or run the trail, please refer to the contact page. We'd love to help you!

Also worth noting: Several local trail gurus are making themselves available to help runners and hikers and they will also donate part of the proceeds to trail maintenance....

Powell River Adventures

Your chances of running the Sunshine Coast Trail will improve dramatically if you have local guides and logistical support. The Manager of Powell
River Adventures is Eagle Walz, author of the only book on the Sunshine Coast Trail and someone who has been intimately involved with every known attempt to run the trail. For $5500, Eagle offers up to 3 full days of support from himself and up to 2 assistants and pledges $1000 of this fee to trail maintenance.

You can reach Eagle at walz@shaw.ca


This is the agenda the city boys used in 2004. Use it as a guideline to develop your own:

Friday 2 July 2004

06:00 Check the weather. Pack the cars. Hit the road from North Vancouver.
07:20 Ferry to Langdale (arrive 8:00)
10:30 Ferry to Saltery Bay (arrive 11:20)
12:30 Arrive Powell River. Final grocery shop and sightseeing
14:00 Crew meeting. Meet local crew. Confirm objectives. Lund Pub.
16:00 Get to Sarah Point. Set up tent.
18:00 Hit the hay

Saturday 3 July

01:30 Get up
02:00 Hit the trail
06:10 Arrive Reference Point (RP) 1 - Malaspina Road (4 hours run time)
07:45 Arrive RP2 - Homestead
10:55 Arrive RP3 - Wildwood
12:55 Arrive RP6 - Haywire Bay
14:30 Arrive RP7 - Anthony Island
18:10 Arrive RP6 - Fiddlehead
21:35 Arrive RP7 - Spring Lake

Sunday 4 July

0:20 Arrive RP8 - Granite Lake
04:40 Arrive RP9 - Goat Lake Main
07:30 Arrive RP10 - Lois Main
13:30 Arrive RP11 - Saltery Bay Main
22:00 Arrive RP12 - Finish
23:30 Hit the hay.  All of the pubs in Powell River were closed!

Monday 5 July

06:30 Sleep in. Pack. Say goodbyes.
07:30 Ferry to Earl's Cove (arrive 8:20)
10:40 Ferry to Horseshoe Bay (arrive 11:00)
11:30 Arrive North Vancouver
20:00 Hit the hay.

Route and Crew Access

Trail Route

We opted to run the Sunshine Coast Trail from North to South. General details about the trail can be found on the Sunshine Coast Trail website. Specific details can be found in the book "Sunshine Coast Trail" by Eagle Walz.

Crew Access

It would have been impossible to meet the challenge of running the Sunshine Coast Trail non-stop without aid and crew support.

In competitive trail races, runners receive food, water and medical assistance approximately every 10 kilometers. The team prepared to carry sufficient food and water to run without outside assistance for up to (6) six hours. Aid stations were set up at intervals of 10-30 kilometers wherever road access permitted. Link to a detailed route and crew access table.

Runner Preparation

Other Notes

  • please read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • while on the trail, we tried to identify potential improvements for trail marking, noted particular areas of interest for future runners and picked up any trash we saw. (there wasn't much!)
  • this "event" was not sponsored, sanctioned, permitted or anything else that would qualify it as an official event. It was a trail running party!


Trail Route

The Sunshine Coast Trail 100 was attempted from north to south. General details about the trail can be found on the official trail website. Specific details can be found in the book Sunshine Coast Trail by Eagle Walz.

Crew Access

It would be very difficult to run this trail without an experienced crew.  The attached table (scroll all the way down) lists potential access points, distances and other critical information for the run. Locations where outside aid is anticipated are indicated in red.

Sunshine Coast Trail - 04.xls26 KB



The team of Dave Cressman, Ean Jackson, Dom and Wade Repta ran into Saltery Bay together 43h and 50 min after they started. The only runner to run the full lenght of the trail non-stop was Ean Jackson.

Photo Gallery will be added soon.


The trail won!


The Sunshine Coast Trail

The Sunshine Coast Trail is a 180 kilometer (118 mile) hiking trail. Located approximately 100 kilometers up the coast from Vancouver near Powell River, British Columbia, Canada, the Sunshine Coast Trail offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. Runners can expect to enjoy rocky coastline, flat and fast trails through old growth forests of Douglas fir and red cedar, nasty, rooty climbs up steep mountains and equally challenging descents. The trail passes through several communities including Powell River. Total vertical gain and loss over the course of the trail is approximately 8,300 meters. In perspective, that is like climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and back twice from sea level.

The Challenge

No one has ever run the entire length of the Sunshine Coast Trail in one go. The objective of the Sunshine Coast Trail 180 is to complete the entire length of the trail from Sarah Point in the north to Saltery Bay in the south within 48 hours. As an additional element of challenge, the aim will be to complete as a team.

The Team

Given the extreme nature of the challenge and the number of unknown risks associated with running the trail, it was decided that the event would be attempted as a team. The team was comprised of four of Canada's top ultramarathon runners, triathletes and adventure racers.

Dave Cressman

Cressman has been running for most of his life. Although he is drawn to many sports, running is the one he returns to time and time again. An elite level ultrarunner, cyclist, inline skater and snowshoer, he has competed in the Marathon des Sables, the World Duathlon Championships, North American Snowshoe Championships and several other major events all in a quest for adventure.

His racing history includes 2 victories at the Vancouver Fat Ass 50k, top Canadian at Marathon des Sables in Morocco, numerous snowshoe wins, top Canadian at World Duathlon Championships, OCAA Cross Country Championship, and many others.

Married with one child and living in Vancouver, BC, Cressman is a Sales Representative in the sporting goods industry. He first thought of running the Sunshine Coast Trail in 1998 and only needed to find the right mix of athletes to pull it off.

Ean Jackson

"Action" Jackson (also called "Rain, No Train" Jackson and other names) is an entrepreneur in the high technology field, a university professor, father of 2 and a self-proclaimed endurance sport junkie. A fat kid, he got into running in university on a beer bet.

The only team member who has not competed in the Marathon des Sables, Jackson has completed 82 ultramarathon runs, 3 ultra distance triathlons, 27 marathons and 6 Ironman triathlons. He has been on Canadian national Duathlon and 100K run teams, has participated in 2 Ironman Hawaii world triathlon championships and was a top finisher at the Western States 100-mile endurance Run in California.

Jackson, who lives in North Vancouver, worked with Pacifica Papers in Powell River as BC Territory Manager for Oracle, a big software company. He has been vacationing with his family on the Sunshine Coast for almost 10 years and has dreamt of running the Sunshine Coast Trail since learning of it's existence.

Dom Repta

A recent graduate of the Masters in Environmental Studies at York University, Dom works for Friends of Clayoquot Sound as an Aquaculture Campaigner. His claim to fame is that he is Wade's brother. He says he is ridiculously good looking, but the consensus of the team is that this observation is in the eyes of the beholder. He is a vegan, which means that he is a pain to cook for.

Dom completed the Marathon des Sables in the spring of 2003, a 7-day run across the Sahara desert that is billed as the "hardest footrace on earth." His other accomplishments include top finishes at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Mohican 100 Miler, the Haliburton 50 Miler and Ironman Florida.

Having grown up in Ontario, he didn't know where the Sunshine Coast was until moving to British Columbia in 2002.

Wade Repta

Wade is a sandbagger. In technical terms, this means he's a bit less outwardly confident about his running ability. He is looking forward to "the chance to be lost and malnourished on the Sunshine Coast Trail for a second year in a row" and is not quite sure what to do with his puppy, Kaioma, while he's on the trail.

An ultramarathon runner since 1999, he has sought out some of the toughest athletic challenges in the world to test himself. Athletic highlights include a top 20 finish in his first 50 mile race, the Bull Run Run. He has since earned four top 10 finishes at the 50 km run distance and has completed two Ironman triathlons (Canada in 2001 and Utah 2002.) To date, his greatest athletic accomplishment has been to complete the Marathon Des Sables in Morocco.

Professionally, Wade is a Rehabilitation Consultant and Occupational Therapist, single, who lives in Vancouver. Like Dom, he grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, is a vegan and couldn't find Powell River on a map until learning about the Sunshine Coast Trail.

The Crew

It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to attempt this challenge without help. Support crew tasks include everything from help with maps and logistics to providing food and water during the run to shuttling people and supplies around the back roads that intersect the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Crew Captain Cheryl Picot
Powell River Crew Eagle Walz, Len & Gail Swanson
Imported Crew Paul & Lora Repta (Burlington, ON, Steve & Jany Mitges (Burlington, ON), Jesse Richardson (Vancouver, BC), Mark Fearman & Gary Robbins (Whistler, BC), Tom Mills (Richmond, BC)
Film Crew Angus McLellan, Shay Wilson, Paul Kennedy

Please refer to the Thanks! page for more information about our crew in 2003 and 2004.

Media Coverage

Trailer from the film "Running Wild" www.highroadfilms.com/films.html

Powell River Peak - 7 July 04
Vancouver Province - 1 July 04
Powell River Peak - 19 August 03
Ultramarathon World - 31 August 03 (Website at www.ultramarathonworld.com currently down)

Payback Time

The team of four runners who first "bagged" the trail by running it non-stop in 43:50 all strongly believe that they owe a debt of gratitude to the Sunshine Coast Trail and the people of Powell River, BC who maintain it.

To that end, we committed to raising $5000 to help maintain the Sunshine Coast Trail. We have also committed to help raise the profile of the trail. There are 2 reasons why we feel this is important:

  • we had a blast running the trail and we hope you will too
  • the trail is in danger of being logged. If you use it and tell your friends, it might be possible to save some of the few remaining groves of old growth

In the fall of 2004, we hosted a series of fundraising slide shows on the trail and their adventures. Proceeds from a June 2005 article in "Trail Runner" magazine were also donated to the trail.

Happy trails!

Dave Cressman, Dom and Wade Repta and Ean Jackson


We attempted to run the trail in 2003 and 2004. We would not have stood a chance were it not been for the help we received. Never have so many thoughtful people, done so much in such a short period of time.

PRPAWS (Powell River Parks And Wilderness Society)

This organization is responsible for creating and maintaining the Sunshine Coast Trail. Several of the individuals listed below are PRPAWS members. Wade and Dom Repta, Dave Cressman and Ean Jackson became honorary members in 2004.

Eagle Walz

Resident in Powell River, Eagle is one of the key people to thank for creating and maintaining the Sunshine Coast Trail. He adopted the crazy city boys and provided them with a wealth of information about every aspect of planning and logistics, helped rally the crew in Powell River and didn't sleep much while the boys were in town both years. More than anyone else, his helping hand has made this accomplishment possible.

Cheryl Picot

Cheryl, our crew Captain, helped keep it all together. She got to hear tall tales of huge running exploits on the drive up and whining and complaining about hurting body parts on the drive home. She cooked, met the team at each aid station, set up aid stations and put band aids where it hurt. She managed the chaos so it appeared to us as if there was none.

Tom Mills

Tom was a consistent source of information and encouragement during the planning stage and dedicated his whole weekend to the run and the runners both years. In addition to helping with crew tasks, Tom managed the Fiddlehead aid station. Did you have fun, Tom? "If only every day of my life could be as much fun as it was with your group, well then life would be perfect. I had an absolute blast and memories to last."

Kevin Thomson

Kevin is the only person to run, self-supported, across Canada. In the fall of 2002, he spent a lot of time and energy mapping the Sunshine Coast Trail as a potential venue for a relay race. While limited access along the trail made it tough for a relay, Kevin passed along his information and contacts and provided inspiration for the first run attempt.

Gary Robbins and Mark Fearman

The Whistler Boys risked life, limb and their jobs to help flag the trail and pace Jackson through the difficult night section. Always smiling, always positive. Ask Mark how the bugs and the cold were the night he waited 6 hours in the boonies for the runners!

Paul Kennedy

Paul took something like 1200 photographs over the course of the weekend, so he's to thank for the visual archives. It almost didn't happen, though, as Jackson almost chucked his knapsack with $10K worth of camera gear into the briny deep at Sarah Point.

The Film Crew

Angus McLellan, Shay Wilson, Jeff Hagerman and Daniel Hogg slept less than the runners did. They were everywhere, all of the time, filming the comings and goings of the runners. They plan to make a documentary film of the adventure.

Mary and Amedeo Potesta

Total strangers to us before 9:00 pm on Saturday evening in 2003, we dropped in on Mary and Tom rather than run another 6 hours or more to our tents. They kept us warm, fed us and kept us company in their wonderful floating cabin until we all dozed off from fatigue.

Powell River Crew

Many thanks to: Gail and Len Swanson, Leonnard, Pat De Leenheer, Donna Kaye Hobbs, Syd Riley, Olga Menzies, Mia Jongkind, John Cogswell, Darlene, Laura Walz, Lynn Jacob for your baking, your help at aid stations, staying up all night to take care of us, driving us around and your generous hospitality

Friends and Family

Thanks to Paul & Lora Repta (Burlington, ON), Steve & Jany Mitges (Burlington, ON), Jesse Richardson (Vancouver, BC)

KINeSYS - http://www.kinesys.com/

Many thanks to Eileen Grieve and Jeff Kletter of KINeSYS for the prize packs and for making sure everyone was safe from the sun

Brent's Water Taxi
Brent's the man. He got us to the start both years. www.savaryonline.com/Services/SImages/CWT/

Sibylle Tinsel - Club Fat Ass www.ClubFatAss.com

Club Fat Ass helped with web hosting and how to organize a safe, fun, environmentally-friendly event.


Q: Is this an official event?
A: No... it's a standing challenge. Our team of experienced ultramarathon runners attempted to be the first to run the Sunshine Coast Trail nonstop in 2003 and 2004. The record currently stands at 43 hours and 50 minutes.
Q: Why would you want to run the trail non-stop from start to finish?
A: Because nobody else has. Because in 2003, we challenged the trail and the trail won. Because we're buddies and we enjoy hanging out together. Because we can!
Q: Has anyone else ever tried to run the Sunshine Coast Trail non-stop?
A: No. Our team tried to run it in 2 days in 2003 and failed. Some friends of ours (Sally Marcellus and Rob Lang) successfully ran the trail in sections over 4 days in the spring of 2004. Prior to that, a group of hikers completed it over 7 days (Scott Glaspey, Eagle Walz, Don Krompocker, Bonnie & Johnnie Mercer, Andy Davis)
Q: The trail includes 4750 meters of elevation gain and 3470 meters of elevation loss (8,220 meters of change.) That's like climbing Mount Everest (8848 meters) from sea level. Would you do it again?
A: Probably not the whole thing, but definately sections.
Q: What did you eat?
A: Each team member carried enough food and water to be self-sufficient for at least 6 hours. This food consisted primarily of electrolyte drink, high carbohydrate/glucose gels and sports bars. We meet our crew at various points along the trail. They provided us with 'real' food such as sandwiches, potato chips, cola, beer and whatever else made each individual runner go. For an interesting read, check out our food checklist
Q: What did you wear?
A: We carried the minimum amount of gear possible given the weather. Basic clothing consisted of short sleeve technical shirt, shorts, sox, trail running shoes and a backpack. Each runner carried their own water in either handheld water bottles or in their backpacks. Check out our gear checklist
Q: Do you have any sponsors or financial support?
A: Please see our thanks page
Q: Did anyone help you during the run?
A: Yes. We were blessed with awesome support from the Powell River community, family and friends. It would be tough to think of doing something like this without them. Check out our crew tasks and our thanks page
Q: Sarah Point Marine Park, the start, is not accessible by road. How did you get to the start and what time will you leave?
A: In 2003, we took a water taxi from Lund to Sarah Point at 5:00 am. In 2004, we took the same water taxi to Sarah Point in the afternoon and opted for an alpine start (leaving at 2:00 am) to maximize daylight.
Q: Did you get lost along the trail?
A: Yes, we got lost from time to time. In 2003, we got lost a lot. In 2004, Jackson climbed one mountain he shouldn't have, but managed to find his way back to the trail before Search and Rescue was called in.
Q: Did anyone take photos?
A: Yes. Paul Kennedy, an experienced adventure photographer, accompanied us. We also were accompanied by a team of film makers who plan to make a documentary of this adventure one day. Please see our Results page.
Q: Are there many people out there like you? I mean, 180-kilometers is a long way to drive!
A: Believe it or not, trail running and ultradistance running is becoming increasingly popular. There are approximately 30 running races of 100-mile distance in the United States. Some attract as many as 500 participants. Elsewhere in the world, the 100 kilometer distance is the standard ultradistance run. The 87k Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa attracts almost 20,000 participants.

Food and Gear List

The following is a checklist of the equipment and food used by the team during the 2004 run. It is interesting to note that, while all 4 athletes are similarly accomplished, they are fueled by a wide range of foods. Also important to note that Wade and Dom Repta are are vegan, and as such, are restricted to eating foods that do not include animal products. Dave Cressman is vegetarian, so he doesn't eat meat. Jackson likes beer and burgers while he runs.


  • team was met by crew at distances ranging from 10-35 kilometers. This means maximum distance to assistance was no more than 18 kilometers in either direction. It also means that there was a lot less gear and food needed than if this were an unassisted trail run
  • crew set up all of the aid stations. This allowed the runners to focus on the run
  • weather is generally warm (10C - 30C) and dry in the mid-summer

Team Gear

emergency sleeping bags (2) - Dave emergency sleeping mats (2) - Dom
bivy sack? emergency stove, fuel, eating utensils - Dave
big camp knife 4/5 person tent - Jackson
FRS radios (2) - Jackson cell phones (3) - Dave, Cheryl, Wade
digital camera - Cheryl meds kit (see below)
water filter (Jackson - Katadyn ceramic) lighters (2)
flares (2) spray mace for bears (Jackson)
iodine/bleach for treating stream water map kits (2) in plastic bags
toilet paper small emergency flashers (4) Dave
whistle (2) notepad and pen
compass topographic map
waterproof map case space blankets (2)

Team Food

spaghetti spaghetti sauce
beer salted potato chips
boiled potatoes sea salt
pretzels eLoad (electrolyte powder)
freeze dried trail meals Red Bull (12)
hot soup salt tablets
chocolate bars peanut butter and jam sandwiches

Team Medical Kit

syringe second skin
moleskin ibuprofen / advil (lots!)
wet wipes

Individual Gear

sleeping bag sleeping mat
trail shoes (2) sox (5)
shorts (2) tights (1)
short sleeve t-shirts (3) long sleeve t-shirt (2)
nylon wind/rain vest space blanket
ball hat / bandanna / shades suntan and bug stuff
gloves headlamp / backup maglite / backup batteries
light backpack or bottle carrier sandals
energy bars / gels personal meds
wallet cell phone
gym bag / knapsack pre-post-run gear
plate, bowl, cutlery cardboard box for crew vehicle
Vaseline in tube fleece jacket
arm warmers water bottles + handheld carriers (3)
bathing suit / towel coffee thermos
toiletry bag dirty clothes bag

Individual Food - Wade

(note: Wade consumed far more food than he usually would)

Cliff bars (4) Cliff shots (12)
banana bread watermelon
eLoad pasta
peanut butter sandwich potatoes (8)
gummy bears salted potato chips
red bull (1) ibuprofen (4)
salt tablets (3)

Individual Food - Dom

Cliff bars (1) Cliff shots (2)
banana bread watermelon
eLoad pasta
peanut butter sandwich potatoes (2)
gummy bears salted potato chips
red bull (1) ibuprofen (4)
salt tablet (1) banana
almonds blackberries
jelly beans lemonaid (1)
ice tea (2) pancakes (3)
ginger muffins (1) latte

Individual Food - Dave

Cliff bars (1) Cliff shots (10)
eLoad pasta
peanut butter sandwich (4) potatoes (4)
lemonade (2) salted potato chips
red bull (2) ibuprofen (2)
ginger muffins (2) peanut butter cookies (3)
salt tablets (2) tomato/avocado sandwich (1)

Individual Food - Jackson

tapioca pudding (3) beef jerky (2 bags)
burritos (1) chewing gum (1 package)
donuts (1) beer, hamburger and French fries
peanut butter cookies (8) salt licorice (3)
chocolate bars (OHenry, Mars, Snickers) power gel (1)
eLoad pasta
coffee potatoes (8)
gummy bears salted potato chips
red bull (1) ibuprofen (3)
blueberry muffin 2 bagels
cantaloupe rice crispy squares (5)
almonds blackberries
cinnamon buns (3) lemonade (5)
ice tea (2) cheese
salami power bars (2)
granola bars (4) landjaeger sausage
sesame snaps (6) dried apricots

Contact - SCT

I hope this website does a good job of outlining how we (Dom and Wade Repta, Dave Cressman and Ean Jackson) approached running the Sunshine Coast Trail.

If, after having read the material on the website, you still feel you want to run all or part of the trail and could use a few pointers, then by all means complete the form below for a prompt reply.

Ean Jackson
Vancouver, Canada
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