2011 Vancouver 100

4 June 2011 - Starter Photo in Deep Cove

2011 Vancouver 100 Event Report 

"I've done lots of 100 milers and for some reason this course really tears you up ... it's harder than most 100 milers." Randy Hunter, echoed by Rob MacDonald, 2005 Vancouver 100 finishers and experienced ultra trail runners.


“Ran the Vancouver 100 half … toughest 50km course in North America.” Tweeted by Chase Mueller from Seattle.


“Finished #Vancouver100 in 23:54. Ran most of it with @high_camp. Thanks bro, for a long amazing day. I’m going back to bed for a week!” Tweeted by Sean Lavin, first- timer.


The seventh running of the Vancouver 100 is now complete. (Thanks to John Machray for pointing out it was number 7 and not 6 as I said in my post run stupor at the after party.) This one was as epic as all the others and no less difficult. In fact it may have been the most challenging yet with more snow than ever before, more sunshine to distract us with magnificent scenery and views, and a superb field of ultra-athletes to challenge us.

The day started very early in Deep Cove with a group of roughly two dozen runners, about half of who were planning on completing the full 100 km distance to Nelson Canyon near Horseshoe Bay and back. After a Spring full of cold and wet training days, with more water than usual on our muddy and rocky trails, and up to 10 feet of snow depth still lingering in the hills, having our day start with clear skies and warm temperatures put smiles on everyone involved including all the crew helpers that would be with us throughout the event. With my run briefing done and starter photo taken, we were off and down the road to the Baden Powell trailhead at 5:06 a.m. Ryan Conroy set a blistering pace with Sammy (Hassan Lotfi-Pour) and his pacer Kerry Ward in close pursuit. Mike Wardas set out on what turned into his fourth double-crossing of the BP Trail (the first one was in 2000, pre CFA days). Experienced mountaineer and uber-Bagger Ken Legg was in it for his second finish. And first sign-up this year, Sean Lavin, began with the idea of completing the event as the only option on his mind. My group of Neil Ambrose, Carolyn King and Marla Weinheimer preferred the slow and steady approach so we got settled in at the rear and held that position with dogged determination and proud persistence strongly throughout the day and night and the next morning.
In recent years, the Vancouver 100 has been attracting a small number of newcomers to the North Shore trails. This year we had 50 km sign-ups Chase Mueller and KO Turner from Seattle. I typically give a severe warning to unsuspecting adventure hungry types that the Baden Powell Trail will chew up and spit out the best of runners not to mention those with little knowledge of the route. However, these guys slipped under my radar and surprised me at the start with a simple question of, “Any suggestions how we can get back to Deep Cove once we reach the half way point?” Thankfully some of the other runners chimed in because I didn’t have a great answer for that, given that Nelson Canyon is a bit removed from things. As it turned out, I believe KO dropped at Cleveland Dam after 25 km and Chase stuck with some of the other participants to find his way to Nelson Canyon. Well done guys. By the way, they got me concerned again when I found them in the Lynn Headwaters area looking over a map of the BP.
It’s always fun to know what kind of wildlife we see during the day and night during the Vancouver 100. I seem to be the only runner with anything of note this year. It turns out that after being on the North Shore trails for the last 30 years, the only two times I have ever seen bears were during the Vancouver 100. The first was in 2005 about twenty minutes into the event. The second was this year in Nelson Canyon about ten minutes after my start on the second half. There he was, 15 feet off the trail, rattling the bushes in fear of me (haha), and me hiking my way up in comfortably oblivious thoughts of tackling Black Mountain once again. A loud whistle from me chased him off with my concerns then jumping to Neil, Carolyn and Marla who would be heading up the trail in a few minutes as well. But since the bear wasn’t thrilled to be around me, and the other three runners were staying together, I wasn’t too concerned. Of course we all heard the Grouse drumming throughout the event but some runners may have also gotten to hear the hoot of an owl as we did, loud and clearly, in the middle of the dark night, very near to the trail at Skyline Road.
Of course, some of the Foolish suspects were out for their Vancouver 100 “training” run. John Machray and Karl Jensen have both participated several times and always bring their own high quality brand of discussion and encouragement to the party. Thanks to both of them for joining in once again. And thanks to the usual suspects Rick Arikado, Laddie Hannam, Baggermeister David Crerar, and Des Mott. As well as chief Fat Ass Sibylle Tinsel and most suspicious Fat Ass Ean Jackson for being there too – we all appreciate what you do for the club and in supporting us individually.
During the day, the snow was a big factor on our speed. We found the snow lingering on the Hollyburn Chute as we ascended to the big snow of the cross country ski runs. As my group was getting on to the fully snow covered ski runs, we came across a hiker named Andrew with a good sized pack who said he was on his way to Mt. Hanover. That came as a bit of a shock to me knowing how far away that was and wondering if he was simply going to hop on the Howe Sound Crest Trail and find his way through the deep snow. But he ended up gladly following me into the treed section off the ski runs of Hollyburn and on to Cypress Bowl where he intended to continue on the BP and down to Horseshoe Bay. Then, he said, he would get over to Lions Bay and head up to Hanover from there for a sleep in the Brunswick emergency shelter. But as he found out, the trail was not forgiving, nor the route finding. I saw him again, talking with Neil, Carolyn and Marla, at Eagleridge Bluffs. He spent a good long while there soaking up the sun and enjoying the amazingly spectacular and clear view of everything including Mt. Baker and Vancouver Island. Not sure if he ultimately went on to Hanover though.
Many thanks go out to all the crews and pacers. As I mentioned at the post event dinner held at Mosquito Creek Bar & Grill, without our crews this event is not possible or at least not as enjoyable and their time and efforts are hugely appreciated. And even though the pacers get to join in the run and fun, they too help us in ways that are immeasurable. So, many thanks to all who helped the runners achieve their goals. And if you would like to have your crew’s or pacer’s names on the Results list please let me know. It’s a bit tough for me to know for certain who ended up being out there for all of you.
Congratulations go to those runners that trained hard for the full meal deal but came up short. After all, the hard part isn’t necessarily the event itself but the training for months, doing the long weekly runs of 5 to 10 hours at a time under dark and wet skies in cold and tough conditions. Dana Samis had a knee that wasn’t agreeing with her and finally had to call it a day after about 80 km on her first attempt. Dave Berg blew a tire coming down through the British Properties on the way back and limped in to Cleveland Dam where he had to stop short on his second attempt. Dave told me that other than the wipe-out that compromised his knee, he was feeling great and I know he was setting a very good pace. Simon Le Pine brought lots of backwoods experience to the trail but cut it short at 85 km and promises to be back next year. Reza Ghazizadeh was one of the runners that I was concerned about from the beginning. Reza signed up for the 100 km, knowingly or not, and after a short chat at the start line he told me he wasn’t too sure about the route on the west side of the BP. But he assured me that he would stick with someone that knew the way and somehow convinced me that all would be well. As it turned out he finished the first half with Karl and John and seemed to enjoy the day as much or more than the rest of us. And Ryan Conroy gave it his best effort while leading the pack the whole day. But, eventually having some nutrition issues (14 packs of Cliff Blocks can do that to you), he packed it in at Riverside Drive with less than 10 km to go.
I have a final thank you to my fellow runners and friends, Neil, Carolyn and Marla, and our pacers Liza and Wendy, and our one-person highly dedicated crew of Vicky. Thanks for all the training runs and for keeping it fun. You guys are amazing and very dedicated to the art of putting in lots and lots and lots of both road and trail kilometres. Neil was training for the West Highland Way 153 km race in Scotland in two weeks with Carolyn there to be his faithful sherpa this time. Good luck Neil. And Liza was preparing for her first Knee Knacker this year when I know she’ll do very well. And I must mention that the burgers and fries that Wendy brought us at the ¾ mark were awesome along with the cinnamon buns that Marla whipped up for us.
The big question remains, as always at this time, will we do it again? Mike and I have had the same dark thoughts about notorious Black Mtn. I’m sure and no doubt we’ve both many times decided 100% that we will never do it again. And the death defying snow bridge crossing of the frigid waters of a deep and fast rushing creek on Hollyburn Mountain that pacer Rune Melcher punched through brought us endless concerns through training and on event day. That alone is enough to say stop the insanity. But the wildlife and pure distance factors don’t seem to deter anyone. And then there’s the collective agreement that the Vancouver 100 remains one of, if not the hardest, 100 km trail runs anywhere and for some reason that makes it the best and most enjoyable challenge going. Not to mention that I think it gets easier the more I do it – not saying I’m going again though. So the answer is easy: when we hold the event again, I know there will be people to do it. So, good luck with training for next year.

“From either side, and for any reason, getting to the top of Black Mountain is a very good thing.” Vancouver 100 Event Host, Craig Moore.


Photos should be uploaded to Flickr, added to the CFA Flickr group and tagged with Vancouver1002011 Vancouver100 ClubFatAssEvents ClubFatAssEvents2011.  All photos tagged properly and added to the CFA Flickr pool will automatically appear in the slideshow posted here after the event. 



Post Event Survey. Please give us your feedback via this brief survey: 

Results:  Please let us if there are mistakes or missing times/distances.

First Name Last Name Event Time Pts
Hassan Lotfi-Pour 100km 17:16 2
Kerry ward 100km 17:44 2
Michael Wardas 100km 19:01 2
Ken Legg 100km 19:55 2
Sean Lavin 100km 23:54 2
Craig Moore 100km 26:35 2+2**+1*
Carolyn King 100km 26:54 2
Marla Weinheimer 100km 26:54 2
Neil Ambrose 100km 26:54 2
Ryan Conroy 92km 13:48 2
Dana  Samis 83km 17:30 2
John Machray 80km 17:45 2
Dave Berg 75km 16:56 2
Rick Arikado 64km 11:57 2
Shem Sharifi 50km 9:18 2
Karl Jensen 50km 10:50 2
reza ghazizadeh 50km 10:45 2
Chase Mueller 50km 10:15 2
David Crerar 50km 8:12 2
deavah yerxa 50km 10:10 2
Eric Rannaud 50km 10:50 2
Liza Flemming 42km 9:00 2
Laddie Hannam 33km 6:45 2
Henry Wang 30km 7:00 2
Sarah Liljefors 25km 4:07 2
KO Turner 25km   2
Ean Jackson 25km   2
Simon Le Pine 85km  21:00 2
Pamela Keck custom   2
desmond mott custom - 18km 2:00 2+1
Sibylle Tinsel custom 1:33 2+1*
Wendy Montgomery pacer   1
Vicky Forsyth crew   1
Helen Phillips crew   1
Elizabeth Tod     -1
Tom Lucas     -1








































Like last year, we'll encourage participants, crew and spectators to tweet whereabouts and news about the runners. Hashtag "#Vancouver100" on Twitter.  You can also post on the CFA Facebook page and of course, as always via comments below.




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VLOG of the run from my perspective -


Part 1

 www.youtube.com/watch Vancouver 100 2011

Part 2 


Great video Kerry!

 Just watched the two vids - awesome!  You looked way too good!

I don't think you really showed any pain or discomfort, way to go!!




Part way through the night I said to Stacey, "I know I can finish this thing, but I'm never doing this again". She laughed at me and said, "Yes you will!"

She was right...... 



jessdagg's picture

slowest on record

Has no one broken my slowest Van 100 time yet? :-p   Guess I'll be holding that for  awhile.

Congrats everyone! :-D

neil ambrose's picture


As Neil said when you were all devouring those A&W burgers at Cleveland. Formidable - another adjective to describe the V 100. The snow made it a very unique event. During the dark travelling over the snow it was like a clear/cold winters night. I hope to join the elite V 100 club of those who have completed it several times. ;-) Heading to the West Highland Way tomorrow - looking forward to the long sleep on the plane!



David Crerar's picture


On the West Highland Way, N & C! What a transcendent race that is.


Wow what a day!

Thank you, thank you Craig!  

Congrats to all who partcipated in the Vancouver 100 this year!

If this was your first time, you've became a part of a growing tradition if your returning and doing the 100 again - Well done!

Finally thank you to all of the volunteers and well wishers, and a very special thank you to my crew and pacers without you I would have suffered WAY more than I did!

I know I told Craig I was never doing this again, but the legs are not so sore and the nightmares are starting to ebb.. so till next year? 



Craig Moore's picture

that was a wow day Mike

 I only took you 98% seriously when we saw each other on Black Mountain talking about how many more times (never) that you figured you would be doing it again. So give it another couple of days rest and all you will remember is what an awersome day it was. Thanks for being out there with all of us.

Congrats to all! What an Epic

Congrats to all!

What an Epic run.  Thank you to Craig for organizing the run.  Thank you to Dana, Deveah and another gentleman which I met for the first time but unfortunately I don't remember his name or even his look for feeding me on my return to black mountain.  YOU MADE MY DAY!!!   What a beautiful day, stunning and priceless view!!

Sibylle's picture

Custom Run

 Great to see everybody this morning.  I did a custom starting at Skyline/Mosquito Creek at around 7:30 heading east.  Saw all the runners, with the exceptions of the two leaders, going west.  Turned around with Craig, Liza and before heading back waited for Marla, Carolyn and Neil to pass by.  Good luck everybody.

Total time for me was 1:33h including some movies and garbage pick-up.

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