2012 - Year 11 - Spring Mountain Highway Madness

18 March 2012 - 17 Starters

Sometimes I wonder if the folks I hang out with aren't all nuts.  This was especially true on Sunday morning as I made my way to the start of the 11th annual spring running of the Mountain Highway Madness. 

It was 7:00 am on a Sunday morning, you see.  Skies were dark and it was spitting rain when I left the comfort of my home with coffee in hand.  I was out late the evening before and had plans to take the kids on a long snowshoe hike in the afternoon, so the last thing I needed to do was run up and down old Mountain Highway in the rain.  I assumed most of the people who had signed up for the run would take one look at the weather and roll over in bed... Club points be damned.  

Boy, was I was wrong!  Compared to last year, a veritable throng of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed runners gathered at the start.  Funny, isn't it, how Fat Asses seem to be attracted to adverse running conditions?

For the first time in the history of the run, there was snow at the start line.  Any threat of rain had subsided and it snowed ever so lightly.  Mike Wardas, one of the handful of crazies who participated in the first Mountain Highway Madness 11 years ago, came prepared with snowshoes.  Kerry and Chris from Fort St. John, who know the true meaning of winter, came prepared for a run in Stanley Park.  Ever the optimist, Chris Benn wore shorts.  Marc took a week off from hosting Seymour Sundays to go for Silver and Des was jonesing for snow after several weeks of 30C+ weather in Laos.

Unaware that another half-dozen people or so were on their way, we started promptly at 7:30.  Dave Cressman bolted off the front with the fast boys while a large group shared stories at a more leisurely pace.  The snowpack was inconsistent until past the Van Tan Club, so Mike didn't put his snowshoes on until about 1/3 of the way up Mt. Fromme.  From that point on, however, Bigfoot Wardas was the man to follow as he did a great job of making it easier to place one's shoe in the deep snow.  

By the time we reached the turnaround point, the fast boys (most of whom planned at least 2, if not 3 laps) were 1/2 way back down the mountain.  Rabble-rouser Pace proposed a sweet custom course down Per Gynt trail, so for the benefit of our out-of-town guests, several of us dropped down the steep trail into the woods.  In places, the powdery snow was almost bottomless.  We hooted and hollered like powder hounds as we laughed and fell in snow above our waists.  Top grades for craziness go to Senors Lavin and Le Pine:  arms flailing and screaming at the tops of their lungs as they flew by their camarades, bouncing off trees as they went.

Again for the benefit of the newly-minted Fat Asses from Fort St. John, Glenn recommended a detour to the finish via Leopard/Crinkum Crankum trail.  This took us on some bike bridges and other dicey sections which pleased our guests immensely, but left those who kept on-course wondering what in the heck had happened to everyone.

As the hard-asses went back for another lap, the rest of us made an executive decision to forego the free beer and go for coffee and sticky buns at Delaney's in Lynn Valley instead.  Thanks to Trail Runner magazine, all out of town guests were honored with an annual magazine subscription.  Thanks to Dave Cressman of Distance Runware (who, by the way, completed 2 laps in time to make it for last call at the coffee shop), a lucky runner who gave it their best in an attempt to complete 3 or more laps was awarded a $25 gift certificate.  Congrats to Mike Wardas who is still givin'er 11 years later!

Congrats to everyone who came out and enjoyed the great snow year of 2012... it was a blast running with you.


Ean Jackson
Host of the Mountain Highway Madness

PS If you participated in the run, please take a moment to fill out the Club's Post Event Survey. You can also leave your comments, impressions from the run and feedback via the comment link below (you need to be signed in for that) or in your CFA blog.

Photos.  Here is a slideshow of event photos. You can add yours to this Flickr slideshow by following these instructions.  Please tag all photos with SpringMHM2012 SpringMHM SpringMountainHighwayMadness ClubFatAssEvents ClubFatAssEvents2012 and add to the Flickr Club Fat Ass group pool.

Results: preliminary - please email missing times

First Name Last Name City Event Points Loop 1 Up/Down/Total Loop 2 Up/Down Loop 3 Up/Down/Total Total
3 Laps
Michael Wardas N. Vancouver 45km - 3 loops 2 1:10/0:40/1:50 1:01/0:32/1:33 1:04/0:38/1:42 5:06
2 Laps
Dave  Cressman Vancouver 30km - 2 loops 2+1* 0:57/0:34/1:31 0:46/0:33/1:19   2:29
Marc Schmitz North Vancouver 30km - 2 loops 2 0:57/0:34/1:31 partial lap   2:58
1 Lap
Carlie Smith Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 2+1 ?     1:40
Mike Kuiack Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 1 1:02/0:38/1:10     1:40
desmond mott n.vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 2+1*       1:44
Maureen Forrestal Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 1 ?     1:45
Chris  Benn Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 1 ?     1:45
Bill Maurer North Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 1 ?     1:56
Simon Le Pine New Westminster 15Km - 1 loop 1 ?     ?
Laddie Hannam north vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 1 1:12/0:47/1:59     1:59
Sean Lavin Vancouver 30km - 2 loops 2 ?     2:01
Stacey Nievweija Tacoma 15Km - 1 loop 2 ?     2:01
Ean Jackson North Vancouver 15Km - 1 loop 2+2** 1:09/1:00/2:09     2:09
Glenn Pace North Van 15Km - 1 loop 2 1:09/1:00/2:09     2:09
kerry mann fort st. john 15Km - 1 loop 2 1:09/1:00/2:09     2:09
chris schippmann fort st. john 15Km - 1 loop 2 1:10/0:59/2:09     2:09


* Garbage Point
** EH Point


Carlie S's picture

Great Sunday morning

Thanks for hosting this run Ean. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting those of you I hadn't yet, and fitting in some training. There's no way I would've been out for as long or have run as far if left to my own devices on a snowy Sunday morning. My times for the run are:

Lap 1: 1:00 up, 40 down = 1:40 

Partial second lap, up to 3.5 marker and down, was an additional 40 minutes. I was significantly more tired for that section!

Perfect weather

If you ask me, that was perfect weather for this kind of event. I don't love Mountain Highway, but the addition of snow and clear skies made it much more fun than anytime I've run it during summer. And of course the off-piste descent was well worth the slog up. 

Had a blast. I'll be back next year. Keesha and Nanik had a blast too.

Thanks for a great event Ean.

Times for the two laps


First lap is that same as Marc. 57:00 up, 34:00 down = 1:31, Lap 2 46:00 up, 33:00 down



Losing my north shore cherry

What great group of people to share our (Kerry & mine ) most challenging run ever with ,

The off roading we did on the way back down was an unbelievable and equally unforgettable experience, will definitely be back.

Thanks again Ean  


PS ,for the record  I have to let Kerry win once in awhile to remain his contractor hahahah

the fattest fat ass

first off, thanks to everyone yesterday for making us 2 northern running rednecks feel so welcome yesterday! while the pictures obviously show who are TRUE fat-asses (me and Chris), we felt truly priveleged to run with such accomplished runners. Thanks to Ean, Glenn, and Mike for hanging back with us (especially Chris, who was waaaayyyyy back), and for keeping us motivated in our first snow-covered trail run. Like Chris said yesterday, it won't be our last time to come and run with you folks; the downhill bushwhack made the 800 mile drive totally worth it. Arrived back in Fort St John this afternoon; still had a shit-eating grin on my face!! Thanks for the prize, very kind. Back April 15th for Sun Run; going to bring my wife up to the mountain on the 14th for a hike/run. Thanks again; Kerry 

Good times!

What a great day to be out in the snow! I did finish 3 laps in just over 5 hours and it was pretty enjoyable, the conditions got better as time went on, which is great because we tend to slow down as time goes on!

Dana and her friend Pam snowshoed up the BCMC and then ran down mtn hwy to the gate. They looked fresh and were having a great ol time.

The two gents from out of town were a total blast to run up with, they were really good sports. I missed where you all went down. I'm pretty sure you came down Per Gynt but didn't run into you guys otherwise.  Oh well.

I'll figure out splits and send them to you later.

Ean thanks for hosting a GREAT event!

Times for Spring MHM 2012

Lap 1 = 1:10 up 40 down (1:50)

Lap 2 = 1:01 up 32 down (1:33)

Lap 3 = 1:04 up 38 down (1:42)

Total time: 5:06

Ascent total: 1,590 m 530 m/lap

High point: 1,008 m

Start Point: 478 m




Awesome run.

What a fun morning. Thanks Mark for hanging with me for the first lap...misery loves company so they say. Not sure who Jackson gave the Distance Runwear Gift card to but come on in and use it up!

Thanks Ean...oh and I get a garbage point! Makes up for not doing my 3rd lap.


Marc's picture

Thanks for pulling me up there

Can't believe you went up 10 minutes faster the second time around.

Maybe I'll try the race without being hungover the next time around and see if that makes any difference.

Ran and you seem to be two people, who are good for me to try to hang on to during events.

Thanks Ean for a great event.



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