For Immediate Release – 2012 race summary
The 24th running of the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run (“the Knee Knacker”) took place on Saturday, July 14, 2012, with clear skies and warm weather shining down on the course at the 6:00am start. Course conditions were warm and humid throughout the race, providing an additional challenge along the 30-mile trail run through the North Shore mountains. With over 16,000 ft elevation change, the Knee Knacker is known as the “knarliest” in Canada and one of the most difficult ultra-marathons of this distance in North America.
The men’s field was dominated by first-time runners this year, with the winner, Nathan Barrett of Vancouver, BC, pushing to a five-minute lead at the first quarter and widening it to 22 minutes by the end at Panorama Park. Barrett’s finishing time of 4:56:43 was the only time under five hours on this day. Shane Ruljancich of Victoria claimed second place, followed by Colin Miller of North Vancouver just over two minutes later. To compare with previous years, the median finishing time for all runners was 7:44:46, the second-slowest time in the event’s history. This year runners faced not only the heat and humidity, but the recently melted snow formed large mud patches throughout the first half of the Baden-Powell trail. In the Men’s 50-59 age group, Peter Findlay, in his 15th running, placed sixth overall, and first in the men’s 50-59 age group with a time of 5:37:10. Dave Strajt of Vancouver took the men’s 40-49 title in 5:52:14, and August Albrecher of Surrey led the 60+ age group in 7:24:18.
Some familiar faces in the women’s division made for a challenging race, and ultimately Lisa Polizzi of Vancouver triumphed in 5:53:20. Her finishing time was 11th overall and less than one minute from making the top-ten overall finalists. Polizzi benefited from a very strong second-half performance, advancing steadily from 37th overall at the first-quarter mark. Polizzi was followed 16 minutes later by the women’s 40-and-under division winner, Brooke Spence, and Nicola Gildersleeve, both of North Vancouver. Kathryn O’Grady of Port Moody continued her dominance of the 50-59 category with a finishing time of 8:04:18. This year did not feature a competitor in the women’s 60+ age division.
Proceeds from this year’s race benefit the North Shore Search and Rescue (NSR) team. This year the event added a fundraising component to encourage racers to collect individual donations to support NSR. By race day, over $18,000 had been donated and the Knee Knacker event has now raised almost $75,000 since its inception for local charities and non-profit organizations in the community.
A total of 212 runners started the Knee Knacker just above Horseshoe Bay at Nelson Creek Park. Of the starters, 189 arrived at Panorama Park in Deep Cove by 4:00pm. One person with substantial experience is Ean Jackson, who completed his 20th Knee Knacker this year in 7:33.43 while wearing a colourful blue Hawaiian shirt. Four entrants also finished their 10th Knee Knacker: Russ Chore, Bernie Dalby, Jon Fleming, and Kenneth Macleod joined an exclusive group of 39 other runners who have attained this milestone.
Complete results are available online at www.kneeknacker.com.