Sabrina Gauthier and Jay Starnino both gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to their debut as a team at the Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR).
The Kelowna couple was among 600 racers to compete in the annual race last weekend near Cumberland and took on the challenge of the 50 km Enduro course.
Gauthier and Starnino have been dating and adventuring together for four years.
“Jay had done the MOMAR two years ago and thought I would be up for the challenge,” says Gauthier. “I thought it would be a good test for our relationship. If we could handle 50km in the rain together we can handle anything, right?”
Their favourite part of the race was the mountain bike descent.
“We are avid mountain bikers, and have had the pleasure of exploring trails all over BC, and Cumberland is up there with the best trails we’ve ridden,” explains Gauthier. “We were hooting and hollering as we ripped down the muddy technical descents, past many of the competitors that had beaten us on earlier sections of the race.”
The most challenging part of the race for Gauthier was when her legs started cramping about three-quarters of the way down the mountain bike descent. “Everyone who we had flown by had now caught up and passed us while I devoured as many Clif Shot Blocks as I could,” recalls Gauthier.
Despite the setback, the teammates managed to cross the finish line in 6:42:22, finding all 23 checkpoints and placing 10th in their category.
The MOMAR is an off-road multisport sprint adventure race that requires participants to navigate their way to a series of checkpoints within an eight hour limit. The disciplines include mountain biking, paddling, orienteering and trail running over scenic and rugged west coast terrain.
Tyler McCallan and Clay Ward of Cumberland, Derek Vinge of Courtenay and Brad Crowe, formerly from Courtenay, made MOMAR history in becoming the first team of four to take an overall win for the Enduro Course, crossing the finish line 4:25:23.
Tim Musselman Bell of Penticton and teammate Mat Hewitt of Vernon were the first team of two to cross the finish line, with a time of 4:39:12, putting them in second place overall. Simon Lamond of Victoria placed first solo male category (4:44:10), and third overall.
Victoria’s Scott Sheldrake and Brett Carter took top spot in the Sport course, with a time of 3:31:28. Patricia Johnson and Ross Lamon of Comox were the first in the team of two, co-ed category (4:01:14), while Courtenay’s Kathy and Paige Campbell topped the team of two, female category (4:15:33).
The MOMAR has partnered with the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS), an organization dedicated to preserving 150 acres of mature forest bordering the Village of Cumberland, from Comox Lake to The Trent River. O
Over the MOMAR weekend, more than $4,000 was raised for the CCFS.
The MOMAR series has staged 37 races in British Columbia, Canada over 17 race seasons.