Monday, August 15, 2011


The Nelson Trail Running Series Presents:

The First Annual 12km and 25km Trail Running Race

Randy Richmond checking out the new 25km course with the Valhalla's behind

Lex Baas ripping it up at Km 13 of the 25km course

When: Sunday September 11, 2011

Where: Smallwood Trails above Beasley (12km outside Nelson) see directions below

Distance: There will be a 12km and a 25km trail running option

Start Times: The 25km race will start at 9:30am (same day registration starts at 8:30am)...The 12km race will start at 10:30am (same day registration starts at 9:30am)

Cost: $30 if you register online by Sept 9th - $35 if you register the morning of the race. All race proceeds will go to the Habondia's Community WISH project. See

Includes: One aid station at the top of the big climb at the 4.7km mark of the 12km race. Two aid stations on the 25km race- one at 6km and one at 15.5km. We will have free BBQ hamburgers (Veggie too) at the finish. Note: All racers doing the 25km route will be required to carry a minimum of 1.5 litres of water. All Aid stations will have water or electrolytes and fruit.

Directions to Start/Finish: From Nelson, drive west approx 12 km on HWY 3A towards Castlegar...Turn right onto Beasley Rd and drive 200 metres to the first intersection... Turn right onto the gravel road called Queen Victoria Rd (There is a sign, but it may be hard to not turn extreme right onto Nygaard Rd !)...Zero your speedometer here...Drive up Queen Victoria Rd and at approx 0.8km it turns into Smallwood Creek FSR...At 2.8km stay Right on same road...At 4.4km where the road crosses creek is the race Start/Finish.
From Castlegar, take the second exit for Beasely Rd off of HWY 3a (approx 2km past the first exit) and then follow the above directions

Car pool will be available leaving from Oso Negro Coffee House: 8:30AM for the 25km, 9:30 for the 12km. Please send us an e-mail if you are interested and we can help set you up.

Click here for Garmin Route Info on 25km Course:

Click here for Garmin Route Info on 12km Course:

If you go to the "Details" screen on the Garmin-Connect link above you can save the Google Earth kml file onto your desktop then open it in Google Earth and tip the earth to really see the climbs and descents. on the temporary places sidebar turn off the laps etc. to de-clutter the screen. Click on the "play tour" for a bidseye flyover of the course.

Route description For 12km Course:
Run up Smallwood Creek FSR for 1.3km and enter the Smallwood trails at the switchback in the road... After 20 meters up this trail, turn left onto the posted "Crow's Nest" DOWN the Crow's Nest trail for 1.2km before you turn uphill for a 2.1km climb...You'll come out on a logging road at the Aid station (fill up here as there is no more water/food until the finish)...Cross the road and head right back into the trail called "Antler"...Antler will wind its way with small ups and downs 2km until you get to a logging road...Cross the road and head back into the trail called "Smallwood"...The trail climbs for 2km until you hit the junction between the trails "Smallwood" and "Bigwood" ...GO LEFT onto the "Bigwood" trail (there are signs posted on the trees at this junction!)...Run down the 2.2km "Bigwood" trail all the way to the logging road...turn left and run UP the road 1.2km to the finish.
The 12km course is 90% trail, 10% logging road...Approx finish times 1:40-3:00 hours

Route Description for the 25km Course:
Run Up Smallwood Creek FSR for 1.3km and enter the Smallwood Trails at the switchback in the road...The trail becomes "Sweet Sally"...Continue straight up Sweet Sally for the 3km grunter climb until you hit the logging road...turn left and continue up the logging road for 1.2km to the first aid station at 5.7km into the race (please fill up here!!! as there is no water food for 10km)...Turn left off the road at the aid station into the trail "Ungulate" (soon to be renamed!)...The next 4.7 km of trail rolls up and down passing a small lake and then amazing views of the Valhala's...the trail then starts the main descent 5.2km down hill until you come out on a logging road (the last 20 metres of the trail before the road is left overgrown on purpose to hide the trail entrance from the ATV'ers...Continue down the logging road for 0.7km until you hit the 2nd aid station...(fill up here as there is no more water/food for 9km at the finish)...From the Aid station go into the trail called "Antler"...For the next 2km the trail rolls up and down until you come out on a logging road...Cross the logging road and go right back into the trail called "Smallwood"...The trail climbs for 2km until you hit the junction between the trails "Smallwood" and "Bigwood" ...GO LEFT onto the "Bigwood" Trail (there are signs posted on the trees at this junction) down the Bigwood trail for 2.2km all the way to the logging road...Turn left and go UP the logging road for 1.2km to the finish!
The 25km course is 85% trail and 15% logging road...Approx finish times are 2:30-4:30 hours...Please note the 25km route is more exposed and you should be equipped appropriately- Rain jacket, extra water/food etc...

SMALLWOD TRAILS: The Smallwood trail network is a Vision by Pat Wray and John Krebbs, former heads of the Nelson Cycling Association. A lot of time and dedication goes into making these trails happen for all of us to enjoy, so please give them a big thanks if you ever run into them or better yet volunteer for the many trail work party days through out the year...

Other Races: Being three weeks prior to the Kaslo Sufferfest this makes for a perfect training day!

For any other inquiries please email:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Smallwood Trail Race Update

The Race will be on September 11th as this seems to be a better day than the Labour Day weekend for some people...I will run the Smallwood route this Saturday instead of 7summits to get the distances and elevation profile out to you. If anyone wants to "explore" these trails Saturday- let me know...It will be a slower fun pace, well because Bill is coming :) "(what the hell Richmond, I think its time for a paddle to work with me!!! I will be running the short loop so I can GPS it...Bill)" , so all are welcome. We will meet at Oso at 8am...Randy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smallwood Trail Running Race

It seams as though everything is a little late happening this year, but we've finally got our act together to put on a great trail race September 4th at the Smallwood Trails which are just outside Nelson. There will be two distances for the runs- one 12km and one 22km- approx...I will post more information and get a poster out in the next week- so check back.
I figure this will be a great training day for those who are signed up for the Awesome Kaslo Sufferfest 4 weeks later.
The trails will guarantee to keep you entertained and challenged as this whole area is off the beaten track with beautiful views of the Valhalla's on the 22km course.
All proceeds will be donated to the very worthy Circle of Habondia Lending Society. For more info see:

On a different note; I am running the 7 summits trail in Rossland this Saturday, so if anyone is interested, let me know....Randy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kokanee Glacier Park

I didn't think I'd have to wait until August 9th to finally get a run in up at Kokanee Glacier, but the snow has finally melted and it is as beautiful as ever up there. Although the road up there kind of sucks as it seams to deteriorate more and more every year, it is still worth the trip as you never get tired of the terrain and scenery. My legs only had one slow speed in them as the trip to Slocan Chief Cabin and back took 2:30. I was definitely still tired from the Earl Grey Pass. It was great to just take in all the "grandiose" of it all and even stop to talk to the many hikers on the way up.

The nicest part of this run is that I can get a great 2 1/2 hour high alpine run in, swim in a beautiful lake at the end and still slip into work before 10am!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Running the Earl Grey Pass

Wow I don't really know where to start with this story. All I can say is; there are "Fun Adventures", and then there are "Tough but rewarding Adventures", and then there are "White Light Adventures"! This was the name of my Adventure racing team that I had through 12 glorious years of adventure racing from 1995-2007. The name was derived from trips that we've all encountered from time to time where the phrases "Shit Happens" or "And then it all fell a part" or in last weekend's case "It was all going so great"...
The Earl Grey Pass is a 63km trail that crosses the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy from Argenta in the West Kootenay's to 20km outside Panorama resort in the East Kootenay's. I knew it wasn't going to be a "quick" 63km, as the Earl Grey Pass Trail is deemed a wilderness trail, so I recruited my best adventure buddy Patrick from the coast who I was confident could handle anything I could throw at him.
We left the trail head in Argenta at 2:47am figuring that this was going to be a 17-20 hour day and not wanting to do too much in the dark at the tail end of the run. The first 2-3 hours of the run in the dark went by in a flash as we crossed a ragging Hamill Creek by cable car several times. It was actually a little daunting pulling yourself across the river in the pitch black while it raged below you by only a few feet.
The next 2 hours we started to cross many slide paths where the trail became non-existent in the 6-12 foot high walls of Slide Alder, Devils Club and an assortment of other shin ripping vegetation.
Then the trail became non-existent as this years blow down was an exceptional mess...
Couple that with a BC Parks map that I got online where it shows the trail on the wrong side of the river and that it had been rerouted several years back! Although we didn't know that you no longer have to cross the creek anymore, we found creative, but very dangerous ways of crossing it twice that we never had too...Actually 4 times, because we came back the same way :(
To make a long story short, we were forced to make the tough, but smart decision to turn back at 40km into the route because of the incredible amount of blow down. Not knowing how long it would take to reach the pass with no trail and the thought of getting caugh out up high where it was much colder at night made this decision painful, but easy.

One of the many cable car crossings

At 17 hours into the run, although 5 hours of that were spent at a snails pace bushwhacking, we eventually were forced to stop as it got dark as we were both exhausted and knew that finding the trail in the dark was just too much energy. Oh and I failed to mention we were essentially out of food with only a few things left to eat, but were needed for the rest of the run out. I was happy I threw a lighter into my pack as well as an emergency blanket which was graciously supplied by my friend Chris' mother- Thanks Barb!!! ...She actually sent it to me after hearing from her son about an adventure last summer that I froze in the mountains after going too light on a three day trip with only a down jacket, but no sleeping bag...

Although we only shared one bagel between the two of us for dinner, lying by the fire wrapped up in Pine bows in my foil blanket for 5 hours until day break was quite pleasant.

A lot of the trails were great running though

So in a nut shell, We ran 40km in, then 40km out back to the trail head, which is in the middle of nowhere, then another 15km to the HWY to hitch a ride back to Nelson...In total 95km of running and bush whacking.

The Bad:

  1. Not worth doing the trail until they clear it out again

  2. Using the wrong BC Parks map

  3. Must bring a bigger reserve of food next time

  4. Need some shin protectors

The good:

  1. Made amazing time to the back of the valley in 8 1/2 hours and were on a pace to finish in under 15hours

  2. Beautiful remote terrain

  3. Was finally able to put those boy scout survival skills to use

  4. Had a great running buddy who never complained when the shit hit the fan

  5. Looking forward to trying this unfinished business again next year!