A race that combines trail running and mountain biking has risen from the ashes.
Tears and Gears is Fernie’s first annual mountain duathlon and was founded in 2010 by local endurance runner Abi Moore and mountain biker Krista Turcasso, who wanted an event that celebrated their respective sports.
The organizers were forced to cancel last year’s event after wildfires closed the Fernie backcountry 36 hours before race day.
“It was tough,” recalled Turcasso.
“We were in a situation where we were worried about the health of the people competing anyway because it was so smoky.
“Even though we’d put so much effort into organizing it, it was kind of a relief. It was the best thing to do for the safety of competitors and the back country.”
Registration is now open for this year’s event, which will be held on September 2 at the Fernie Aquatic Centre.
With Evolution and Elevation Showcase as gold sponsors, Tears and Gears has reverted to its original format with both the adult and children’s events taking place on the Ridgemont trails.
Adults can compete solo or as a team to complete the 11km run and 14km cycle, reaching elevations of up to 420 metres.
Children aged 12 and over are also eligible to compete in the adult race.
The kids’ event consists of a 5km run and cycle using the lower Ridgemont trail network, and is open to ages 8-14 and possibly younger with parental permission. Turcasso is expecting between 200-250 competitors, including an increasing number of non-residents with 40 per cent of registrations last year coming from outside of Fernie.
“It’s an event where people are either doing it solo or on a team, so it kindof creates this camaraderie between everyone who is competing,” she said.
“There’s this huge community feel, even for people [from] out of town… everyone is there together.”
Moore and Turcasso have had the pleasure of watching competitors grow over the years.
“We’ve got lots of people who have been competing with us every year and we’ve had some kids compete who are now in the adult event,” she said.
“It’s a lot of work to put on an event like this but it’s always worth it when we’re there on the day of, to see all the faces of people who are competing.”
Registration for Tears and Gears closes on August 31, visit Stagleaprunning.com/tears-gears.