Tearing up the mountain for Tears and Gears

While the Classic event was enough for many, some competitors pushed themselves further in the Enduro category.

  • Sep. 17, 2013 10:00 a.m.
Women’s Classic Team of Hannah (runner) and Micah Morris earned the title of youngest team at the fourth annual Tears and Gears Duathlon.

Women’s Classic Team of Hannah (runner) and Micah Morris earned the title of youngest team at the fourth annual Tears and Gears Duathlon.

By Sara Moulton

A warm and sunny Saturday meant a record turnout for the fourth Annual Tears & Gears Duathlon, as a total of 143 competitors gruelled it out over the challenging course set in Fernie’s beautiful mountain trails. With two different course lengths and the option of competing as a team, race organizers Abi Moore and Krista Turcasso are pleased that the event attracts such a wide field.

“We wanted it to be an approachable race, for people of all levels, so it would be difficult enough for people who race often but also a good first time experience”, explains Turcasso, a lifelong Fernie local and keen mountain biker.“Last year, we added the Enduro, just to give people something else to strive for”.

For many, the Classic event comprising of a 10.7 kilometre run and 13.5 kilometre bike is challenging enough, while the Enduro tests competitors over the half-marathon length 21 kilometre run followed by a 25 kilometre bike ride. Prior to the race, Moore was optimistic about new records being set by the entrants, many of whom also compete against each other in the six Trail Mountain of the East Kooteneys (TREK) races, of which Tears & Gears is one: “a few people just want to finish, while a few people are trying to beat their best friend who’s also racing!”

There certainly was no disappointment when it came to record breaking, with competitors such as Invermere’s Jakub Sumbera completing the run portion of the Men’s Enduro Team in just under 1 hour and 27 minutes, and Leslie Prentice, who managed to win the Women’s Classic Solo in only 1 hour and 56 minutes despite suffering a fall and badly injuring her shoulder during her ride.

In the spirit of Moore and Turcasso’s vision for the event, the crowd also cheered on 13 year old Ben Nixon, who teamed up with his mother, Tara, and was this year’s youngest entrant, and the Women’s Classic Team of Hannah and Micah Morris who earned the title of youngest team. The Free Press even had their own representative in Tamara Hynd, finishing the Women’s Solo Classic in 2 hours and 49 minutes.

With plenty of support from the local community and businesses, Tears & Gears really is welcoming and inclusive of a wide range of competitors. “That’s whats fun about it,” says Turcasso, “everyone knows each other and they’re all competing against each other for fun.”

As the event grows to be a staple on the region’s summer sport calendar, Moore and Turcassco are keen to keep the number of competitors to a manageable level and to retain the local community atmosphere. This year saw entrants from as far away as Whitefish and Calgary, and the work that goes into organizing an expanding event is immense.

“It’s a good number,” says Moore, speaking about the 143 entrants, “I wouldn’t want it to get too huge. It’s not-for-profit, we’ve got about 45 volunteers and then all the friends and family, that’s a lot of people to rally”.

“We will probably have to cap it,” said Turassco.

Nevertheless, they are glad to see that many people registered early for this year’s event and appreciate the support and interest from the community.

A winter alternative, the Winter Wheezer, is set for Saturday February 1, 2014 and involves a 4.9 kilometre snowshoe run and seven kilometre cross country ski or skate. Registration for the winter event will open soon and more details can be found on their website www.fernietearsandgears.com.

Winners of each category are:

Mens Classic Solo

Ryan Hamilton


Womens Classic Solo

Leslie Prentice


Mens Enduro Solo

Aaron Glover


Womens Enduro Solo

Naomi Humenny


Mens Classic Team

Ed Shipowick & Forest Latimer


Womens Classic Team

Becky Swanson & Cheryl Paulson


Mixed Classic Team

Aina Buchwald & Matt Barron


Mens Enduro Team

Brian Leeb & Mitch Tom


Womens Enduro Team

Kim Shopland & Leah Spergel


Mixed Enduro Team

Lucy Eycamp & Bob Maudie