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Nick Elson makes quick work of B.C.’s Knee Knacker, sets course record

Local North Vancouver, B.C. runner Katie Mills was the women's champion as Elson of Squamish, B.C. broke five hours by a considerable margin

Nick Elson
Nick Elson
Photo: Herman Kwong.

Nick Elson continued his recent string of crushing ultra-marathons and trail races at North Vancouver, B.C.’s Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run on Saturday.

The former Canadian mountain running champion set a course record running 4:32:03 for 30 miles (48.6K) to break the previous mark by more than seven minutes. Elson, of Squamish, B.C., won by more than 30 minutes over 2017 Trail World Championships team member and top Canadian man at worlds Cody Callon. Elson was coming off a third-place finish at the Broken Arrow Skyrace in eastern California.

Katie Mills, a Brit living abroad, had an impressive run to finish atop the women’s race. She won by six minutes over Lisa Polizzi in 6:06:15. Mills’ time averages out to approximately 5:37 per kilometre pace for more than a marathon including one 11.9K section in which she averaged 5:00 per kilometre.

Mills, according to Gary Robbins, is set to run Broken Goat 50K next weekend and the Buckin’ Hell 50K the following weekend to complete a busy three weeks of racing.

Nick Elson
Photo: Salvador Miranda.

The “Knee Knacker” begins at Horseshoe Bay and follows the Baden-Powell Trail to Deep Cove. Runners pass over and around, notably, Cypress, Grouse and Seymour Mountains in the North Shore range gaining more than 2,400m along the way. The route features total elevation change of 4,800m as the race celebrated its 29th year on Saturday morning.

According to race organizers, 90.6 per cent of starters finished the race, slightly below the 93 per cent historical average. The race featured 213 starters, 193 finishers and 102 first-time finishers. The race notes that its greatest appeal is “that it caters to runners of all levels testing the limits of their endurance, and not just elite competitors.”

Finally, check out the race medal: