August 30th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 35
Defeating the Minotaur, Pass style
Crowsnest Pass’ first and only adventure race takes off
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
The top three male and female winners of Meet the Minotaur! From left to right, second place winners Christine Misseghers and Yannick Letailleur, first place winners Troy Misseghers and Joanna Ford, third place winners Noah Schuh and Mandi Goudie.
Pass Herald Reporter
Some would call them bold; others would call them crazy. But one thing is for certain: they’re all fighters!

111 athletes met at the Alberta Visitor’s Information Centre for Meet the Minotaur last weekend, Crowsnest Pass’ first and only adventure race.

The first to defeat the Minotaur was Crowsnest Pass local Troy Misseghers, with an impressive finish time of 2:40:42.

“It was such a fun course. We’re lucky here that we have so many beautiful spots. I didn’t get to enjoy the views as much as normal because I had my head down, but it was a great day,” says Misseghers.

Misseghers, his wife Christine (who placed second for women with a time of 3:32:38), and friends often spend time recreating up in the mountains of the area. So for him, this race was just another playtime.

“There’s a bunch of us who just like to get out in the mountains and play, whether it’s riding our bikes or hiking or running up the mountains. That’s my training. It’s what we like to do,” he says.

Athletes from all over Alberta and B.C. came to the Pass to participate in the event, so it raises pride that eight of the top 10 finishers were Crowsnest Pass locals. The course had an 8-hour cut-off time and the fastest 3 racers all completed the event in less than 3 hours. Eleven participants did not finish the course.
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“It was interesting for us as organizers to see how different types of athletes approached the course. Some really attacked it, and were determined to be competitive; and, for others it was really about achieving a sense of personal accomplishment and pushing their comfort zones,” says Erin Fairhurst, one of the four event organizers along with her husband Andrew, and Spry owners Susan and Ian Lowe-Wilde. The event is hosted through the quartet’s new company, Air Race Lab Inc.

Totalling 20.2 kilometres with 6,150 feet of elevation gain, the alpine-style footrace took place mostly off-trail, starting with what looked like a dead end.

The start of the race was at the Alberta Visitor’s Information Centre west of Coleman and wasted no time in getting the racers huffing and puffing with an incline hike/run right up into the forested area.

“I was joking with Andrew when I saw where the start was this morning. I’m like, “So you start the race on a dead end?” You just go straight up into the trees,” says Misseghers of his conversation with Andrew.

“We ran for a few kilometres until we got to the base of Sentry Mountain,” says Misseghers. “Then we made our way up Sentry, so that’s a pretty substantial climb. We scree skied down the backside and another climb maybe half that size. Then more scree, then we had to do a bit of traversing over to the final climb. Off that last climb, there’s a little cliffy section that there was a rope on. You descend across through the valley back to where we started and the last few km was the same as the start.”
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The novelty of this race is that the start location was kept a secret until the day prior to the event, and details of the actual course were kept under total lock and key. This added an air of mystery and increased challenge factor to the race, resulting in an original test of the character that doesn’t really exist within the racing community.

“We really can’t compare it to anything that people are used to doing, which makes it pretty exciting. Imagine being dropped in the middle of a forest and not knowing which way to go unless there was a trail of breadcrumbs to follow,” says Andrew. “There were a couple of labyrinth sections within the course where the racers get to a certain location and the course lies, for lack of a better term. You have to choose choice A or choice B of two different routes. The idea behind that is to play mentally with them to make them wonder if they made the correct decision.”

Throughout the lead up to the event, organizers posted tips and clues as to what racers can expect, as well as reminders for mandatory pieces of equipment.

Following the success of the very first Meet the Minotaur, the organizers hope to make the race an annual event.

“The entire course will change from year to year and will always remain top secret until the day of the race. So quite a bit will change in terms of the distance, elevation changes and start and finish location,” says Erin. “We are committed to ensuring that the course always takes participants into inspiring and unique alpine terrain, but they’re going to have to work for it!”
August 30th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 35
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