Vancouver, BC – June 18, 2012 – On Saturday, June 16, thirty teams of three participants were challenged by the first Canadian Red Bull Divide and Conquer, a multi discipline endurance race on Vancouver's breathtaking North Shore. The competition tested the competitors’ mettle on the mountains, rivers, and shores of Canada’s unparalleled West Coast. The terrain around the North Shore of Vancouver was demanding at the best of times and 35mm of rain would only up the ante. On race day, Mother Nature kept her promise as the skies opened up making condition slick and bringing the Capuano River to flood conditions. After an impressive race time of 3 h 51 minutes, team “The Full Dudemen” managed to conquer the course, which included mountain running, mountain biking, and whitewater kayaking, and win.
Despite the rain, the competition started in the old growth forest laden North Shore of Vancouver and the participants winded up and down over 8,000 meters of vertical, then made their way down the Capilano River to finish in the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean. Overall, the total distance covered by this behemoth was 45 kilometres and the average time of competition ranged between 3 h 51 minutes and 6 h 35 minutes. Each team, composed of three competitors: a mountain runner, a mountain biker, and a kayaker, pushed their limits in a mix of locations on the North Shore of Vancouver, including Grouse Mountain. The river portion took the course from North to West Vancouver, finishing in Ambleside Park.
Known as one of the most versatile outdoor athletes in the world and kayaker, Will Gadd competed in the race as the kayaker of team The Arc’teryx, who finished second with a time of 3 h 52 minutes. "I've done a lot of adventure and single-sport races, but none that fit so perfectly suited to the local environment. Red Bull Divide and Conquer brought all these different communities together into one, and to me that was the coolest part. Runners, cyclists, and kayakers were all stoked about going hard up, around, and down Vancouver's landmark Grouse Mountain," said Gadd.
Runners kicked off the race from the incredibly scenic Cleveland Park on Vancouver’s North Shore with The Lions, the most iconic peaks in British Columbia's lower mainland. With almost 6,000 feet of climbing and a near double ascent of Grouse Mountain, runners navigated the legendary technicality of the North Shore’s Baden Powell Trail and pushed their limits until reaching the top of the Grouse Mountain ski area, where they tagged their teammate mountain biker.
Physically and technically challenged by the mountain bike section of the Red Bull Divide and Conquer course, the mountain bikers sharpened their skills and brought a good set of lungs with a five-kilometre-section of fireroad to begin at the top of Grouse Mountain. The competitors entered the first single track on Mount Fromme, followed by the Baden Powell trail, which is a popular training spot. These climbs gave the riders an open connection to the legendary trails of the North Shore before the initial descent with a number of newly reworked trails giving speed and flow over the natural rock and root that define the North Shore.
Paddling the drop and pool Capilano River was an unforgettable and challenging ten-kilometer plus read and run course that transported the kayakers far from the urban environment that surrounds it. The run offered a variety of small feature playspots ranging from the occasional surf wave to the odd lateral spin/cartwheel pourover. Red Bull Divide and Conquer kayakers put in with a seal launch off the rocky riverbank at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in the shadow of the imposing Cleveland Dam. Kayakers closed out the race, finishing an ocean leg upon completion of the Capilano River.
The Red Bull Divide and Conquer Results
Top 3 Teams Overall:
1. The Full Dudemen 3:51:00
2. Arc'teryx 3:52:46
3. Terra Vida 4:07:29
Top 3 Runners:
1. Ryan Pogue 1:23:14 (Team All Smiles)
2. Ed McCarthy 1:23:26 (Team Arc'teryx)
3. Mike Vine 1:23:28 (Team The Full Dudemen)
Top 3 Bikers:
1. Ricky Federau 1:45:44 (Team Full Dudemen)
2. Dylan Wolsky 1:47:17 (Team Arc'teryx)
3. Chris Johnston 1:49:45 (Team Marx Conditioning)
Top 3 Kayakers:
1. Ben Marr 38:24 (Team The Rose and The Thorns)
2. Katrina Van Wijk 40:29 (Team SEXY)
3. Logan Grayling 41:07 (Team TNF FUBARers
You can find the complete rankings here.