Runners retrace historical Labrador trapping route
More than 200 runners flew from all over to race an historical trapping route in Labrador this past weekend.
The Trapline Marathon, an annual 42-kilometre race from North West River to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, aims to honour the area's rich trapping history.
The sixth annual event included 10-kilometre, half marathon, and full marathon races, as well as a kids' marathon.
Donnie Sampson, who came in first place in the women's full marathon, said she felt a little stiff, but mostly surprised after her win on Sunday.
"This is only my second [time doing the full marathon], but I had hoped to go in and get just under four [hours]. So I was hoping to shave 10 minutes off," she said.
But Sampson did much better than that. She completed the race with a time of 3:42:57 – shaving a full 27 minutes off of her time from the previous year.
Sampson's stellar time has qualified her for the Boston Marathon, along with three other race participants: Michael Jong, Doug Kean, and Jackie Cabot.
Biggest event yet
It's the biggest year to date for the Trapline Marathon, with all spots being filled, and runners coming from across the province and the country to compete.
Sampson said Labradorians also came from all corners of the Big Land to take part.
"People are flying in from Nain, Makkovik, William's Harbour, Port Hope Simpson, Charlottetown, Labrador City. So a lot of smaller communities are coming in to participate," she said.
Race director Nathaniel Pollock said a total of 15 Labrador communities were represented this year.
"We've got runners from all over the region, and I think that's a real sign that running is an important part of the culture here now," he said.
Sampson said the marathon follows a peaceful route.
"It's a beautiful course," she said. "You start within North West River at the Trappers' Monument, and then you run to Goose Bay, down at Kinsmen Park."
Sampson said her favourite part of the course is running by Gosling Lake.
"For me, that's just past the halfway mark. And when I did the half, I was really familiar with that route. So once I hit the half, I'm thinking, 'Alright, I've done the rest of it. I'm going to be fine to make it home,'" she said.
"But it's just so nice running by the water. And then, because it's in the fall, all the leaves are yellow and orange – it's just beautiful there. It's breathtaking."