The 5th annual Kootenay Suffer Fest

The 5th annual Kootenay Suffer Fest took over Kaslo this Saturday and continued in New Denver Sunday and Nakusp on Monday

The 5th annual Kootenay Suffer Fest took over Kaslo this Saturday and continued in New Denver Sunday and Nakusp on Monday.

Racers came from as far away as Edmonton, Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Victoria, and New Zealand.

Nakusp had the pleasure of hosting the new off-road duathalon (run-bike-run) and cyclocross events on Labour Day.

Nakusp resident Janis Neufeld is the race director for Sufferfest. She has watched the race grow from 150 participants the first year to 600 at it’s entry peak two years ago. Last year’s numbers were lower due to the rainy and snowy weather conditions which made for what Neufeldt called “hypothermic conditions”.

It takes a year to plan this multiple day, multi-event by 230 volunteers with a core group of 20 people as team captains.

Neufledt said organizing the festival “is a lot of work but it’s worth it.”

What compelled Neufeld to create such an elaborate challenge?

“It’s a passion for me, I love getting people outdoors and healthy. I’m a racer and I find nature soothing. I get to watch all these people cross the finish line with smiles on their faces from their sense of accomplishment.”

Neufeldt is a triathlete who just qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Her third place finish in her age category at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman this June won her a qualifying spot.

Watch for full story coverage in next week’s Arrow Lakes News