Runners gathered at the bottom of the Revelation Gondola at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) Saturday morning (Sept. 2) to take on the challenging Bank Heist run up to the top of the gondola.
The Bank Heist is a trail run that happens annually at RMR. Runners take on the steep the near 4 km trail that climbs high in the steep and rugged terrain of the popular Kill the Banker ski run. With tough vertical climbs and relentless switchbacks that navigate through rough trails and a boulder field, the run is not for the faint of heart. Still, more than 60 people gathered early Saturday morning to take on the challenge.
Travis Hunt was one of the brave athletes to take on the event — he talked about the experience after he finished the run. Having completed the run several years ago, this wasn’t Hunt’s first kick at the Banker, but he reflected on the challenges of the day.
“I think there’s just a couple of steep sections that are like old roads. Those are the hardest parts,” said Hunt.
Hunt often hikes the course in the summer, which helped prepare him for the event.
“I’m still hiking it — just a little bit faster,” said Hunt with a laugh adding. “I’m not really running it like the young guys are.”
With tired, heavy legs, Hunt was feeling good after the race and relieved that he wouldn’t have to descend the steep trail he’d spent the morning running up.
Warren Staff was another runner taking on the Bank Heist Saturday morning. Staff was in for the event from Salmon Arm. Although he’d never taken part in the race before, Staff runs with a local running group and has run the trail on his own time before.
Staff talked about what went through his mind halfway through the race.
“That’s the first time I looked down and realized s***, I’m pretty high. So, it actually made me feel better,” said Staff.
Staff trail runs regularly, and as an ultra-distance runner he’s no stranger to the mileage, but the steep climb of the Bank Heist was different.
“It’s just relentless. There’s no rest,” he said.
Despite having already gotten his fitness in for the day, Staff said he planned on keeping the activity going for the rest of the day, including a bike ride to help loosen up his stiff leg muscles after the run.
The runners’ efforts were rewarded at the top of the trail with stunning panoramic views of the valley, coupled with a cold beverage. Some hooted and hollered upon cresting the top, others rolled onto their backs to catch their breaths, but every runner accomplished an impressive feat on their feet.