According to local legend and performance coach, Barb Morris, the Seymour Hill climbs date back to 1966. The 2019 Seymour Challenge will be the 39th running of the event. It has had many organizers over the years, with Barb being a dominant force keeping it alive for the last 26 years!
“When we were first racing in the 1990s, it wasn’t a big deal to go to the top of these climbs for us locals, we didn’t have any races on those long sustained climbs. It did evolve into Wednesday night climbs and there was even a 50-50 climb occasionally where you paid a buck and the payout was half for the winner, half for the organizer. There was a Cypress climb before I came on the scene then I carried it forward, it became 2 mountains and then in 2002, became Seymour only. It has held various date positions on the calendar, changed around according to the rest of the calendar and my race calendar.“
Seymour, is the only (HC) beyond category climb in Greater Vancouver. It was ridden in its earliest days for training and spirited comparison. No Strava. No Garmin. No Chip Timing. No Carbon. No eBikes. If you didn’t show up and have your time recorded, it didn’t count. In the pre Strava days, these hill climbs were the true test of fitness in the bike community. Once a year you knew exactly how your fitness measured against your peers. Compare that to the new reality wherein you can test yourself daily against the over 5500 individuals who have recorded their HC climb attempt on Strava.
A scan of results from 1993 shows some very famous riders such as Brian Walton, Chris Dekerf and Scott Goguen who made significant impact on the international scene and are considered legendary. Although Barb downplays the difficulty, the results also show that participation rates were low for such hard races. These races were reserved for the slightly insane athletes of their time. The popularity of endurance riding on the road and road racing in North America had yet to take hold. That popularity has led to the rebirth of the Seymour Challenge as a mass start event inviting the community and racers to celebrate the effort and create their own history.
Please submit any other historical results to email@example.com