Williams Lake’s Paul Rohner continues to blaze a trail in the mountain biking world.
On May 24 Paul, 16, joined 100 racers from around B.C. and Alberta for the Children of the Unicorn downhill race at Harper Mountain near Kamloops.
“He showed a prime example of his true speed and skills beating everybody by posting the fastest time the event has sever seen,” said Paul’s dad, Erwin. “Paul did not only win his junior men’s category by 30 seconds, but also managed to be ahead by more than six seconds to the next best time overall.”
Paul’s winning time was four minutes and 36 seconds for the three-kilometre descent.
Next, on May 30, Paul took to a cross-country marathon race — the 37-kilometre Nimby 50 in Pemberton.
The race, however, almost ended in disaster for Paul after he suffered severe dehydration on the first major climb.
“He got caught up racing with others and missed to exchange drinking bottles,” Erwin said. “With more than 19 kilometres to go he started to feel very ill and it prompted him to empty his stomach, his mind telling him to quit, but he somehow kept going.”
Warm temperatures also began to take their toll on other competitors, Erwin said, as several racers crashed on the course.
“After two hours and 48 minutes he crossed the finish line,” Erwin said.
Close to 400 racers from around the country took part in the event — the fastest time in the pro elite men’s category being two hours and 15 minutes.
Paul, meanwhile, won his 14- to 19-year-old division and was four minutes ahead of second place.
Next up for Paul is the B.C. Cup Downhill at Silver Star near Vernon.