Despite the rain, wind and cool temperatures, almost 300 runners showed up at Whistler Olympic Park on Sunday, Sept. 29, for the annual Whistler Spirit Run — a classic cross-country event that includes elementary and high school categories, as well as university and open events.
On the men's side, Chris Winter was the top runner once again with a time of 26:14.31 on an 8km course. Winter is a member of the national steeplechase team, and is looking to earn a spot to compete for Canada at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. He was 14th at the IAAF World Championships in August, and in the Edmonton International Track Classic in July he placed fifth overall.
Kevin O'Connor was second in the Whistler Spirit Run in 27:09.64, followed by Ian Searle.
Whistler's Brent Murdoch was the top over-50 runner, finishing 15th overall in 36:32.14. Crosland Doak was the third over-50 runner in 38:11.81.
A few younger runners opted to go the full length as well. Ian Milley placed 22nd overall in 38:33.07, while David Mehta, just 10 years old, finished a few spots back in 40:28:06.
In the women's 6km race, Rachel Cliff also was a repeat champion. She finished the course in a speedy 21:23.56, followed by Hilary Stellingwerff in 21:36.31 and Alecia Kallos in 23:37.31.
In Boys Senior High School 5km, Brandon Figueroa of Ocean Athletics was first in 18:26.05, followed by Roberto Pelayo Mazzone of St. George's in 19:34:00 and Riley Gray of Ocean in 19:35.77.
In the Girls Senior High School 4km, Nicole Hutchinson of the Hersey Harriers took the win in 17:00.77, followed by Whistler's Cassidy Deane in 19:09.06 and Lauren Doak in 19:21.30. Chantal Deane also raced, placing fourth in 20:04.25.
In the Junior High School 3km category, the top three girls were Kathryn Harris in 12:16.80, Katia Heppel in 13:04.56 and Emma Rastad in 13:13.32. The top three boys were Torin Halvorson in 11:35.56, Michael Mitchell in 12:22.33 and Matthew Welsh in 12:23.06. From Whistler, Michael Murdoch and Manu Elorza were fifth and sixth in 13:00.32 and 13:06.07.
For the Elementary Students 2km category, Marquesis Haintz, Maya Kobylanski and Charlie Ford were first, second and third for the girls in times of 8:39.06, 9:03.06 and 9:09.81. JJ Deane from Whistler was sixth in 9:16.09.
For the boys, Harrison Almrud was first in 8:17.21, followed by Thomas Kirkwood in 8:23.72 and Pemberton's Joe Davies in 8:36.81.
As well as the individual races, there was a 4x2km relay event. Frank's Kids took the win in 31:23.50, followed by Pan Pacific Whistler Zoom in 33:06.41 and the Hershey Harriers 2 in 34:46.89.
Rubble Creek moved to Oct. 6
With the forecast calling for significant snowfall and high winds in the high alpine, Escape Route has postponed the 28th annual running of the 24km Rubble Creek Classic trail run. The race takes runners into the alpine on the Helm Creek trail, crossing the cinder flats behind Black Tusk and connecting to trails in the Taylor Meadows that bring runners to the Rubble Creek descent. Roughly seven kilometres of the course is above the treeline, and there's an active creek to cross in the middle of the cinder flats.
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