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Half marathon adds 10K race to schedule

After last year's sold out North Face Whistler Half Marathon, event organizers were looking for ways to expand the event and make it bigger and more inclusive. One of the ideas they considered was running a shorter distance event for athletes not interested in going the full 21.1K distance.

This week, organizers came through with the official announcement that the 2013 event, taking place on June 1, will include a 10km course option. As well, the number of spots available in the half marathon will be increased from 1,000 to 1,100.

"Our growth plan has always had the addition of another distance to be added to the mix of offerings on race weekend," said event director Dave Clark, "and now that we are entering our third year with a loyal running community we felt it was time to increase the offerings to make our event available to more athletes."

The 10K course will follow a slightly different route as the half marathon. It will use the first third of the half marathon course before heading back to the start/finish line at Whistler Olympic Plaza. "The 10K distance is a wonderful way for new runners to experience the excitement of longer distance events, and is also a great way for athletes training for longer distances, such as a full marathon or Ironman Canada, to get in some race training," said Clark.

As well as a new distance, Clark also confirmed that the Little Rippers 1K run would return this year after over 100 kids participated in 2012. With the schools, athletes actually ran the full half marathon distances over the weeks preceding the event, finishing with the Little Ripper run.

General registration for all events opens at 9 a.m. on New Year's Day at www.whistlerhalfmarathon.com. The fees for the half marathon are the same as 2012 at $78 including taxes and fees. The 10K race will be $45 and the Little Rippers Run $10. The half marathon is expected to sell out and early registration is recommended.

Whistler Nordics on top at BC Cup

A team of Whistler Nordics skiers made the trip to Sovereign Lake near Vernon this past weekend for the first BC Cup race of the year, with a few of the skiers reaching the podium.

In the class mass start race, Whistler's Michael Murdoch placed first overall out of 16 racers in Midget Boys with a gap of over 40 seconds. Teammates Fraser Doak, Sam Johnston and Ian Davidson were fifth, 10th and 11th respectively.

In Midget Girls, Benita Peiffer was fifth and teammate Lauren Kilfoy McKay 13th.

In Juvenile Boys 1997, Whistler's Austin Reith was seventh overall out of 19 racers.

Keeley Wentzel was 26th in Juvenile Girls.

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