Plenty of strong ultramarathoners will be making their way to Whistler this weekend.
With the Whistler 50 slated for this Saturday, Oct. 17, the field for the Ultra event is impressive for this year, organizer Ron Adams said, adding 49 runners were entered for this year's event.
"We have quite a few more entrants than we've had in the past few years. Our biggest year was the first year (in 2011)," he said, noting 31 of the 37 starters ended up finishing the race last year.
Adams noted he doesn't know entirely why more people signed up this year, but noted the race was well-advertised and sought to encourage people to make a jump up to 50-mile (80-kilometre) races after completing other ultramarathons.
"We'd basically say 'You've run 50 (kilometres), what about 50 miles?'" Adams said.
He noted the course would return to its traditional layout after construction forced minor changes in 2014.
"Last year, they rebuilt the Fitzsimmons Creek bridge up at Mons so we had two-way traffic on the little single-track footbridge," he said. "(This year), we'll have no two-way traffic, which is a little bit better from the safety issue, although it wasn't a huge problem last year."
In addition to the Ultra race, the bulk of participants come out to take part in the relay, which comprises teams of two, four and eight completing the course.
Skatepark making progress
Construction for Phase 3 the Whistler Skatepark is humming along, according to the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).
An RMOW spokesperson said though there have been occasional setbacks, the project should be completed next month.
"Construction has been going well. There have been some minor delays and additional costs due to the discovery of underground site services that were not recorded on any site drawings or in anyone's memory, as well as a number of other minor changes," the spokesperson wrote.
"Barring unreasonable weather, the contractor is expecting to complete the project in late November. If there are any weather delays, it may be necessary to stop construction this year and resume in spring 2016."
There are some minor changes to the project being made on the fly, according to posts by Jim Barnum of Spectrum Skateparks on the Whistler Skateboard Association Facebook page. He is also seeking feedback from local boarders through the page.
When replying to a poster's inquiries on the page on Sept. 26, Barnum noted one lane feature that was included in recent drawings had to be cut because of budgetary concerns, but noted the project was otherwise going ahead according to plan.
Karate tournament set for Oct. 24
Young martial artists will have their chance to strut their stuff in Mount Currie later this month.
The Pemberton/Whistler Karate Club will host the sixth-annual Qepen VI Karate Tournament at the Ullus Community Centre in Mount Currie on Oct. 24. The event is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Spectators are welcome to attend the tournament free of charge. There will be a canteen set up with snacks and lunches for purchase, while there will also be a silent auction.
The lunch break will also feature a demonstration from Pemberton/Whistler Karate Club members.
For more information on the club, visit www.shitoryukarate.ca.
Whistler soccer shines in Burnaby
Soccer teams of all ages impressed at the Westburn Thanksgiving tournament over the weekend.
The U18 girls posted a 3-0-1 record to take first place. The club blanked the CMFSC TNT 5-0 and the SurDel Select 4-0 on Saturday before playing to a 0-0 draw with the UISA Storm and knocking off the CMFSC Shock 4-1 on Sunday. The draw was called a few minutes early after Whistler goaltender Nicole Deally and a Storm striker collided hard, but neither ended up suffering any serious injuries.
Meanwhile, one of the U12 girls teams took first in its division, including defeating the North Shore Cameos 2-0 in the final to wrap up top spot. Alexa Brownlie scored six times across the four contests. The other squad defeated the North Shore Serpentines 5-0 in the third-place game, with Maggie Crompton and Julia Hepditch teaming up in net to keep the slate clean.
The U14 girls also took gold, defeating the North Shore Storm 3-1 in the final. The side played to scoreless draws against the North Shore Warriors and North Shore Wildfire before wrapping the round-robin with a 4-1 win over the West Vancouver Rockets.
The U16 Sea to Sky girls scored a silver medal after finishing first in the round-robin. The Strikers downed the Langley United Falcons 3-2 and the Port Moody Xtreme 2-0 before playing a 0-0 contest against the North Shore Pegasus. In the final, the squad took a 1-0 lead into the second half, but decimated by injuries, couldn't hold on in a 3-2 loss.
Lastly, the U13 boys won silver and the U10 boys team picked up several wins over the course of the weekend.
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