Winter, Cliff repeat again as Spirit Run champs 

Recently-engaged couple take first place for third year running

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRADEN DUPUIS - POWER COUPLE Recently-engaged Rachel Cliff And Chris Winter finished first in their respective Whistler Spirit Run categories for the third year in a row.
  • Photo by Braden Dupuis
  • POWER COUPLE Recently-engaged Rachel Cliff And Chris Winter finished first in their respective Whistler Spirit Run categories for the third year in a row.

The weather was markedly different for this year's Whistler Spirit Run in comparison to last year.

"It was torrential downpour with snow up in the hills (last year)," said Chris Winter, who took first place in the men's open 8km category at the event on Sunday.

"So when we were looking at the forecast this week and we were seeing 22 degrees and sunny, we were pretty excited about that."

But the weather wasn't the only change from last year.

Winter recently got engaged to his girlfriend Rachel Cliff, who just happened to take home first place in the women's 6km category.

"It was a lot of fun," Cliff said after the race.

"Really nice, sunny day, beautiful atmosphere."

It was the third year in a row that Cliff and Winter, both from Vancouver, have won their respective categories.

Rounding out the men's top three were Jeff Symonds in second place and Braeden Charlton in third.

In the women's category, Kirsten Allen finished second and Jessica Smith took third.

In the Men's Open Masters Category — featuring runners aged 40 and up — Oliver Utting took first place while Mikhail Titov and Patrick Downey came second and third, respectively.

In the women's masters, Darcie Montgomery finished first while Sara Forsyth took second and Janice Mackinnon came third.

Check www.racedaytiming.ca and www.whistlerspiritrun.com later this evening for full results, including top finishers in the 2km girls and boys, 3km girls and boys, 4km girls and 5km boys categories, as well as the 1km family fun run and 4x2km relay event.

Pick up Thursday's Pique for the full story.

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