Winter, Cliff top Whistler Spirit Run 

Over 240 people come out for classic cross-country running event

click to enlarge fast startChris WInter (far right)
  • fast startChris WInter (far right)

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In the women's 6km run, Rachel Cliff was the top racer in 20:22, followed by Chantelle Groenewoud in 21:06 and Erica Digby in 21:30.

With a $3,000 donation from Sierra Sil, the top three men and women in the Open/University category won $400, $200 and $75 respectively.

Cliff, who is also a member of the national track and field team — and an athlete who trained under Reynolds, said she enjoyed starting with the men.

"It was nice to mix it up with the guys and girls and the start, and try to hang onto fast people," she said. "I kept tabs on some of the girls, but by the time I was over the first hill I was on my own, and in no man's land a little bit. I just tried to keep the guy in front of me in sight and not worry too much about my own pace or what anyone else was doing."

Cliff also liked the idea of racing a lap course.

"I like lap courses," she said. "When you get to the second lap there's this feeling that every step you're taking is one step closer to the finish, so it feels like that second lap is easier."

Cliff's fall seaon includes an 8km in Victoria and the cross-country nationals, as well as other races between 5km and 15km.

In the men's master category, the top three were Kevin O'Connor in 26:18, Mikhail Titov in 30:21 and Jonathan Irvine in 33:36. The top three masters women were Darcie Montgomery in 22:39, Lisa McDougall in 26:04 and Jill Lawson in 27:06.

Following the open and masters races, the track opened up to high school and elementary school students.

In the senior boys high school 17 and under 5km race, the top three were Mike Rogers in 19:39, Max Lindley-Pert in 21:01 and Daniel Rogers in 21:05. In the 4km senior girls race it was Lucy Smyth in front (no time because of a chip error), followed by Whistler's Lauren Doak in 19:11 and Allison Marlyn in 20:15.

In the 3km junior high school categories for students 15 and under the top three girls were Danielle Steer in 11:36, Annika Richardson in 11:47 and Katie Weaver in 12:15. The top three boys were Kieran Lumb in 10:33, Whistler's Kayden Sim in 10:44 and Dakota McGovern in 10:57.

In the 2km elementary school 12 and under group, Nina Watson was first in 8:44, followed by Katia Lumb in 9:00 and Alisa Feuz in 9:06. The top three boys were Michael Mitchell in 8:10, Whistler's Fraser Doak in 8:13 and Nicholas Zurkovic in 8:18.

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