Whistler’s Emma Smith placed first in the 25 to 29 age group at the Xterra World Championships in Wailea, Maui this past weekend, finishing the off-road triathlon in three hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds.
The course was comprised of a 1.5 km ocean swim, followed by a 30 km mountain bike ride and a 10 km trail run with about 800 metres of climbing. According to the course write-up, Hawaiian trails boast natural obstacles that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, and athletes compete on a dozen different surfaces, from sand to volcanic rock.
While she had a slower swim leg for her category, she followed up with the fastest bike leg of anyone in her category by almost a full minute, and a run time that was more than two minutes faster than her closest competitor — not too shabby considering that Smith’s first ever trail race was the 5 Peaks race in Whistler in August.
Nanaimo’s Melanie McQuaid, a three-time world Xterra champion, was forced to pull out after the bike leg with stomach problems.
Smith’s time is about 36 minutes back of past champion Julie Dibens, who won the female pro category this year in 3:03:57. She was also fourth among all the women racing in the age categories.
Fun Run a success
This past Sunday, 87 runners and walkers turned out to the inaugural 5 km Fun Run, lapping the Whistler Golf Course on Sunday morning to raise money for the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society.
The event raised $1,100 for the centre, which provides assistance to women and children throughout the corridor.
Kishindo athletes in the medals
Five athletes from Whistler Kishindo martial arts headed to Burnaby last weekend to compete in the Western Canadian Martial Arts Championship.
Cooper Bathgate won silver in freestyle grappling, similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, losing one match His twin brother Jackson won a bronze medal in continuous sparring, where fighters are scored for the punches and kicks they land cleanly in a one-minute match. He won the bronze medal match against Cooper, who also won his first match.
Kanta Onishi won silver in girl’s point fighting.
Carson Leigh competed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and earned a win, but finished off the podium.
Likewise for Sam Johnston, who competed in freestyle grappling and had one win.
Kishindo instructor Cole Manson missed the event teaching a workshop in New Brunswick, but was proud of his athletes.
“They all did really well without having a coach there, which is really hard,” he said. “They had all been to tournaments before, which is why I let them go, but I know it really helps to have a coach at big events like this.”
Kishindo plans to send a team to the Tiger Balm International martial arts tournament in January.
Segger taking on the world
Squamish adventure racer Jen Segger left for Brazil this week, where she will compete in the Eco Motion Adventure Race World Championships with her teammates at Team DART-nuun. She earned a spot at the worlds after winning the Baja Travesia in Mexico at the start of the season.
The course is slightly shorter than first advertised, but weighs in at 550 km. The race gets underway on Nov. 2, and it’s expected that teams will take four days. Temperatures should be hovering around 40 degrees Celsius, plus humidity.
Segger is hoping to place in the top-three.
Race updates will be posted online at www.sleepmonsters.com.
Quest basketball season underway
The Quest Kermodes got off to a great start in the preseason with a win over the Blue Angels at home on Oct. 18, then played in a pair of exhibition games last weekend against other teams from the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association.
The Kermodes regular season gets underway next Friday, Nov. 7, with both men’s and women’s teams on the road and up against the Columbia Bible College Bearcats.
Their first home games of the season are on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 against Douglas College. Women play at 6 p.m. and men at 8 p.m.
The public is welcome to come out and support the Kermodes, and enjoy dinner specials at the Quest University cafeteria.
Pemberton hockey player meets hockey greats
Pemberon’s Avery Hargitt was one of 100 hockey players from around Canada chosen to take part in the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey Festival. The third of four festival events was held at General Motors Place this past weekend with other players from B.C., with participants receiving on- and off-ice lessons from hockey legends Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy and Cassie Campbell. The program was offered to kids aged 5 to 8 through Hockey Canada, and focuses on skills development, drills, games, and safety instruction.
Instead of holding a camp for already skilled players, participants were chosen through a random draw.
“I’m worried that many young players will never get to experience the pure enjoyment of the game,” said Orr. “They are pressured by parents, by coaches, and each other. As parents, coaches, and teammates it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone leaves the arena with a positive experience to bring them back.”