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Hash Run moves to Riverside

The Aug. 25 Hash Run will take place on trails in the Riverside area, with runners meeting at the House Rock clearing at 6 p.m. for a 6:20 p.m. start. If you need a ride there will be carpooling from Escape Route at 5:30 p.m.

The Aug. 25 Hash Run will take place on trails in the Riverside area, with runners meeting at the House Rock clearing at 6 p.m. for a 6:20 p.m. start. If you need a ride there will be carpooling from Escape Route at 5:30 p.m.

The cost is $5 to take part, with the Cinnamon Bear catering the après and Molson Canadian sponsoring the refreshments. The hash runs are run by The Escape Route.

If you've never taken part, a hash run is loosely based on British hunting traditions, with the earliest versions chasing people instead of foxes or hares. Most hash runs have done away with the hare concept, instead using markings on the ground to keep the party of chasers guessing.

At certain points on the course runners will have to run ahead in different directions to search for the trail, allowing slower runners to keep up with the group. The event on Aug. 25 will be short, in the range of 40 minutes to complete.

WMSC hires new skier cross coach

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club is the host club for the B.C. Skier Cross program, and last week announced the appointment of Drew Hetherington as head coach.

Hetherington grew up in Whistler, and is a former racer with the WMSC who went on to teach and coach skiers with Whistler Blackcomb. Recently he also worked with Extremely Canadian as a coach for their steep clinics and as a guide for their World Tours, and last year was the assistant coach for the B.C. Skier Cross team.

To help learn the ropes he's joining Canada Ski Cross for a national training camp on Farnham Glacier in the fall, before starting with the WMSC on Oct. 1.

Hetherington's appointment was the last in the WMSC's coaching lineup for the season with Ryan Jazic coaching the FIS team, Craig Glenday the K2 team, Raul Anguita the K1 team and Tomio Fukumura the Masters program.

IOC okays new sports for 2012

In contrast to the ongoing battle over the inclusion of women's ski jumping for the 2010 Games, the International Olympic Committee made good on its bid to treat women's sports equally by announcing the inclusion of women's boxing for the 2012 Games in London. The announcement was made by the IOC in Berlin last week.

The IOC also announced plans to include golf and seven-a-side rugby in 2016, providing they get the agreement of the IOC assembly in October.

At the same time the board shot down requests for inclusion by karate, softball, baseball, squash and roller sports.

The IOC will allow three women's boxing divisions, flyweight, lightweight and middleweight, while losing the men's light flyweight division to free up some ring time. Thirty-six women will be qualified to take part, or 12 in each division. That's far less than the 250 male boxers that will qualify to compete in 10 divisions.

Other changes approved for 2012 include the addition of a new 200 metre sprint in canoe-kayak, a new run-shoot format for modern pentathalon and handball. As well, according to the Associated Press, the IOC told wrestling, swimming and cycling that they would have to drop events if they wanted to add new formats - giving life to the hope that downhill mountain biking could one day be an Olympic event.

There was no IOC decision on mixed doubles tennis at this point, as the IOC said it required more information from the International Tennis Federation.

China rules the pool in Quebec

Chinese aerialists dominated at the fifth annual Acrobatx Mondial at Lac Beauport, Quebec Aug. 8, with jumpers from China capturing the top four sports for men and women in the water ramp contest.

Athletes use the water ramps to safely practice their tricks, and recently competitions have started to crop up at training centres. This year's showdown attracted 2,000 spectators.

All of the Canadian jumpers, including Amber Peterson, Steve Omischl and Ryan Blais, were eliminated in the second round of head-to-head competition. Athletes take the event seriously, but also with a grain of salt.

For example, 2009 overall World Cup champion Omischl had the best score in the two-jump qualifier, which is closer to an actual World Cup or Olympic contest than head-to-head jumping. While disappointed with his early exit there was also something positive to take out of the contest.

"I was happy with my early round performance and glad to have the opportunity to practice my competition skills in the summer," he said.

Canadian coach Dennis Capicik said the team took note of its mistakes and will work to be polished when the circuit returns to the snow.

"We work to fine tune all the little details," he said, "like keeping their feet together in a double full (backflip with two twists), so that perfect form becomes second nature. When we're on snow in full World Cup season we don't have time to work on those details."

Red Bull goes top to bottom in Exodus

The iconic freestyle ski movie Hot Shots gave us the phrase "Chinese Downhill" to describe a mass start, first-to-the-bottom-wins-everything ski race. While these races have been known to take place unofficially from time to time, it takes a company like Red Bull to stage an official top to bottom race from the peak of Whistler Mountain - on downhill mountain bikes no less.

The Red Bull Exodus takes place on Sept. 4 and 5, with up to 150 men and 50 women dropping in at the same time from the peak of Whistler Mountain. From there the riders will follow a series of trails to the village, dropping 1,530 vertical metres in the process. The trip is expected to take a hand-cramping, disk brake-melting 35 to 40 minutes.

Some of the confirmed riders include Brandon Semenuk, Robbie Bourdon, Darren Berrecloth, Shaums March, Wade Simmons, Tyler Morland, Thomas Vanderham and Dave Watson.

Registration for the event is now open at www.eventsonline.ca. The cost is $60 if you hold a Whistler Mountain Bike Park pass, or $80 without, and all riders must wear full body armour and a full face helmet.

The practice sessions runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, the qualifiers are on Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and the race is Saturday at noon.

WOVA tournament comes through for community services

This past weekend the Whistler Outdoor Volleyball Association held a doubles and four-on-four volleyball tournament, with 44 players taking part. All proceeds - $800 - are being donated to the Whistler Community Services Society for programs like the Food Bank.

Jason and Patrick, two visiting players from Seattle, won the doubles tournament while Ricky Chan won the four-on-four contest.




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