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Peak to Valley running this weekend

Sports briefs: Pemberton biker up for honour; Plethora of local athletes off to Winter Games
PEAK'N The 34th annual Peak to Valley Race runs on Feb. 23 and 24. File photo by Dan Falloon

A Whistler tradition is back for its 34th year.

The Peak to Valley Race will run on Feb. 23 and 24 with its thigh-burning five-kilometre course consisting of 180 gates and a nearly 1.5-km drop.

Teams will each have four racers, with each competitor getting one shot at the course. Each team's oldest competitor will start on Friday, with the first skier heading down at 11 a.m.

Colleen Ikona Reach of the Whistler Blackcomb events department said the event has sold out for the third consecutive year and the events crew is preparing the traditional course for action.

"We're organizing all the equipment, fencing, gates and all the other timing details like that," she said.

Ikona Reach added the snow conditions on course are ideal for racing.

"It's very firm, especially with this cold weather," she said. "The course will hold up through all 160 racers each day."

Pemberton biker up for honour

Pemberton's Bree Thorlakson has been nominated for the 2018 Kazlaw Deserving Rider contest to earn a paid spot in the sold-out BC Bike Race.

Thorlakson started Pemberton's weekly women's-only bike club and serves as the vice-president of the Pemberton Off-Road Cycling Association.

The five other nominees are Johnny Shaw of Fernie, Dave Pearson of Revelstoke, Brent Strand of Revelstoke, Cheryl Beattie of Kamloops and Randy Pruden of Valemont.

Voting at closes March 6.

Plethora of local athletes off to Winter Games

Whistler and Pemberton will have a number of young athletes to support when the B.C. Winter Games run in Kamloops from Feb. 22 to 25.

Whistler athletes going to the Games are: biathletes Taylor Fulton, Simon Long, Mallory Mellor and Abbey Mellor; alpine skiers Alexa Brownlie, Cate Dance, Liam Forsyth, Sam Fuller, Sascha Gilbert, Nicholas Katrusiak, Kaila Lafreniere, Rowland Legg, Tatum Nash, Felix Shorter and Jacqueline Smith; cross-country skier Marlie Molinaro; freestyle skiers Daniel Gannon and Stephen Lindsay-Ross; and snowboarders Maggie Crompton, Juliette Pelchat, Brendan Keuling and Truth Smith. As well, snowboarding head coach Sam Weston, freestyle assistant coach Brandon Fritz, alpine skiing head coach John Everly and assistants Sarah Culver, Tereza Charova and Lucas Byrne all hail from Whistler.

Pemberton, meanwhile, is sending athletes Mali Forest (gymnastics), Sierra Pochay-McBain (cross-country skiing) and Logan Sadan (alpine skiing).

All team members are part of the Vancouver-Coastal squad and will line up against seven other units from all across the province. In all, over 1,700 athletes are set to compete in 19 sports during the four-day event.

Niki Remesz, the president of the 2018 Kamloops Winter Games, said the city is excited to see athletes get into action.

Freeriders strong at Kicking Horse

Whistler Freeride Club skiers grabbed five medals at the IFSA competition at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on Feb. 11.

Jakob Jewett captured gold in the men's 12 to 14 event while Leif Gascoigne put up a fifth-place showing. Another winner came in the form of Olivia McNeill, who won the female 15 to 18 category, just ahead of second-place teammate Aoife Gannon while Mary Power took fourth.

Whistler also took silvers in the 7-to-11 categories, as Kayla Constantini was second on the women's side and Dane Jewett was second on the men's side.

Full results are available at