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Sports briefs

Terry Fox turns 30

This Sunday, Sept. 19 will mark the 30 th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, and even Fox at his most optimistic would be amazed at how much he accomplished.

He started out with a goal of running across Canada, raising $1 for every Canadian for cancer research. There were 24 million Canadians then, and Fox wanted to reach each one.

With one leg amputated above the knee, he dipped his prosthetic leg in the chilly waters off Newfoundland on a spring morning then proceeded to run the equivalent of a marathon a day for some 143 days - covering an incredible 5,373 km. He developed a pain in his lungs in Northern Ontario, but endured it to complete another day of running before checking in to a hospital for an x-ray. He discovered then that the cancer that claimed his leg had returned. He vowed to fight it and return to his Marathon of Hope - but it wasn't to be. He passed away in 1981, and that year the very first Terry Fox Run was held in his honour.

Now, the run is held in hundreds of locations across Canada and in dozens of countries around the world. The goal of raising $24 million was smashed in the first year. The run has now raised over half a billion dollars for cancer research.

And still the run continues.

This Sunday, the Whistler Terry Fox Run will be staged out of the Four Seasons Resort. It's appropriate, as Four Seasons founder Isadore Sharp helped to come up with the idea for a charity run after meeting Fox in his hospital bed. And because of Sharp, Four Seasons hotels around the world host runs to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation.

Because of the change in venue the courses will be a little different this year with a mix of paved and gravel trails in Lost Lake Park. There will be a 7.2 km sport run and a 4.2 km fun run, and as always the event is open to runners, walkers and riders.

The sign-on takes place at 9 a.m. at the hotel with a complimentary breakfast. Lululemon Athletica is conducting the warm-up and post-run stretch and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre's youth ambassadors will send out the runners with a drum ceremony.

Participation is by donation, and the chief fundraiser will be the raffle. Tickets are $3 each and books of eight tickets are $20. The draw prizes are big this year, including a four-day round trip and round of golf at the Four Seasons in Dallas, Texas, plus stays at Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii and London. As well, there is a stay available at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, in addition to a variety of other prizes donated by supporters.

Businesses are encouraged to participate in the Corporate Challenge, with the team that sells the most raffle tickets winning a party for 75 people at Buffalo Bills, valued at $2,000.

To purchase raffle tickets or get raffle tickets towards your corporate challenge team, contact Doug Hart at douglas.hart@fourseasons.com.

As well as purchasing raffle tickets, people will be able to make donations on the site or at www.terryfox.org.

Splitz Grill is sponsoring the post-race lunch, and there will be live music at the finish with Matt King and Papa Josh. Whistler Brewing Company will host a beer garden at the finish as well.

For the second year in a row, the special guest for the Whistler Terry Fox Run is Bob McGill, Terry Fox's high school basketball coach. McGill encouraged Terry Fox to keep trying if he wanted to start on his high school basketball team, and later influenced Fox's continued involvement in sports.

 

Rubble Creek Classic the last mountain run

If you're a trail runner - or a runner of any kind - then one of the races on your bucket list has to be the Rubble Creek Classic, taking place this year on Sunday, Sept. 26.

The course starts at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, following the Cheakamus Lake trail to the Helm Creek Trail turnoff. The uphill is tough and technical in the beginning, but gradually winds its way up into the high alpine meadows that surround Black Tusk. There's a high speed section through the rocky cinder flats, slowing down only to cross a creek, before climbing over a mellow ridge to Taylor Meadows and the long descent - roughly 1,300 metres - down the Rubble Creek Trail to the Garibaldi Park entrance to the south of Daisy Lake.

The distance is about 24 km from start to finish. The majority of the trail is built to B.C. Parks standards, and you can safely go at top speed for long sections of the trail.

Because of the timing the highest part of the course sometimes has snow on it, or more than likely a sheet of hoar frost from the night before.

Because it takes place in Garibaldi Provincial Park the event is capped at just 80 runners and typically sells out.

The cost is $39 to take part, and online registration is available through the Escape Route website, www.escaperoute.ca/rubble/.

All runners must be self-supported from start to finish, but there will be food and water at the finish. There are also prizes for the top runners, plus swag for all participants.

Sign-on starts at 7 a.m. at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot - dress warmly because the sun isn't up yet. There will be a soft start at 7:15 a.m. for runners that believe they will take four or more hours to complete the trail. The rest of the field goes at 8 a.m.

This is actually the 29 th year for the Rubble Creek Classic, although the run has only been official for a few years.

 

Spirit Run is two days of competition

The Whistler Spirit Run is the little race that could, starting humbly two years ago with the idea of drawing more attention to the 2010 Olympic Games and the Whistler Olympic Park venue.

It's a unique event, starting off with a classic cross-country race on Saturday, Sept. 25 that focuses on elementary and high school runners and teams, college and university teams, and adult runners of all stripes. On Sunday there is a 5 km and 10 km run on the cross-country trails, followed by a team relay at noon.

Runners can take part in one, two or all three races, which raise money for Kidsport.

For more information and online registration - although day of race registration will be available as well - visit www.whistlerspiritrun.com.

 

Last Toonie of the season tonight

Whistler Fire Services is hosting the final Toonie Ride of the season tonight, Thursday, Sept. 16, with a race up Blackcomb and down a trail to be named later. The après will likely be a low-key affair with no food or beverage sponsor.

The ride marks the 20 th Toonie Ride this season, although the more casual Halloween night ride will be back again this year on Oct. 28.

The final Wild Willies Ride is on Monday, Sept. 20, meeting at the shop in Nesters at 6 p.m.

WORCA will also be hosting its annual general meeting in the next few weeks. Visit www.worca.com for more details.

 

Pemberton skatepark puts out RFP

The Village of Pemberton is looking for a company to lay concrete its the 8,000 square foot skatepark. The village is accepting proposals until 2 p.m. on Sept. 24. The tender documents have been available since Sept. 13 at the Village of Pemberton website (www.pemberton.ca), B.C. Bid website (www.civicinfo.bc.ca) or by e-mailing Chris Addario of the Pembertochris@arioconstruction.com.

The goal from the start was to have something completed on the site by the end of this year in order to benefit from government grants. According to the schedule posted, the desired completion date is November 2010, with a final deadline of March 31 2011.

 

Study suggests snowboardcross is toughest Olympic sport

A new study on sports injuries and the Olympics suggests that snowboardcross is the toughest sport in the Winter Games, based on injury statistics reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine this week.

Of the 2,567 athletes to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics there were 287 injuries - including the death of Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili in a training incident on the eve of the Games. That works out to an injury rate of 11 per cent for all male athletes and 13 per cent for female athletes. Roughly 25 per cent of those injuries resulted in the athlete not being able to compete. The list included 20 concussions.

Snowboardcross statistics were the highest, with roughly 75 per cent of female athletes - 16 of the 22 qualified competitors - seeking some kind of medical attention during the Games. On the men's side four out of 35 athletes needed medical attention.

There's no word as to why women were injured at a higher rate, although the features on the course were on the large side and the landing transitions far enough from the jumps to accommodate the fastest male competitors.

Other high injury sports include bobsled (20 per cent injury rate), ice hockey (18 per cent), short-track speed skating, alpine skiing and freestyle aerials. Nordic skiing sports had the lowest risk. Also less risky were luge, curling, long track speed skating and freestyle moguls.

The statistics were compiled after interviewing 82 team doctors. The actual numbers were likely higher as not all injuries were reported.

Lars Engebretsen of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, the author of the report, said the goal should be to make the sports safer.

In the run-up to the Games many sports noted a higher-than-normal injury rate as athletes pushed their limits to qualify for the Olympics. As well, the technology and progression in sports has athletes going faster, higher and harder than ever before, and the venues - such as the Whistler Sliding Centre - were designed to advance that progression.

Ski cross has a deadly past. Last week a Russian snowboard cross athlete was killed in training, the fourth crosser to be killed in the past decade.

Some sports are already looking at ways to make things safer. For example, after a rash of injuries last season, the International Ski Federation pledged to look into alpine skiing.

 

IOC to hear new sport proposals

The International Olympic Committee is currently considering applications for a number of summer and winter sports. Recommendations will be made to the IOC executive board in October.

The list of sports being considered for the winter Games includes women's ski jumping - an omission that resulted in a bitter court battle and human rights complaint before the 2010 Games - and the sport of ski halfpipe. Both are thought to have a good chance of making it into the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. As well, there is an application for an alpine team event.

Also on the list is the sport of cross-country running, which is looking to be included in the 2018 Winter Games. While it's not a winter sport, the summer program has rejected the sport in the past and its proponents say it will draw more African and South American athletes into the Winter Games program.

 

Wolfpack look to get back against Ridge Meadows

The Squamish Wolfpack have lost their first two games of the season, going down 6-0 in a home game against the Richmond Sockeyes on Sept. 11, then dropping an away game against the Delta Ice Hawks 3-2 on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7:15 p.m. the Squamish Wolfpack are hosting the Ridge Meadows Flames, which is coming into the game with one win and two losses.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors at the door.

 

 




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