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Whistler athletes top Sea 2 Summit

Tabbernor, Maika top solo racers

By Andrew Mitchell

The 10 th annual Sea 2 Summit Adventure Race took place in Whistler this past weekend with a solid turnout for the two-day event and a modest beginning for the new one-day race introduced this year.

The course on the first day included a 23 km paddle through Pemberton Meadows, followed by a 55 km mountain bike on the old Tour de Soo course to Whistler that included a long hike-a-bike section.

Day two, which also included the one-day racers, started with a 30 km mountain bike that included parts of the West Side Wheel Up course, a 14 km paddle on Green Lake and River of Golden Dreams, and a trek and trail run to finish in Whistler Village.

In the two-day category, Whistler’s Joe Maika finished second overall and second among solo men with a combined time of 10 hours, 44 minutes and 34 seconds for all events. He was less than a minute back of Duncan’s Jason Sandguist at the finish line, but because of some early time bonuses for reaching a checkpoint early three minutes separated them at the end.

Maika used to be a competitive adventure racer, but said he has not spent any time running or paddling since about 2001.

As a result he made a mistake on the first day by not bringing his race boat on the Lillooet River, and came out of the water with about 20 people ahead of him. A strong mountain biker and member of the Team Whistler Nature’s Path cycling team, he made up that time and then some to take the lead at the end of the first day by over 10 minutes.

The bike course was about 60 km long and included parts of the Tour de Soo route to Whistler. In total there was about 7,000 feet of climbing, with almost the same amount of descending.

“I lost about 18 minutes on that first paddle, which I knew I had to make back on the bike,” he said. “In the end (boat choice) cost me the race because I would have come off the water a lot faster on the first day.”

The second day started with a bike over the Northwest Passage to Whistler Creek, before heading over to Whistler’s west side trails to do a section of the West Side Wheel Up course. From there riders headed to Meadow Park, jumped into boats, and paddled to the end of Green Lake and back.

Sandguist caught Maika in the boats, and together they reached the end of the stage before race organizers were ready for them.

As a result they credited Sandguist with a five minute time bonus and Maika with a two minute bonus heading into the last section, a trek with some orienteering checkpoints in Lost Lake Park.

“Because of the control points (Sandguist) didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know where he was or who was ahead, and I got to the finish line just behind him,” said Maika.

Although he has no plans to get back into adventure racing, he enjoyed himself enough on course that he’s considering entering a Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race in Comox this October.

“I went out (to Sea 2 Summit) without properly training for it, but if I can do more paddling or running I think I’ll do the MOMAR, it’s always a fun event,” he said.

In the meantime Maika is also committed to the Samurai of Singletrack this weekend, as well as the Cheakamus Challenge on Sept. 23.

Vancouver’s John Markez was the third solo across the line in 11:04:59.

Kailey McLachlan of Rossland was the top female racer in 15:13:42, over three hours faster than her closest competitor.

In the Team of Two category the Poachers, Denis Fontaine and Adam Smith of North Vancouver, placed first with a time of 10:47:04. Team Auld, Ian Auld and Simon Bartley, were second in 11:16:14, and The Hustlers, Paul Sharman and Phil Johnston were third in 11:51:59.

The top female team was Team Sadler, KJ Sadler and Ashleigh Miller, in 12:38:27. Whistler’s Team Rose, with Megan Rose and Lina Augaitis, were a close second in 12:48:38. The Next Team, Our Support Team Sucks, crossed the line just shy of 16 hours.

A Washington team, Team Dozer, won the Team of Four category with a time of 11:09:19, more than 50 minutes faster than Team Wallball.

In the one-day race Whistler’s Jennifer Tabbernor was the top solo racer, beating three men and one other female with a time of 4:17:16. Tabbernor rides with Maika for Team Whistler-Nature’s Path, and also boasted the fastest bike time of the day.

Ewart Aitken of Vancouver was second in 4:32:55, and Tom Barichello of Langley third in 4:38:02.

Jennifer Stanick and Ken Stannick were the top Team of Two in 4:06:13, while the English Newcomers were the top team of four.

Complete results are online at