Lower Mainland runners tops in Whistler Alpine Meadows 100-miler 

Local runners had great showings across the race

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY BRIAN MCCURDY PHOTOGRAPHY - ON THE JOURNEY Scott Maguire competes during the Whistler Alpine Meadows race.
  • Photo by Brian McCurdy Photography
  • ON THE JOURNEY Scott Maguire competes during the Whistler Alpine Meadows race.
 

At a certain point, you can only hope your preparation is enough.

That's how North Vancouver's Marieve Legrand had to approach the Coast Mountain Trail Series' Whistler Alpine Meadows race on Sept. 20 and 21. Legrand ended up coming in as the top women's racer in the 100-mile event, completing the race in 30 hours and 21 seconds (30:00:21), nearly three hours ahead of runner-up Joanna Ford.

Prior to the 160-kilometre contest, the longest race distance Legrand completed was 110 kms at last year's Whistler Alpine Meadows event.

"I knew the course really well. I've trained on the course and I could visualize all the sections. To me, that was a really, really important piece of my training," she said. "It felt like I had this finely rehearsed plan in my head that was finally coming together. It was checking things off one at a time slowly but surely. Even if I was tired, my feet were still magically moving forward."

Legrand had the lead from the beginning, but said it wasn't part of some grand strategy. She just happened to line up near the front and stayed there the whole time.

"It wasn't intentional. I just lined up at the start line, just got going and never really saw anyone else from that point onwards," she said. "The only moment where we saw other runners and some of the other women running was during out-and-back sections when you were going up and over Whistler Mountain at night.

"It was right in the middle of the night from Friday night to Saturday, but it was actually quite nice. It was a great thing to be able to see other people and have a bit of company. You'd see these headlamps going down the hill or coming up the hill, depending on where you were in the race."

When preparing to add 50 extra kilometres to an already-lengthy race run, Legrand acknowledged that there are limits to what one can do in advance of actually doing it.

"I was trying to anticipate how I'd feel, or try to imagine how I'd feel in trying to get prepared," she said. "Life took over and training wasn't always ideal, but I just kept going.

"The big factor in this particular race was that I got some bad blisters heading back up Khyber Pass around the 100-km mark or so. Pretty much every step after that, the next 12 hours, it was just quite painful because the shearing and the pressure on my feet was pretty bad."

Legrand felt her sore feet slowed her down somewhat, but that may have been a blessing in disguise and forced her to a more reasonable pace.

"It kind of got me to relax and save my legs for that extra distance. Who knows? There's always something that can happen in those races," she said.

Legrand, who comes to Whistler most weekends, loves the course as she likes climbing on hard and technical trails, but also enjoys the flatter sections to run.

Legrand was also grateful to the organizers, who raise thousands of dollars for trails.

As for the men, Vancouver's Scott Maguire was the first over the line, finishing in 24:36:07.

"I quietly was hoping for something like that to materialize," he said.

Maguire's time put him 1:20:08 ahead of runner-up Dennis Kaellerteg, and while 80 minutes may seem insurmountable, he said it's a gap that could have been made up with a bad break.

"I had no idea. I thought the whole time that there was someone right on my heels. You don't really know," he said. "I guess I got kind of lucky that I was able to build up that big of a lead. It would have been nice to know I had a lead, or I could have gone down a little bit in the last part of the race.

"It's a long race, though. An hour sounds like a long time, but it's really, truly not much of a gap in that kind of a race."

Like Legrand, Maguire praised the trail, adding that its clambering requirements gave him a fairly significant advantage over some other challengers.

"It totally works with the way I like to run," he said. "I'll bet you there's 10 people in that field that are in better shape than I am, and had it been more runnable, there's no way I would have been able to do it. For some reason, the technical stuff plays to my advantage."

Racing for just over a day, Maguire described the contest as a constantly alternating series of ups and downs. One of the highlights, however, was when he ended up with a dog running alongside him for a spell.

"At first, I was like, 'OK, well, this dog is going to run for a bit and then he's going to run back to his owner,'" he said. "By the time I realized the dog had made up his mind not to go back to his owner, it was too far to run to bring the dog back."

After about a kilometre, he reached a mountain bike trail and asked some mountain bikers to help guide the dog back in the right direction.

Local finishers in the 100-miler were Vicky Romanin (second in the women's 50-to-59 age division) and Alex Hordal (30th in men's 30-to-39).

There were races in several other distances held over the course of the weekend.

There was the Triple Wammy, made up of three events in three days: an ascent race, a 25-km race and a 55-km race. Nick Duff and Olivia Vihant emerged as the victors.

In the 110-km race, Mike Sidic and Malin Ek took the triumphs, while local finishers were Charles Reynolds (fourth in men's 20-to-29), Michael Overbeck (sixth in men's 20-to-29), Wolfgang Sterr (second in men's 50-to-59), and Laddie Hannam (fifth in women's 50-to-59).

In the 55-km contest, Craig Fowler and Kaytlyn Gerbin were the men's and women's winners. Local finishers were: Connor Smith (sixth in men's 20-to-29); Maude Cyr (third in women's 30-to-39); Christian Stulz (first in men's 50-to-59); Cindy Bonnell (fifth in women's 40-to-49); Keren Wareham (27th in women's 30-to-39); Anngela Leggatt (11th in women's 40-to-49); and Bethany Palmer (41st in women's 30-to-39).

The 25-km race, meanwhile, saw Marcus Risi and Katherine Short walk away with gold. Locals completing the race were: Vincent Roseberry (second overall); Marian Treger (fourth in men's 30-to-39 and sixth overall); Steven Lee (ninth in men's 40-to-49); Tim Bonnell (17th in men's 40-to-49); Genevieve Masson (19th in women's 30-to-39); Tara Kandulski (22nd in women's 30-to-39); Natalie Horscroft (11th in women's 40-to-49); and Amanada Szocs (16th in women's 40-to-49).

Lastly, in the ascent race, Alexandre Ricard and Jeanelle Hazlett scored the victories. As for locals, Kieran Marchand (first in men's one-to-19 and fifth overall); Marian Treger (fifth in men's 30-to-39 and sixth overall); Logan Pletz (second in men's one-to-19 and seventh overall); Sergey Bochkarnikov (third in men's 20-to-29 and 10th overall); Andrei Secu (fourth in men's 20-to-29); Lucas Smith (fourth in men's one-to-19); Marla Zucht (second in women's 40-to-49); Coralie Langel (first in women's one-to-19); Hanne Stadnyk (sixth in women's 20-to-29); Janice Grundahl (second in women's one-to-19); Lisa Savoie (third in women's one-to-19); and Amanda Szocs (eighth in women's 40-to-49) all finished.

Full results are online at www.racedaytiming.ca.

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