Sports Briefs: Local athletes in triathlons 

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Rower Maureen Harriman in the medals at masters games

Whistler rower Maureen Harriman had a huge week at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy last week, winning three gold medals and two silvers. The golds were in the single 40 to 49, double 40 to 49 and quad 40 to 49 categories, with silver medals in the single 30 to 39 category and mixed double 40 to 49 race.

Harriman usually trains on Alta Lake, when it's not frozen over, with the Whistler Rowing Club.

Whistler Gymnastics announces "Air Kidz" program

This fall the Whistler Gymnastics Club is offering a new program directed to kids looking to learn spins, flips and grabs for skiing and snowboarding. The program is a joint initiative with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association (CFSA) and Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre, with support from the municipality's Community Enrichment Grant program.

The program is open for kids aged seven to 13, and the program runs for eight weeks starting Sept. 21. There will also be an opportunity to try out the program with a free Air Kidz workshop on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The goal is to teach basic acrobatic skills that translate to a wide variety of sports, and prepare kids for the coming winter.

"Kids with really strong basics in trampoline and gymnastics have much better odds of being successful in competition and being safe doing air tricks in snowsports, so we are thrilled to work directly with Whistler Gymnastics to help the athletes develop those skills," said Meredith Gardner, sport development director at Canadian Freestyle.

To prepare for the program, Whistler coaches have been obtaining National Coaching Certification Programs (NCCP) for trampoline, gymnastics, CFSA Air 1 and Air 2. They worked with Heather Ross McManus, a former Olympic trampolinist and master NCCP learning facilitator for both Gymnastics Canada Trampoline and the CFSA.

For more on the program or registration visit www.whistlergymnastics.com.

Meet Your Maker 50 drawing big numbers

In only its second year the Meet Your Maker 50 ultra run is drawing a lot of attention, and at press time some 130 athletes had signed up to go the full distance: 86.04km, which includes a 4.4km gondola ride. Last year only 30 athletes did the full course. Some 30 relay teams have also signed up, which is ahead of registration last year.

"I think that the word just got out," said race director Chris Colpitts. "We didn't advertise any differently, we're still mainly focusing on logistics and running a good race. We want this to grow organically, and to ensure we're not selling something we can't deliver on."

The course is challenging, even by ultra running standards. The course is essentially a loop that covers a wide selection of Whistler trails, with a focus on singletrack. The entire length of Comfortably Numb is one of the featured trails for example, and the longest piece of the run.

As well, one leg goes from Base II on Blackcomb Mountain to the Rendezvous, crossing over to Whistler Mountain on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola before running down Whistler Mountain to the village.

For more information and registration visit www.meetyourmaker50.com.

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