Sports Briefs: Whistler Half Marathon nears sell-out 

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As of press time on Wednesday, as few as 35 spots remained in the third annual Whistler Half Marathon, taking place on June 1. The event would have sold out already without the additional 100 spots added by organizers this year to bring the total to 1,100.

If you plan on racing this year, said race director Dave Clark, then there's no time to wait.

"We expect to sell out all available spots in the half marathon distance later this week," Clark confirmed. "The great news is that runners who miss out on the 21km distance can still register for the new 10km distance, which will provide the same quality experience for runners on race day."

The event has sold out in previous years, despite growing from 850 athletes in the first year.

The inaugural 10km run was about 30 per cent sold out while interest in the one-kilometre "Little Rippers Kids Run" was high with about 66 of 100 spots taken.

The price of registration for any remaining half marathon spots and the 10km distance goes up $10 on Mar. 1.

As for where athletes are coming from, this year some 69 per cent of spots have been sold to runners from outside the Sky to Sky corridor, up from 58 per cent in 2012 and 55 per cent in the inaugural year.

"This will translate into a significant boost in room nights and economic growth for the resort over that weekend — something that has been a focus of the event since its inception," said Clark

For more information or registration, visit www.whistlerhalfmarathon.com.

Whistler skiers on top at ski cross

Canada's next generation of ski cross racers headed to a NorAm Cup series at Beaver Valley, Ontario this past weekend, competing against top American prospects as well as skiers from across the country.

Whistler's Sarah Lepine was in the mix on both days, placing fifth in the first event and then fourth on the second day. The previous week she earned a bronze medal at Copper Mountain.

Making the event a little more interesting, national alpine team skier Madison McLeish, recovering from a knee injury, dropped in for her first ski cross competition ever and placed sixth on the first day and third on the second.

Events Calendar

What: Ski and Snowboard Cross

When: Feb. 16-17

Where: Blackcomb

The second Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard race of the season is a 14-and-over event. Registration is $44.80 in advance, going up to $50 on Saturday. The first day is for training and qualifiers, and the second is for additional training and the race heats.

What: Kokanee Valley Race Series

When: Thursday, Feb. 21

Where: Blackcomb

The fifth event in the series is a Terrain GS in the Nintendo Terrain Park, with racers weaving their way around flags placed on the ski cross track. Early registration is available online for $29, and day-of-race registration is $35 at the Rendezvous Lodge. You have to be 19 or older to take part and helmets are mandatory.

The annual super G race is the following Thursday, Feb. 28.

What: King of the Rail

When: Saturday, Feb. 23

Where: Base of Whistler Mountain

Registration is available at Showcase Snowboards after 6 p.m., with the athlete-judged rail jam running form 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. under the lights. All ages, both skiers and boarders, are welcome to take part for $15, with the top men and women in each age category winning a share of the entry fees based on the number of participants. All participants are also eligible to win draw prizes.

What: Sigge's P'ayakentsut

When: Saturday, Feb. 23

Where: Whistler Olympic Park

In its third year, Sigge's P'ayakentsut has grown to become the biggest XC in the province, with almost 500 taking part in events at Whistler Olympic Park last year. The race offers a full marathon distance (50km), a 30km distance, a 15km distance and events and activities for kids. For details, visit www.payak.ca.

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