Sports Briefs 

Runners top 5 Peaks finale

The fifth and final race in the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series took place at Buntzen Lake this past Saturday, with over 450 runners coming out for the half marathon (21 km), Enduro (13 km) and Sport (8 km) races. The amount of elevation gained and lost depended on your category, but ranged from 500 metres for the half marathon and 60 metres for the sport course.

In the half marathon, Whistler’s Greg Camirand placed seventh overall out of 75 runners, also placing first in the men’s 20 to 29 age category, with a time of two hours 39 minutes and 26 seconds.

Robert Tan was 25 th overall and seventh in the men’s 40 to 49 group in 3:00:53.

In the Enduro, Walter Wallgram placed 30 th overall out of 182 runners and fifth in the men’s 40 to 49 category in 1:39:26.

In the Sport group, Tracy Jackson was 49 th overall and sixth in the women’s 40 to 49 race in 1:06:36.

Kristy Mitchell was 18 th in the women’s 20 to 29 group in 1:17:31.

Titus brothers rule the Grind

The Grouse Grind is one of the toughest trails anywhere. Although the distance is just 2.9 km, it includes a vertical gain of 853 metres — twice the height of Toronto’s CN Tower — over tough ground. On average, for every 3.4 metres you move forward you also gain one metre of elevation. The gradient is close to 40 degrees, which is steeper than most staircases.

The level of difficulty doesn’t stop over 600 people from racing the trail every year, with the 16 th annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run taking place this past Sunday.

The course was a little on the wet side, which means nobody came close to breaking any records this year. Mike Simpson of Delta was 36 seconds off the record pace he set last year with a time of 27 minutes even to take the elite title.

Hot on his heels were Whistler’s Morgan and Joren Titus, who placed second and third respectively with times of 27:57 and 28:05. This is the second year Morgan has placed behind Simpson, and Joren moved up from sixth onto the podium.

Squamish athlete Teresa Hoivik was the third female, was first in her age category and placed 15 th overall in a speedy 34:48.

In the age category, Whistler’s John Muzzillo placed 30 th overall out of 461 grinders, and was sixth in the men’s 40 to 49 group in 37:32.

Squamish runners Tiffany Tremblay, Mike Mehychuk and Helle Wilburn also had strong finishes, placing 100 th , 104 th and 114 th respectively, with Wilburn also placing third in the women’s 50 to 59 category. Tiffany Fenton was 158 th and Lois Lemieux 239 th .

Skiers win Award of Excellence

Quebec’s Genevieve Simard and Canmore’s Thomas Grandi were presented with Alpine Canada’s top award at their annual congress in Regina this past weekend, recognizing their results from last season.

Simard, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team’s Female Athlete of the Year, recently won three out of four South America Cup races while training in Chile, and had two World Cup podiums last season as well as a fifth place finish in the Olympic giant slalom.

Grandi, the Male Athlete of the Year, placed 11 th overall in the World Cup standings with five podium results in technical events.

For the Disabled Alpine Ski Team, the top male was Chris Williamson, a blind skier, who with guide Bobby Taylor won the overall World Cup globe as well as a silver and bronze medal at the Paralympics in Torino. The top female was Victoria’s Lauren Woolstencroft, who won the women’s overall World Cup globe as well as a gold and silver in Torino.

Invermere’s Christina Lustenberger won the Breakthrough Female Athlete of the Year award, while Francois Bourque won the Breakthrough Male Athlete of the Year honours.

Ontario’s Georgian Peaks won for the ACA Club of the Year, while the Sierra Wireless Whistler Cup won the ACA Race of the Year award.

Thunderbirds in Whistler

Provincial motocross comes to Pemberton

This Saturday and Sunday the Green River Motocross Track will host the fourth of six events in the CMA-sanctioned provincial Harvest series, billed as the Vision Motorsports 2006 Fall Classic.

This is the fourth event that the Pemberton track has hosted this season, and organizers are expecting between 180 and 200 riders to take part, based on numbers at other Harvest Series events as well as the growing interest in the Green River facility.

Spectators are welcome for $5 at the gate, and as always the track will be closed on Saturday for an open training day. The riders’ meeting on Sunday is at 9 a.m. and the course will once again be used for training until the first moto gets underway at around 11 a.m.

The race is an important one for several local riders. After a strong showing at nationals this year Shaun Greenaway has been set back by a series of crashes in recent weeks and now sits two points back in the overall standings of the Plus-30 age class and 250 Pro class.

“Hopefully the home track advantage will play a big part for me,” said Greenaway. “I’ve been pounding laps in like crazy, up until Sunday I had five straight days of riding on the track. My goal is to win the overall in the fall series after an injury put me on the sidelines in the spring. This weekend is a chance to wrap one thing up this season.”

According to Greenaway, Squamish rider Justin Patjas is currently tied for first in the 250 Intermediate class, and is within a few points of the top in the 125 Intermediate race, and is riding strong after upgrading to a four-stroke bike.

Shane Wiebe, who divides his time between Abbotsford and Whistler, is also in the running to take overall titles.

Several other Sea to Sky riders are also riding well, says Greenaway, and he is expecting a good day for locals despite the number of riders from around the province that are expected.

The track itself is in good shape, but will require some additional maintenance given the lack of rain the past week, and will be closed as of Thursday for maintenance.

There are several good viewing spots along the track for spectators, and there will a concession if spectators get hungry. Once the event gets underway the races take place one after another.

For an overview of the track visit www.grrc.ca.

 

Whoosh Volleyball seeking players

The Whistler Whoosh women’s volleyball team is looking for a few experienced players to come out and play with the team this season.

The team won the Tier II provincial championship in 2004 and won the consolation final last season, and heads to tournaments about once a month during the winter months. If you’ve played competitive volleyball at any level and can make Tuesday night practices, the Whoosh are holding their first open practice on Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Melanie Bernier at 604-966-4303.

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