Archive for November, 2011

50 Ultrarunners Tackle 50 Miles in Whistler

The inaugural Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra took place on Saturday November 5, 2011. Participants had the option of running the 50 miles (~ 80 km.) as part of an 8-person relay team or tackling the entire distance in the solo ultrarunner division. Approximately 50 runners choose the latter option, and I was on hand to help out as an “ultra volunteer”.

This event took over the calendar spot vacated last year by the Haney to Harrison Relay & 100K Ultra. BC Athletics moved the location of their season-ending event to address safety concerns due to traffic congestion along the busy highway which was the route of the previous event. The only traffic concerns in Whistler this year were the bears near the course, especially around the Nicklaus North golf course 🙂

The ultrarunning community is rather small and close-knit, so this was a good chance to get caught up with some old friends who were either running the race or volunteering. Our 2 aid stations were located less than 100 yards apart, at about the 8km and 16.5 km points along the ~20km loop that would be repeated 4 times by the ultrarunners. The cool weather was pretty ideal for the runners, but the vollies had to keep hopping to generate heat as the temps never got much above freezing. We did get come welcome sunshine by late morning and for the rest of the afternoon. Have a look at my pics at http://enzo.smugmug.com/Sea-To-Sky/2011/Whistler-50-Relay-Ultra-Nov-5/. Many thanks to fellow ultra vollies Ron, Cathy, Wendy, Brian and Gottfried – you made the time pass by quickly and most enjoyably!

As far as the competitive aspects of the race, both men’s and women’s races were very close – Chris Downie of Burnaby winning by less than 3 minutes in 5:52:55, and Jenn Segger of Squamish (yeah, Squamish 🙂 ) winning by 6 minutes in 6:31:20! Overall the race had 52 starters and 47 finishers. Full results can be found at http://www.raceheadquarters.com/results/2011/run/W50M2011OA_U.html.

Just want to close off on a non-running note, as the conditions in Whistler this past weekend were a reminder that this is expected to be another awesome ski season with La Niña back for the second straight winter! Here are a couple of pics of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and both look ready to open before their officially posted date of November 24 🙂

Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain

 

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