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Experience trumps youth in Peak to Valley race

Consistent times over two days of racing this year



The 2010 edition of the Appleton Rum Peak to Valley Race - the 26 th anniversary of the event - was remarkably consistent over two days of racing with similar times for the leaders on both days.

For example, Jeff Hume was the fastest male on Friday, March 26 with his time of 5:10.78, followed by Sead Causevic in 5:19.52 and Philip Beauregard in 5:21.49. On Saturday the top male was Pete Bosinger in 5:16.73, followed by Ryan Bougie in 5:24.54 and Jayme Smithers in 5:30.25.

That's pretty close for an event that has seen times differ between two days by over 30 seconds, given changes to the course length, snowstorms, fog and other factors that can impact the long and winding course from the top of The Saddle on Whistler Mountain to the finish line at Creekside. The top eight teams were separated by less than a minute.

But while conditions were consistent, they weren't as fast as previous years as no racer cracked the five-minute mark - despite a start line that had been moved up to the Olympic finish at the timing flats. No racer has broken the five minute mark since the 2007 race.

Experience also trumped youth once again, with the top team award going to Barry the Rooster in the 200 to 224 combined age group. In other words, the average age of the four team members was between 50 and 56.

Barry the Rooster completed the course - five-plus kilometres from start to finish with a 1,433-metre vertical metre drop and 180 gates - in a combined time of 22:58.36. The team included Tom Prochazka (5:40.22 on Friday), Kent Wills (5:42.97 on Saturday), Steve Fleckenstein (5:46.92 on Saturday) and Liz Thompson (5:48.25 on Friday).

In second place was the Blue Ice Wrecking Crew in 23:05.20, competing in the 175 to 199 combined age category - Dave Johnston (5:45.62 on Friday), Tommy Thompson (5:34.45 on Saturday), Chris Wetaski (5:40.89 on Friday) and Bettina Schluechter (6:04.24 on Saturday).

In third place this year was Hoopla in the 150 to 174 category, who placed less than 0.6 seconds back of the Blue Ice Wrecking Crew with their combined time of 23:05.78. Hoopla were Spencer Hoopes (6:41.36 on Friday), Jayme Smithers (5:30.25 on Saturday), Jeff Hume (5:10.78 on Friday) and Tove Pashkowski (5:43.39 on Saturday).

There are some other results worth noting. For example, there were seven teams in the 250 and Up category this year, which means the athletes had an average age of 62 and a half. The top team in that category was Babes With Age with a combined time of 26:08.24. None of the racers on that team - Bob Switzer, David Trussler, Grace Oaks and Randall Carpenter - were among the 127 men and women to post times over seven minutes.

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