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Perfect day for a Loppet



The annual Whistler Loppet has taken place in some interesting conditions recently, with new snow the past two years, and frigid weather the year before that.

This year’s race, the 30 th annual, was perfect, hovering around zero degrees Celsius at the start and warming up slightly as the day went on. The races also got underway in the sunshine, which was a welcome sight for those athletes that took a few seconds to look up from the fast track.

The senior athletes raced a 28.7 km course, the recreational racers went 17.9 km, and junior racers went anywhere from 2.8 km to 6.7 km around the Nicklaus North golf course.

In the senior women’s race, Whistler’s Joanna Harrington took the gold medal with a time of 1:25:56, just over four seconds ahead of Minttu Repo of the Whistler Nordics. Maria Lundgren, an instructor for the Whistler Nordics youth programs, was third in 1:26:51.

Tom McCarthy won the senior men’s race in a time of 1:14:14, almost a minute and a half faster than Guillem Sancho. Revelstoke’s Andrew Russell was third.

In Master Women 31-40 Katarina Smith placed first in 1:32:40, followed by Jill Calkin in 1:36:25 and Stacey Bodnaruk in 1:37:02.

In Master Men 31-40, Silver Star’s Glenn Bond set the winning pace to finish in 1:14:20, followed by James Shaw, a previous winner of the event, in 1:15:41. Whistler’s Duncan Munro was third in 1:23:26.

For Master Women 41-50, Barbara Turner posted the fastest female time of the day, coming in at 1:24:44. Catherine Hunchak was second in 1:28:39, and Laurie McKinney third in 1:43:40.

For Master Men 41-50, Claude Prica of the Squamish Nordics set the pace to beat, finishing first out of 24 racers in 1:15:41. Ron Carmichael was second in 1:16:33, followed by Paul Sim in 1:19:34. Keith Ray was the top Whistler racer in 1:21:02.

Pippa Wall raced alone in Master Women 51-60, finishing in 1:54:20, while Alena Branda raced alone in the 61-Plus race and finished in 2:00:32.

For Master Men 51-60, Olav Stana placed first in 1:15:39, followed by William Letham in 1:22:22, and Mike Fitzmaurice in 1:22:55. In 60-Plus, Colin Gray was first in 1:39:21, followed by Ernst Wallgram in 1:47:47, and Hakan Lillquist in 1:52:05.

In the Women’s Recreation category, Michele Marsh of the Whistler Nordics was first on the 17.9 km course in 54:32, followed by Dawn Hunter in 1:00:56, and Sabine Lassen in 1:05:42.

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