By Andrew Mitchell
The annual Brodie Rat Race in Roberts Creek this past weekend kicked off the provincial marathon mountain bike series, as well as the B.C. Cup downhill series.
The 48 km cross-country marathon race, the first event of three in the provincial Hell Of A Series, got off to a rainy start on Saturday morning with more than 260 riders in the field. It rained all Sunday morning for the downhill, but the course had been worked on this past year to keep the water draining.
Several Whistler athletes took part in both races, many finding their way to the podium.
On the women’s side, Whistler’s Jennifer Tabbernor placed first in the 30 to 34 age category with a time of three hours, 18 minutes and 18 seconds — more than 14 minutes ahead of her closest competitor.
Lesley Clements finished second to Squamish’s Meghan Kindree in the Elite category, with Kindree crossing the finish line in 2:59:03, and Clements following in 3:04:36.
In the Male 35 to 39 race, Team Whistler rider Trevor Hopkins placed first out of 46 starters with a time of 2:34:09, more than 12 minutes faster than the next racer.
Pemberton’s Dean Linnell was 11 th in the same category in 3:02:29, Whistler’s Mike Watton was 21 st 3:20:36, and Jason Simpson was 23 rd in 3:22:08.
In Men’s 40 to 44, Team Whistler’s Mike Charuk finished a close second to North Vancouver’s David Kvick, with times of 2:39:09 and 2:40:01 respectively. John Woln of Team Whistler was 14 th in 3:13:05 and Richard Potter 19 th in 3:26:41. There were 44 riders in the category, four of which pulled out with mechanicals — including Team Whistler’s Joe Maika.
In Male 45 to 49, Bob Allison of Team Whistler tied North Vancouver’s Michael Judge, for the win with identical posted times of 2:42:39.
“We were pretty evenly matched, he would pull ahead of me on the uphill, and I was a little faster on the technical sections. After going back and forth, we decided to finish together,” said Allison.
“The course was really great. The climbs were not so bad or so long that they’d break you, you always turned off before long onto really great technical sections. It was a good mix of everything, and it felt like it went by really fast.”
Also from Whistler were Graeme Fitch and Grant Lamont in 24 th and 25 th with times of 3:44:29 and 3:51:08.
In Male 60 and Over, Whistler’s David Thornhill, Gary Baker and Mike Hawes were second, third and fourth with times of 3:47:04, 4:06:11 and 4:17:49 respectively.
In Male Elite, Whistler’s top racer was Matt Bodkin in eighth with a time of 3:30:52. Dustin Gordon of Team Whistler was 16 th in 2:48:28.
There was also a Mouse Race for younger kids. Nick Geddes of Whistler finished first in the men’s 12 to 14 age group, where Kerry-Anne Hamilton finished sixth among female racers. Whistler riders Stevie Begg and Mason Protter were 16 th and 18 th overall.
Whistler’s Tyler Allison, the reigning Rat Race champion, was just getting over bronchitis, and elected not to compete in the cross-country event. He did, however, compete in the downhill on Sunday, where he finished second in the Under 17 category to Whistler’s Alex Prochazka. Prochazka cleared the course in 3:22, with Allison crossing the line in 3:25.
Kerry-Anne Hamilton raced alone in Under 13 Women, finishing in 5:21.
Greg Grant was sixth in Pro Elite Men in 3:22.
Both the cross-country and downhill race were sold out this year, with over 500 participants in the marathon, kids race and downhill.