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Runners tackle Blackcomb


Locals athletes top Five Peaks event

While mountain bike events dominated the Whistler landscape last week, a group of 195 cross-country runners pounded their way up and down Blackcomb Mountain as part of the annual Nike ACG Five Peaks Running Series.

The Whistler event, which was the Canadian qualifier for the World Mountain Running Championships, featured a challenging 12 km trail up and around Blackcomb Mountain. It did not have as much vertical as last year’s race, which finished outside of the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, but it was about a kilometre longer, and featured long singletrack sections along with a killer grunt up Lower Cruiser. The loop started and finished at the base of Blackcomb in the Upper Village.

In the Women’s Open race, Syl Corbett of Calgary completed the course in 52 minutes and 9 seconds to qualify for the worlds. She was followed by Meghan Day of Victoria in 53:46, and Lisa Polizzi of Vancouver in 55:00.

Ultra distance runner Michelle Kaminski was the top whistler runner, finishing 12 th with a time of 1:04:09.

Alaina Aguanno was 15 th in 1:07:37, Vanessa Murphy 22 nd in 1:09:56, and Nancy Johnston 25 th in 1:12:24.

Kristine Good, Marie MacEwen and Christine Cogger were 29 th through 31 st with times of 1:13:21, 1:13:27 and 1:13:29 respectively.

Carlee Howell and Sara Gardener tied for 35 th in 1:15:25.

Sharon Audley was 49 th in 1:24:51.

In the Women’s Masters category, Diane de Grasse of Bellevue, Washington was first in 58:38. She was followed by Lisa Nielsen-Geddes of West Vancouver in 1:06:42, and Sheila Flynn of Pitt Meadows in 1:06:51.

Whistler’s Tess Geddes led the locals, finishing 17 th in 1:27:35.

The Men’s Open race went to Colin Dignum of North Vancouver in an amazing 43:33. Ken Myers of Burnaby was second in 44:20, and James Mackie of White Rock third in 45:17.

James Duffy was the top Whistler runner, finishing 12 th in 52:56.

Ben Thomas was 16 th in 53:34, and Matt Ball and Peter Drysdale were 20 th and 21 st with times of 54:25 and 54:33.

Nils Robinson made it under the one hour mark, to finish 29 th in 59:45.

Gavin Christie was 37 th in 1:04:15.

In the Men’s Masters, Sean Wolfe of Mt. Currie was the top runner in 50;13, followed closely by Rob Lang of Surrey in 50:15, and Ian Dunn of Richmond in 50:53.

Walter Wallgram was fifth in 58:27, and Graeme Fitch and Greg Sankuhl were eighth and ninth with times of 1:01:06 and 1:01:52 to round out the top-10.

The only junior woman to compete was Whistler’s Melanie Lamman, 19, who finished the course in 1:16:12.

Mark Klaver of North Vancouver was on top of the Junior men in 54:36, followed by Brett Palm of Sheboygan in 55:37 and Brekk Hetherington of Port Coquitlam in 1:02:16.

For more information on the race and the Five Peaks series, visit