For the second straight year, conditions were on the soft side for the Lost Lake Classic, a recreational cross-country ski race hosted by the Whistler Nordics. There were both 7.5km and 15km course options available, and competitors had to use the slower classic skis to navigate the course.
Austin Reith, 15, posted the fastest time out of 33 racers in the 7.5km race while also topping the 13 to 17 age category. He ploughed through the course in 22 minutes, 10 seconds, while averaging just over 20km/h. Kieran Lumb of Hollyburn was second in 22:58, followed by Hollyburn's Adam Achs in 23:14. All three of the top racers were in the 13 to 17 group. Michael Murdoch was fourth in that age category, about 36 seconds back of the podium.
Fourth overall was Hollyburn's Anna Goodwin, the top female racer and first in 13 to 17. She finished in 24:22, and in her category was followed by Whistler's Jenya Nordin in 25:32 and Hollyburn's Ruby Meihuizen in 25:32. Lauren Doak was a close fourth in 26:00.8.
In Open Women, the top racer was Michaela Pacakova in 25:29, placing sixth overall. Annie Garneau was second in 31:36 and Sharon Chen third in 38:13.
Whistler's Ian Reith topped the men's open category in 28:31, followed by Seattle's Derek Little in 28:44 and Whistler's Don Jeffers in 32:01.
Pemberton's Joe Davies won the Boys 12 and Under race in 28:49, followed by Whistler's Mackenzie Cyr in 37:02 and Sean Cyr in 46:08. Natalie Sokol-Snyder was the only racer in the girls under 12 group, finishing in 41:51.
The real challenge was in the 15km category, where athletes made a second lap of the soft course.
Hollyburn's Sam Morris placed first overall in 40:46, averaging just over 20 minutes a lap. David Lumb, also from Hollyburn, was second overall in 45:27, while Todd Eastman of Bellingham, Washington, was third in 46:21.
The top female overall was Whistler's Nicki Murdoch in 49:56, followed by Jennifer Tabbernor in 56:56 and Francesca Cole in 1:05:54.
A few juniors opted to compete as well. Rowan Morris from Hollyburn was first in the 13 to 17 category in 50:51, followed by Whistler's Ian Davidson — just 12 years old — in 1:05:13. Dot Forder of Hollyburn was the top 13 to 17 female in 58:12, followed by teammate Rebecca Sokol-Snyder in 1:01:14.
Most of the athletes will be taking part in the annual Sigge's P'ayakentsut at Whistler Olympic Park this weekend, with over 650 skiers signed on to take part.