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Yeti sighted in Whistler

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The Yeti Snowshoe Series comes to Whistler this Saturday, Feb. 11, with athletes attacking a snowshoe racing course around the Lost Lake trails.

The start and finish are at the Lost Lake Warming Hut, and the course is about 5 km long from start to finish with sections of Tin Pants, Donkey Puncher and Molly Hogan Trails. There will be a recreational category (one lap) and competitive categories (two laps) available, with the race getting underway at 10 a.m.

According to local adventure racer Jen Segger, who is coaching snowshow running clinics at Seymour and is a member of Team Yeti, you don’t necessarily need to know how to snowshoe to take part.

"We get a few people who have never been on snowshoes every race, and they have a blast," she said. "It’s definitely all about fun. There will be some people out there competing, but we get all kinds of people, some who run, some who walk. It’s a chance to get out there and enjoy a new sport."

The conditions are hard packed, and Segger is expecting a fast course.

"It’s not too hilly, and there’s lots of room to pass… so I think we’re going to see some fast times," she said.

If you can run a 10 km on the trails, you can do a 10 km Yeti, although she warns newcomers that they will probably be feeling it by the end, especially if there is any new snow.

"It’s such a good workout, your quads and calves are going to be burning by the end, which is why it’s such great cross-training for the winter," she said.

The pre-registration period closes tonight (Feb. 9) at midnight at www.theyeti.ca, but event day registration is available in the Cross Country Parking Lot (Lot 4) from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. There will be a shuttle from the parking lot to the start/finish area at Lost Lake.

The cost is $35 by the end of the pre-registration period and $45 on the day of the event. Snowshoe rentals are also available.

Following the race there will be refreshments and an awards presentation at 12:30 p.m. at the Whistler Brew House.

The Whistler Yeti is the second event of the series, with additional events at Mount Seymour on Feb. 25 and a series final at Cypress on March 11. There will also be a snowshoe ascent race from Deep Cove to Pump Peak on Mount Seymour on April 9. For more information visit www.theyeti.ca.

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