With all 200 locals registration spots being snapped up in just over two hours earlier in December, that leaves 800 spots for everyone else in the 2009 Test of Metal. Registration gets underway at 6 p.m. on Jan. 1 with an online free-for-all that could be over in two hours or less.
Some ways to improve your chances include finding a good high speed connection, and working with other riders to get through. Everyone can register up to four names for the race, so you might want to coordinate with other riders by telephone as well.
The slightly harder route to get into the race is to turn pro, as the pro elite riders can register pretty much until race day.
There is no waitlist again this year, and no refunds for people who drop off the list. The new system was created to make things easier for organizers, who had to balance a long waitlist with a long list of registered riders to fill the gates. Now, if someone drops out they are not replaced.
Registration is at www.testofmetal.com.
The race is 67 km long, and includes over 1,200 metres of climbing and 35 km of singletrack trails. The race day is June 20, 2009.
This year the race will also be part of a Test of Metal Series, along with the Brackendale based OreCrusher and July’s GearJammer.
KVRS starts next Thursday
With the first event cancelled due to the extreme cold, the Kokanee Valley Race Series will kick off next Thursday, Jan. 8 with a giant slalom. The race is loosely scheduled for Blackcomb, but the race location will be confirmed for Jan. 4 at www.whistlerblackcomb.com.
The cost is $25 to register in advance at any Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations desk, or $30 on the morning of the race. The entry fee includes the race, after party at the Westin’s Mountain Club, video playback of the race, and a chance to win draw prizes including a pair of Atomic skis. There are cash prizes for the top racers in the pro categories and prizes for the top racers in the age categories.
You must be 19 or over to take part, but otherwise the series is open to skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers of all ages and ability.
Tickets on sale for Telus Winter Classic
Tickets are on sale for the 17 th annual Telus Winter Classic, an annual fundraiser for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation that includes a variety of events both on and off-mountain. Tickets are available to the individual events, including the Whistler Winetastic wine tasting reception on Friday, Jan. 23 and the Fire and Ice Gala and auction at the Roundhouse on Saturday night.
Teams can also enter, enjoying all the events including a “Match Your Time” race classic on Saturday. Events include a chance to ski with a pro, an après party, lift line priority on Saturday and a breakfast buffet.
To purchase tickets or book a team, call 604-938-7321, or visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/wbfoundation.
Paralympian named Canadian Athlete of the Year
Wheelchair racer Chantal Peticlerc was named Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year last week by a Canadian Press poll of sports writers, celebrating a career that includes 14 Olympic medals in four Games, including the five gold medals she earned in Beijing this summer.
At 39 years old, she defeated women up to 16 years younger in a variety of track events. She won two gold medals in one night in Beijing, setting two new world records in the process.
Peticlerc has also been an outspoken advocate for combing the Paralympics and Olympics into a single event.
She is also the first Paralympic athlete to win the award since it was created in 1933.
The runners-up include gold medal wrestler Carol Huynh, diver Emilie Heymans, and trampoline silver medallist Karen Cockburn.
On the men’s side the Athlete of the Year award went to baseball player Justin Morneau of New Westminster. He edged out hockey’s Sidney Crosby, equestrian gold medalist Eric Lamaze, and triathlete Simon Whitfield.