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Test of Metal sells out Jan. 1


Registration for the 2008 Test of Metal gets underway at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, with all 800 spots expected to be sold out within an hour.

There was a locals-only registration in early December, which sold out another 200 spots in about two hours.

There is no waitlist this year, and people who pull out of the race will not be replaced — if you get through to the website then you should expect to race on June 14.

The event has sold out for several years, but the rate has been accelerating. In 2007 the Test of Metal sold out all 800 spots in just 48 minutes, or about five times faster than the year before when registration closed after four hours, 19 minutes. In 2005 it took a full five days to fill the roster, while the 2004 race sold out more than three months after it went on sale.

“It was crazy last year,” said race director Cliff Miller. “But this year with local racers already taken care of, we hope that we really open this up to get as many of those who want to ride into the race as possible.”

This year people can register up to four riders in the same session, so riders might be smart to pool their resources to improve their chances of getting through.


King of the Rail on Dec. 29

The King of the Rail season launches on Dec. 29 this year with a rail jam under the lights on Blackcomb that Saturday. The event is open to skiers and riders of all ages, and registration starts just after 5 p.m. at the Blackcomb Daylodge.

To take part you need a valid Night Moves pass, a signed waiver if you’re a minor, and the entry fee. The entry fee will be split between the top athletes in each category, while all participants will have an opportunity to win draw prizes.

The contest runs from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., after which point the athletes themselves will vote for the winner. A judge will be on hand to make sure the voting is honest.

Spectators are welcome, providing they stay on the other side of the rope.


The Games begin

The first official test events for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are getting underway in the next few months, starting with a pair of ski jump competitions in Whistler Olympic Park. The first test skiers are expected to make training runs on Dec. 30 in advance of the Canadian National Championships and North American Junior Championships for ski jumping. The competitions run from Jan. 1-5. Spectators are welcome.

The first bobsled tests are also underway at the Whistler Sliding Centre, with four-time Olympian Pierre Lueders and Justin Kripps making their first runs on Dec. 19.


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