By Andrew Mitchell
annual Sea 2 Summit Adventure Race took
place in Whistler this past weekend with a solid turnout for the two-day event
and a modest beginning for the new one-day race introduced this year.
The course on the first day included a 23 km paddle through
Pemberton Meadows, followed by a 55 km mountain bike on the old Tour de Soo
course to Whistler that included a long hike-a-bike section.
Day two, which also included the one-day racers, started with a
30 km mountain bike that included parts of the West Side Wheel Up course, a 14
km paddle on Green Lake and River of Golden Dreams, and a trek and trail run to
finish in Whistler Village.
In the two-day category, Whistler’s Joe Maika finished second
overall and second among solo men with a combined time of 10 hours, 44 minutes
and 34 seconds for all events. He was less than a minute back of Duncan’s Jason
Sandguist at the finish line, but because of some early time bonuses for
reaching a checkpoint early three minutes separated them at the end.
Maika used to be a competitive adventure racer, but said he has
not spent any time running or paddling since about 2001.
As a result he made a mistake on the first day by not bringing his
race boat on the Lillooet River, and came out of the water with about 20 people
ahead of him. A strong mountain biker and member of the Team Whistler Nature’s
Path cycling team, he made up that time and then some to take the lead at the
end of the first day by over 10 minutes.
The bike course was about 60 km long and included parts of the
Tour de Soo route to Whistler. In total there was about 7,000 feet of climbing,
with almost the same amount of descending.
“I lost about 18 minutes on that first paddle, which I knew I
had to make back on the bike,” he said. “In the end (boat choice) cost me the
race because I would have come off the water a lot faster on the first day.”
The second day started with a bike over the Northwest Passage
to Whistler Creek, before heading over to Whistler’s west side trails to do a
section of the West Side Wheel Up course. From there riders headed to Meadow
Park, jumped into boats, and paddled to the end of Green Lake and back.