Tuesday, July 6, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 27 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Every terrain is a little bit different. You can’t really get any preconceived notions when you’re doing this.”
- Terry Grant  
- on filming an episode of   
Mantracker in the Pass   

 

 
The third annual Sinister 7 Ultra Relay, one of the most challenging foot races found anywhere, is set to kick off this weekend, July 10 and 11 in Crowsnest Pass.
For those not used to the extremes of serious ultra relay races, the Sinister 7 hurts the legs simply to read about. It is a 146 km course up and down mountains throughout the Crowsnest Pass, featuring more than 5000 metres of elevation gain. Don’t think the competitors take their time, either — the record for a team of seven, each doing one section, is 12 and a half hours, while a solo racer completed the course in a shocking 16 hours last year.
The race attracts competitors from Canada and the world, and has been growing so quickly that the organizers, the locally based Full Moon Adventure Company, have had to limit the number of entries so that growth does not spiral out of control.
Last year’s Sinister 7 was considered busy with 360 racers, plus their friends and families. This year’s race will feature a total of 660 racers, and it’s possible this number could rise to 1000 next year. The Sinister 7 won the 2009 Get Out There Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for best running event in western Canada, a testament to its meteoric rise.
“We’re really pleased with how its growing,” says Brian Gallant, with the Full Moon Adventure Company. “It’s really a lot of fun to be a part of.”
The race course is designed to bring the competitors back into Blairmore several times throughout the event, and locals are encouraged to come out to the starting area at the Albert Stella Arena to cheer them on. The race begins at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 10.
 
The first of seven stages takes the runners from Blairmore through the Frank Slide, through Hillcrest, and to the base of Hastings Ridge. The second stage takes them up Hastings Ridge and back down the other side of Turtle Mountain, back into Blairmore between 10:00 and 1:00.
The third stage takes them back out of Blairmore in a loop that includes York Creek, Willoughby Ridge, and part of the Lost Creek Fire area, before bringing them back into Blairmore again. This is the runners’ last stop in Blairmore before the end, and a great chance to cheer them on in the mid- to late-afternoon.
From here, the fourth stage will return to York Creek and then head west through the Star Creek area before returning to the highway near Crowsnest Lake. Runners will then head north near Atlas Road and cross into McGillivray Creek before this long stage is finished.
With night falling for some, the runners will take the fifth and sixth stages all the way around Crowsnest Mountain and the Seven Sisters, eventually arriving back at McGillivray Creek.
The race’s last leg takes them east out of McGillivray Creek before heading south into Coleman, crossing the highway and returning to Blairmore along the trail beside the railway. They will finish at the Albert Stella Arena.
The fastest teams will be finished the entire race before nightfall, while the fastest solo racers will likely finish in the early hours of the night. Teams and individuals that take a little longer will continue to arrive throughout the night. The cutoff for finishing is 27 hours after the race begins, or 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Some local competitors are taking part in the race, including a team of students from the Crowsnest Consolidated High School.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 27 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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