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Tuesday July 17th, 2012  
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Quote of the Week
"It's the hardest Sinister 7 we've had in years."
- Brian Gallant  
Co-organizer of Sinister 7   
   

 

Story
 
The race that has been described as ‘the greatest challenge of your life” took place in Crowsnest Pass on Saturday, July 7th and two local teams from the Crowsnest Pass made history in the Pass, as both made the top twenty teams.
Team Rock Gear from Crowsnest Pass took home 2nd place for the mixed teams, with a finish time of 13 hours, 44 minutes and 17 seconds, and the Crowsnest Pass High School team came in 18th overall, with a finish time of 16 hours, 42 minutes and 18 seconds in this year’s Sinister 7 Ultra + Relay.
This year was unique to Sinister 7. In addition to trudging through rugged terrain and steep mountainsides, totalling a distance of 148 km, and over 5,000 metres in elevation changes, the baleful heat added a further challenge to runners, making the race even more exhausting.
The temperature on Saturday reached nearly 35 degrees Celsius, a factor that increased the difficulty of the race, and even made the marathon somewhat dangerous.
“It was the hardest Sinister 7 we’ve had in years,” said Brian Gallant, co-organizer, along with Andrew Fairhurst, of the event. The heat and the dryness made it difficult for the runners.
He added that there were some minor injuries resulting from dehydration and heatstroke, but nothing too serious.
Hired medics and local paramedics were on the course in case any serious injuries occurred during the race.
This year, the marathon was started on 20th Avenue in Blairmore, beside Gazebo Park, at 7 a.m. Main Street was filled, nearly to capacity, with people, flags, journalists and camera flashes, a rare occurrence for a Saturday morning in the Crowsnest Pass.
According to Sinister 7 Ultra + Relay rules, participants of the race can complete the race either as soloists, or in teams of seven, each runner completing one leg of the race.
“I was really happy with how the event played out. Everything went very smoothly. Everything went according to plan,” said Gallant
 

The race had a total of seven stages, each ranging in length and difficulty.
Leg one, Frank Slide, was a distance of 16.5 km, leg two, Hastings Ridge, was a distance of 16 km, leg three, Willoughby Ridge was a distance of 35 km, leg four, Iron Ridge, was a distance of 32 km, leg five, The Seven Sisters, was set at a distance of 22.7 km, leg six, Crowsnest Mountain, was a distance of 13.8, and leg eight, Wedge Mountain, was a distance of 12. 8 km.
Finishers crossed the finish line at Crowsnest Sports Complex on Sunday Morning. Runners were awarded with a breakfast, medal and sponsor giveaways. $1,000 each was awarded to the top female, top male and top team.
The first finishers of the marathon crossed the finish line at around 1 a.m. on Sunday.
The cut off time for racers was officially at 10 a.m. on Sunday, although there were several runners who crossed the finish line after that time.
This year’s race had the lowest percentage of finishers of a Sinister 7 Ultra that have taken place, with only 30 per cent of solos finishing the race, down seven percentage from the average 37 per cent. Several teams were also disqualified for their place pace and meeting cut-off times.
A total of 204 teams participated in the mixed category of the race, and just over 1400 participants overall, as well as 120 volunteers. “It made for a busy weekend in town,” Gallant said.
Although overall the completion averages were lower, a new team course record was set with Team Redline Overloads from Camrose, finishing the entire course in 12 hours, four minutes and 26 seconds.
Oleg Tabelev of Calgary was the overall solo winner, as she completed the race in 17 hours, 45 minutes, and 26 seconds.
The race was named in honour of the treacherous Seven Sisters Mountain, a leg of the race and the mountain that appears throughout a large portion of the race.
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