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July 12, 2010

Sinister 7 2010

We had a great time in Crowsnest Pass this last weekend. Our team, completely unexpected, won the Sinister 7 relay! So what the heck is Sinister 7? Let me explain. Sinister 7 is a 146 kilometer ultra marathon race. The course takes the runners through the most rugged and beautiful terrain in Alberta's Rocky Mountains. Because the course has over 5,050m of elevation gain across the course, this race will punish those who have not done their home work. Racers have 27 hours to complete the course, and the relay is split in to 7 stages.

So, our team, Cool Running, finished first of the teams, and it was a complete surprise. We started out moderately quick, and were somewhere around 60th place after the first 2 stages. Then our marathon star Brendan ran the 33 km long stage 3, and when he handed over to me, we were in 5th spot. Yeah, Brendan is a monster runner! However, we were still 1:30 behind the leaders, and there was another team way ahead of us too. So, we were thinking that perhaps 3rd place could be a possibility.

I started chasing the two runners ahead of me, and it didn't take that long until I went by them. At the first water station, they said I was the first runner to come by. I was thinking, hmm, you must have just started your shift, since I know the two top teams went by here an hour and a half ago.

This was a long, hot and hard stage to run - 32 km in mountainous terrain. I struggled a bit at the end, and my feet were hurting from running over the hard rocks. When I finally saw the end of my stage, I was very happy to have it over with. As I passed the timing stick to the next runner, they announced me as the first runner to come in. It turns out that both the top two teams took the wrong turn at the first water station, and ended up running half of leg 3! Ouch. That meant a 50+ km run for them, and several hours added. This meant we were now in first place.

After all of us being a bit nervous during the next 3 stages, our last runner came into the finish in Blairmore in a comfortable lead, and we ended up WINNING the Sinister 7 by a margin of 20 minutes or so. It was so surprising, and it shows that when it comes to relay events, anything can happen. We received gift certificates and the team earned a $1,000 check for placing 1st. A good weekend, I tell you! By the way, Crowsnest Pass is a beautiful place to be at. Fantastic scenery. Go there.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on July 12, 2010

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