By Ron Adams
Perfect running weather was the order of the day and the runners delivered with some impressive performances. The women ran well taking four of the top eight positions. Catrin Jones of Victoria made it look easy, cruising to a new women’s course record of 6:24:50 trimming six and a half minutes off the old mark in the process. This was even more impressive considering that just six days earlier she had won her age category in the Victoria Marathon. Former race winner, Mel Bos from Kelowna, took second place with a strong performance, while Vancouver’s Tara Berry captured third.
The men’s race was very competitive with fellow Fraser Street Run Club members Jesse Booi and Roy Kok playing cat and mouse most of the day until Jesse pulled ahead to win in 6:18:10. Late in the race Roy was hampered by leg cramps, but still gutted it out for second place with Victoria’s Glen Jasechko taking third.
Farther back in the field were other notable performances. Malcom Suarez (age 18, North Vancouver) and Dustin Oostenbrink (age 16, Chilliwack) became the first ever teenagers to finish the 50-mile event. George Thucydides of North Vancouver became the only runner to complete all five editions of the race, capturing second place in the Male Veteran’s division in the process. Some of the most exciting finishes in ultramarathons are often the “buzzer beaters”. This year, Jennifer Black and Maritza Van Rooi pulled out all the stops with a sprint finish to cross the line with just 30 seconds to spare.
Finally, no race can be successful without dedicated volunteers. The major ultra aid station received rave reviews, with some runners unofficially declaring it “the best aid station ever”.
Weather for the race was perfect for running with overcast skies, only a few sprinkles of rain and temperatures ranging from 5C (41F) at the start to 13C (56F) later in the day.
Whistler, British Columbia was the host mountain for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Whistler 50 Ultra is an IAU Bronze Label 50 mile trail race hosted by BC Athletics held in conjunction with the Whistler 50 Relay, which attracted over 1000 participants.