While people are enjoying the last days of fall in the valley, it’s already winter at the Whistler Sliding Centre. The ice went in last week and it’s been non-stop action since then with the International Luge Federation (FIL) doing testing, a national training camp with Luge Canada and the arrival of Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes as well.
Unlike other sports that round out a season with the national championships, Canada’s sliding sports lead off with nationals. The results can help to determine what level athletes will be racing for the coming season, or determine whether they’re Canada’s first, second or third athlete or team on the circuit.
The Luge Canadian Championships take place on Oct. 20 this year, with single men’s, single women’s and doubles luge taking place on the same day. Local slider Jenna Spencer, named to the national “Junior A” development team after a breakthrough season on the Youth World Cup circuit last season where she ranked second overall in the world, will be racing in the women’s event.
The event overlaps with the Bobsleigh Canadian Championships on Oct. 19 and 20, with the national skeleton championships taking place a week later on Oct. 26.
Luge Canada is heading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games with the goal of making history by winnings the organizations first Olympic medal. In fact they have medal contenders in two disciplines with Alex Gough regularly finishing on the podium and the relay team — Alex Gough, Sam Edney and the team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, regularly finishing on the podium in the team event as well.
The bobsleigh and skeleton team won four medals in 2010, and their bottom line goal is to win at least three medals this time around.
After nationals, the next big event at Whistler Sliding Centre is a FIL Luge World Cup from Dec. 4 to Dec. 7.
For more, visit www.whistlerslidingcentre.com.
Pemberton BMX in medals at Grand Nationals
For a club and track that’s less than a full season old, the Pemberton BMX Club is already punching way above its weight. At this weekend’s BMX Canada Grand Nationals in Chilliwack, an indoor event, several riders with the club finished on top of their age group.
Friday was a triple points race.
In the three-year-old strider bike category, Austin Turner finished first overall with eight points.
His mother Jessica turner accomplished the same, winning the 26 to 30 girls cruiser category.
Graydon Petrie won the 10 Novice category with eight points, while Christopher Beaton was third with five.
Steve Petrie, Tegan Cruz and Lucas Cruz also raced that day, finishing mid-pack.
On Saturday, in the quadruple points race, Tegan Cruz placed first in 8 Intermediate, Christopher Beaton and Graydon Petrie were first and second in 10 Novice and Lucas Cruz was third in 12 Intermediate.
Youth basketball seeking players
Whistler Youth Basketball is getting ready to launch its third season, in conjunction with Steve Nash Youth Basketball and Basketball BC, and is looking for players, boys and girls, to join in the fun.
Sessions run every Tuesday starting on Nov. 12. Grades 5 and 6 play from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., and Grade 7 and 8 students play from 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. New this year is a six session mini program for Grade 4’s, which will get underway in January.
The league completely filled up last year, and parents are encouraged to get their names in early. The program runs 15 weeks for the older age groups, wrapping up on March 11. The cost is $179. The younger age group runs six weeks and is $89.
The program is run by Alan Kristmanson, a former member of the national basketball team and an Olympian.
Most of the funding comes from Steve Nash, a B.C. player who went on to become one of the NBA’s biggest stars. Nash recently signed a contract to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, and this will be his 17th season in the league. As well, he is a two-time league MVP.
“Steve has been a great supporter of youth basketball throughout the province,” said Kirstmanson. “All the kids know Steve and he is a great role model. He has established some guidelines for our program that ensure all our players have a great time and learn the game in a safe and fun environment.”
For more, visit www.whistlerbasketball.com
Lumpy’s Epic returns
The last trail run of the season in Sea to Sky is the annual Lumpy’s Epic in Pemberton this Sunday (Oct. 20). The event follows the challenging Lumpy’s Epic mountain bike trail from One Mile Lake, climbing up and around Signal Hill on a technical route that includes some steep switchback climbs, slippery rock and a loose, technical descent before winding its way back to the park. The payoff is a spectacular view of the Valley, Green River and Mount Currie, plus some home-made treats at the finish line.
The main run is around 12km in distance, although a shorter 5km route is also available. Runners and dog-walkers are welcome as well.
Registration is at 9 a.m., and the race gets underway at 10 a.m. The entry fee is $15 for adults, with all proceeds going towards the Spud Valley Nordics. Kids are free.
The post-race feed is a potluck, and participants are invited to bring food to share with the other participants.
For more, visit www.spudvalleynordics.com.
Food Bank Run
Christine Suter of C2Sky Multisport is once again hosting her 5K Run for the Whistler Food Bank, taking place on Sunday (Oct. 27) at 9 a.m. Runners, walkers, dog walkers, cyclists, inline skaters, skateboarders or any combination of the above are welcome to come out and enjoy a lap of the Whistler Golf Club, starting and finishing at the clubhouse.
The loop is slightly less than 5km on its own, so participants will have to continue do a few hundred metres more running past the start to make it legit.
There’s no entry fee, but participants are asked to bring a donation for the food bank — either a donation of food or cash that the food bank can use to buy food in bulk for its clients. Get there before 9 a.m. to make your donation.