July 9th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 27
Volunteers, competitors come together for seventh Sinister 7
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Sinister 7
Pass Herald Reporter
A carnival spirit prevailed over the weekend for the seventh running of the Sinister 7 Ultra + Relay, especially for those who didn’t have to race in the grueling competition.
“It’s a real challenge. It doesn’t matter what leg you run. But it’s also a lot of fun getting together with your teammates and having a good weekend,” said competitor and volunteer Cindy Kamper before the start of the race. “But come out tomorrow and ask me when I’m done.”
As volunteers and racers gathered at the Coleman Arena for final preparations, race organizer Brian Gallant, took the time to explain that the race is as much a mental as it is a physical challenge.
“It’s not the mountain ahead of you that wears you out, it’s the sand in your shoe,” he said. “Every little detail, the blisters, the water on the course, the cold, that’s what wears you down.”
Though a community wide power-outage on the morning of the race caused some confusion, competitors began the seven-stage race at the Coleman Arena on Saturday at 7 a.m.
They had 30 hours to complete the course, which brought them all over the Pass from Hastings Ridge, the remains of the 2003 Lost Creek fire, Saddle Mountain, Mount Tecumseh, Crowsnest Mountain and then back to Coleman. The stages ranged in length from about 11 to 37 kilometres and the races highest point was about 5,700 metres above the start elevation.

Party at Knowles Flats
It is doubtful many racers would have finished without the over 200 volunteers who were manning staging areas and aid stations along the course. At mid afternoon, the aid station in Knowles Flats was packed with over a hundred competitors, volunteers and supporters.
Dave Watt and some of his medical staff from Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine were at Knowles to provide service. He said his company has been supplying medical services for the Sinister 7 since the first running of the race.
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“Blisters are the classic ailment,” he said. “Dirty cuts, lots of dehydration. Lots of times the runners need to be told to take it easy. Sometimes they’ll need to be hooked up to a bag of I.V. fluid.”
Despite the occasional need for medical intervention, James Clark, a medical technician with Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine, said the volunteers were doing a great job creating a party atmosphere. He said the Crowsnest Quad Squad had been very helpful, transporting medical personnel to into the bush to help ailing runners.
“I’ve already been on a quad once today to help someone who wasn’t feeling well on the trails,” said Clark.
At around 5 p.m. Jeff Krar, a member of the Strides Running Bow Valley Harriers, finished the 6th leg of the race.
The Bow Valley Harriers would be the first all male running team to finish the race with time of about 13 hours and 29 minutes.
Krar finished his 35-kilometre leg of the race in just under three hours.
“It was really hard but it feels great to finish,” he said. “The last five kilometres was survival running.”
As the evening progressed, the danger of dehydration lessened but now the runners were dealing with the cold and hypothermia became a problem. To combat the chill, sleeping bags and hot food were provided, said Clark.

At the finish line
At around 2 a.m. Heinrich Nel, a member of the Crowsnest Pass High School Running Team crossed the finish line.
“It was hard to see the rocks on the last lag,” said Nel.
Nel was joined for the last few meters by his teammates Carson Gunn, Chloe Rothlin, Anna Koevoet, Josh Schuh, Christian Wadstein and Pieter Botha along with alternates Dillon Newton and Mariah Loseth.
Race organizers provided the entry fee for the Crowsnest Consolidated High School track team to compete. With a race time of 18 hours and 36 minutes, the students beat many other experienced runners and placed 24th overall and 10th among mixed teams.
Caroline Mcilroy was the first female soloist to finish; Vincent Bouchard was the first male. A few soloists, who ran the entire 160 kilometres, were still crossing the finish line at around 10 a.m. on Sunday.
July 9th ~ Vol. 84 No. 27
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