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PEAK TO CREEK - Katie Bamber, Whistler BC
Tuesday February 28, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

It's the longest race of its kind and it's just taken place in Whistler, with one competitor in his 90s. Teams of four race down Whistler Mountain from The Saddle at the peak all the way down to Creekside.

This year was the 33rd of the hugely popular annual Peak to Valley event.

The Giant Slalom race attracts hundreds of entrants and is known not only for having an insane number of gates over 5km - there are 180 of them - but also because it has competitors who have been involved since the start.

Owen Owens is one of them and is still competing at age 93.

Owen Owens, Whistler Museum FacebookOwen Owens, Peak to Valley's long standing competitor















The finish is right above Dusty's in Creekside at the base of the Olympic downhill run, the Dave Murray.


Saturday teamSaturday team
















Creekside was the original village of the Whistler ski area and Dusty's the first après bar.

CreeksideDusty's at the base of the race














The route:

The race starts at The Saddle in the glacier bowl, then travels under the Peak Chair and left of the reservoir.

It heads down Old Man, Upper Franz and crosses over Highway 86 on to Lower Franz down to the Valley.

The average GS race has 35 gates and a vertical drop of 250 metres.

The Peak to Valley race has a vertical drop of more than 1,440 metres with more than five times the number of gates.

The Saddle and start of raceThe Saddle and start of race
















Everyone, from former World Cup racers to locals enter the race.

Vancouver local Peter summed up the challenge:

"The ones that do best are runners or cross country skiers that have got good aerobic capacity... Everybody is fast in the first minute, and then it all falls apart."

The Olympic Dave Murray runThe Olympic Dave Murray run - the end of the race
















Two members of the team race on Friday, two on Saturday.

The start order is based on age, with the oldest competitors starting first.

One competitor, who has done 11 Peak to Valley races, says that it is really a game of how long you can make your legs last.

On the atmosphere, Peter added, "You've never seen so much testosterone and age all in one place ... There's a lot of energy here."

Lycra, lycra everywhere...Lycra, lycra everywhere...
















Finish lineFinish line, Creekside
















The fastest time is around five minutes; That's a good, long leg workout.

From back in 1985:




















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