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Sinister 7 through the eyes (and Instagram posts) of 2018’s top female

Arden Young of Calgary tops the women's field in her first 100-miler

Photo: Instagram

The women’s race at this year’s Sinister 7 in the Alberta Rockies was won by a young woman running her first 100-miler.

Arden Young, 32, a Calgary dentist, was the first female to cross the finish line. Her time was 22 hours, 50 minutes, 29 seconds–faster than all but six (out of 21) of the women’s relay teams who completed the course, and all but six (of 11) men’s teams.

Jean-Francois Cauchon of Quebec City set a new course record of 18:17:29. 

Featuring 6,400m of elevation gain over seven legs ranging from 10.7K to 36.2K and a time cutoff of 30 hours, the race is named for the majestic Seven Sisters Mountain, an icon of the Crowsnest Pass. Runners may enter solo, or in teams of up to seven people. Finishers are known as “sinners.” The race’s website is blunt about the perils of taking it on: “This race will punish those who are not prepared.” Registration fills up almost instantly.

RELATED: Ailsa MacDonald beats entire field at Sinister 7 in first 100-miler

We caught up with Young after she’d had a chance to bank some recovery sleep back home in Calgary. “I knew it would be hard,” she says, “But I could not have fathomed just how hard it would be.” Young had not run more than 50 miles (80K) in training. “It felt a little crazy to be doubling that distance,” she says, and credits her crew with getting her through the final 60K.

Young’s coach, Charles Miron, holds the 148K course record from 2011, and knows the course well. “My two friends were great,” says Young, “But they learned so much from Charles,” says Young. “He knew exactly what I needed. I came in from leg four overheated, I wasn’t eating, and I was panicking. Charles said ‘You’re ok, take these salt tabs, drink this, and off you go.’ He knew I didn’t need the pressure of decision-making at that point, and I just kept going. And my crew turned into a well-oiled machine. I’m so grateful to these people. They helped me push past limits I didn’t think it was possible to push past.”

Of course, it’s not all about the winners. But we liked Young’s approach to this race, and the way her Instagram posts tell her Sinister 7 story, in words and pictures.

In the women’s race, Elizabeth Halleran of Banff was second, in 24:40:24, and Jessi Morton-Langehaug was third, in 25:18:53.

On the men’s side, Luke Glapa of Nelson, B.C. was second, in 20:20:56, and Patrick Humenny of Kimberley, B.C., was third, in 20:28:40.

Patrick Humenny was also first in the master’s category. Brian McArthur of Red Deer was second, in 22:21:32. Troy Dzioba of Spruce Grove was third, in 23:12:21.

In the women’s master’s race, the top female was Jessica Laird of Edmonton, in 26:06:46. Second was Karen Johansen of Calgary, in 28:18:48, and third was Natalie Baldo of Calgary, in 29:27:05. 

Next year’s race is July 5-7, 2019.

Editor’s note: in an earlier version of this story, we made an assumption that Patrick Humenny was not be rewarded with both third place and first master’s, and incorrect information was published. We regret the error.