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25 km course record falls at 2021 Whistler Alpine Meadows

Max King of Bend, Oregon smashed the 25-kilometre course record by 11 minutes, winning in 1:55:41

After being cancelled in 2020, the Whistler Alpine Meadows (WAM) races returned this weekend, this time offering up brand new 13K and 60K courses alongside the traditional 25K route. Part of the race series directed by Canadian ultrarunner Gary Robbins, WAM is a Golden Trail Series event, and the 25K and 60K races are UTMB-qualifiers. There was plenty of action on what turned out to be a wet, muddy weekend, but the highlight of the event was Max King’s win in the 25K, where he ran 1:55:41 to break the course record by 11 minutes.

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Located in Whistler, B.C., this trail race has it all: steep, technical terrain, volcanic craters, alpine lakes, multiple suspension bridges and, of course, incredible views. With a total elevation gain ranging from 750m for the shorter races to 2,700m for the 60K, each course presents unique, yet rewarding, challenges for any runner brave enough to attempt them. Here are the highlights from this year’s WAM.

King’s 25K course record

On a very wet and muddy day, King impressed even Robbins himself, who told him running sub-2 hours on the course “was not possible” ahead of the race. The Bend, Ore. runner made Robbins eat his words, crossing the line in 1:55:41, smashing the previous course record set by Marcus Ribi in 2019 by 11 minutes. Vincent Pagot placed second in 2:15:52, and Tyler D’Arcy rounded out the podium in 2:19:13.  Patricia Roney was the winner on the women’s side (and 7th overall) in 2:28:29, followed by Brooke St. Germain in second (17th overall) in 2:35:19 and Laurel Booker in third (19th overall) in 2:36:54.

The 13K

Three of the top five runners across the line in the first-ever WAM 13K were women, with Brooke Spence leading the way in 1:12:41 to place third overall, followed by Kalie McCrystal, who placed fourth overall in 1:13:16 and Jeanelle Hazlett to round out the podium in fifth overall in 1:13:56. Jordan Guenette was the winner of the men’s race in 1:04:12, followed by Robbins, who decided to join in on the fun himself, in 1:07:08. Third place went to Ben Skinner, who placed sixth overall in 1:14:57.

The inaugural 60K

The weather was much brighter and sunnier for the 60K event, and there was plenty of action to watch in both the men’s and women’s races. On the women’s side, several athletes were vying for the lead and the podium spot exchanged hands multiple times throughout the day. In the end, it was Jennifer Schaub who was the first across the line in 7:28:18 for 9th overall, followed by Julia Hlynsky in 11th overall in 7:33:58 and Kate Butcher to round out the podium in 12th overall in 7:40:45.  

Shawn Stephens-Whale won the men’s race definitively in 5:41:19, followed by Andrew Russell in second place in 6:06:20. Colin Miller grabbed the third podium spot in 6:42:35, less than two minutes ahead of Ian Collings in 6:44:05.

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For the full results, click here.