Sinister 7 2012

Team Redline Overlords wins Sinister 7 2012!

I have now run the Sinister 7 Relay three times, and this year was a hot one! Also for the third time, we managed to win the relay. This time, our team had a runner get lost… but that’s how it goes sometimes.

This race had changed a little for this year. The start has been moved downtown Blairmore, and the finish is now in Coleman.

Our team, Redline Overlords, had the following members, with the corresponding leg assignments:

  1. Marty Robertson
  2. AJ Rankel
  3. Brendan Lunty
  4. Chris Stone
  5. Tom McGrath
  6. Robert Renman
  7. Robert Renman

Yeah, I got lucky and got to run 2 legs! I switched with Chris, since he is better on longer stuff and he handles heat better than I do. So I convinced him. 🙂

We had a good battle again with the team Vertical Runner from the USA. Last year, they had a huge lead, but their runner on leg 5 got lost, and we won to our big surprise. This time, the only trouble we ran into was that Chris missed running up that big ski hill in front of him, which came right after that start on leg 4! He took off in some other direction and had to double back later, once he realized there was no ski hill around to run up! Oh well, we only lost about 15 minutes on that.

Let’s back up a bit. Marty took it out strong on leg 1, and gave us a lead of a couple of minutes. AJ extended that lead on leg 2. Brendan kept his lead, although Vertical Runner always puts their star on leg 3, and he gained a bit on us.  Next, on leg 4, Chris had his “moment” (no worries Chris, it’s alright!), and Tom found himself chasing as he started leg 5. We were not that many minutes behind, and I was not too worried about us not catching them. Tom is such a strong runner, and he blasted past the lead runner and gave us a distinctive lead. All I had to do for the last 2 legs was to keep us in front! A little bit of pressure, yeah, but I figured it would be hard for the other team to gain many minutes, even though I was running 2 legs. Turns out I extended the lead on leg 6, and lost a little on leg 7, but all that matters was that we managed to come in first.

Leg 6 has a lot of downhill, and big rocks and some streams. Didn’t really enjoy that one very much, but leg 7 was fun. It was hard! Plenty of long climbs, and some scary and steep single track running. Glad I didn’t have to do that one in the dark. That would be just terrifying.

This race is one of the best, if not THE best relays you can find in Alberta. Terrific organization and people all the way through. Highly recommended. If you are trying to decide between the Death Race and Sinister 7 – it’s simple – Sinister 7 all the way.

It was a little scary in regards to the temperature. On leg 3 and 4, the temperature was way over 30 degrees, and with very little shade on leg 3 in particular, there were several runners overheating. It’s no joke to run a race like this solo, when the temperature gets that hot. Luckily, no major disasters occurred.

I am getting more and more interested in trying some kind of ultra race in the future. Perhaps a 50 km event would be a good idea to start with. I am not sure I have what it takes for a 120-140 km race, but perhaps I should give it a shot next year and see how I fare. The future will tell.

As for Sinister 7 – it’s a fantastic race – hope to see you there in 2013!

Redline Overlords

Redline Overlords. From the left: AJ, Brendan, Robert, Chris, Tom and Marty. Handsome dudes.
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