Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sinister 7 is New "Death Race"

I'm not going to dwell on how the Canadian Death Race (CDR) sucked.  It was one of the worst races I've run...and I'm comparing it to over 70 marathons and ultras that I've done.  My short recap of CDR this year: poor race management, little concern for runners, too expensive, few goodies.  On the positive side, it was hosted in a very beautiful area of Canada and the course was extremely challenging.  The local townspeople in Grande Cache were really nice.  But I won't be back. Anyway, I've been looking at alternatives to CDR--far off adventures that are challenging and "once of a lifetime" runs.  There are plenty that would qualify in the good old United States (Badwater, Barkley, McNaughton Park 200, etc)...but I wanted to find a foreign ultra...

With my recent "undeserved" DNF at Canadian Death Race, I started my search for a new adventure in Canada.  A few fellow death racers I ran with mentioned something called the Sinister 7 race--also in Alberta in the summer.  They said it was smaller, less commercial, version of CDR.  And this "Sinister 7" race was LONGER than CDR (146 km vs 125 km).  Time to start investigating!

The Sinister 7 ultra marathon has a great web site.  Cool graphics, excellent course descriptions, and lots of useful information.  This sucker has promise!  The thought of running 146 km through the mountains of southern Alberta, Canada has some serious appeal.  There are 7 stages to the race and runners have a time limit of 27 hours.  I think the climbs and descents are smoother than at CDR, but the actual elevation is higher.  The elevation change is over 15,500 feet!  CDR had 17,000 feet of change over 78 miles.  From reading the Sinister 7 web site, it seems they have more aid stations and several spots for drop bags.  I wouldn't have a crew, so extra aid stations and drop bags are a huge plus.  My death race buddy, Gregg, and I are already making some preliminary plans to do the Sinister 7 next year.  The Sinister 7 race is located near Blairmore, Canada--it's about 2 hours south of Calgary. 

I'm a little worried that this race also has a relay division (up to 7 relay runners on a team).  CDR had a relay too and they dominated the attention of race organizers.  I hope the Sinister 7 race, with a cap of 500 runners, will be better organized than CDR and provide the soloists a fair opportunity to succeed.  Maybe I should do the 2-person relay?  Or a 7-person relay with a few buffalo friends?  Sounds fun, but not very challenging.

I'm over the Canadian Death Race fiasco...I will never return to that race. Now I'm looking at the Sinister 7 for redemption. The race will be on July 9-10, 2011.  Registration opens up on December 1, 2010.  I expect a call from Gregg that morning.  This may be our new death race.

9 comments:

Jess said...

Hey Chris! My name is Jessica and I am new in the running scene and newer in the ultra scene (deciding just this past weekend that I want to do my first in December of next year). Found your blog online and look forward to following it!

Chris said...

Jess,

That's awesome! Have you picked out which ultra you'd like to be your first?

Andrew said...

As one of the organizers from the Sinister 7 I would welcome you and your running partner to join us- I promise you'll be impressed!
Cheers-

Andrew Fairhurst

Chris said...

Andrew,

That's great! I was seriously disappointed with CDR and am hesitant to head up to Canada for another big adventure, but I'm considering it.

Anonymous said...

Don't judge all of Canada by one race...we're a good bunch!!!

Chris said...

I agree. Never had a problem with the people of Canada--overall great folks! Don't have an issue with Canadian races either...just a problem with the race management of CDR.

Kyle said...

I would have to agree with you opinion on the CDR ... needs better management! Still had a great time , although I will not be back , looking forward to the Sinister 7!!

Laura P said...

Hey Chris!

I have done CDR 4 times now (once as a relay and 3 times solo). The race has deteriorated over the years and I found it very disappointing this year :( They even forgot to call my name at the finishers awards (my bf had to run up to the mic to remind them).

I will also be going to Sin7 instead :) SO STOKED, as I have heard amazing things about the race.

Chris said...

Laura,

Hope you do Sinister7 and let me know how it goes. I would like to run it one day.