I've compiled a list of what I believe are the top runners on July 5th soloing the 100M journey over 5687m of trail goodness called Sinister 7. Now keep in mind, there is always some young unknown that shows up on race day and knocks it out of the park. Sometimes racers fly under the radar and one big race will announce their presence. Off hand I can think of a few in that position that are running this year. But this list is made up of the seven men and women that, in my opinion, I think it's safe to say will have big days barring in mind injury, epic fails or running off course. You'll notice as well that I'm not placing these runners in order from one to seven. That takes all the fun out of it…that's for you to do. Another reason I'm not predicting the placing order is I'm putting myself in the list. I hope you don't think this is an arrogant move on my part but I do believe I have a place in the top seven. So, here it is, ladies first:
Deb Russell (Calgary, AB): For the past few years I followed (aka stalked) Deb on Strava and I have to tell you, this girl is the real deal! She climbs like a beast, descends like a gazelle. Deb had some bad luck at last years S7 with a fall and eventual DNF. Placing 2nd at Sun Mountain50M earlier this year, Deb looks raring to go.
Naomi Humenny (Kimberley, BC): Naomi is consistently placing in the top 10. She DNF'd at S7 in 2012 enroute to winning the Fatdog70M so she may have been using the S7 as training. Having a strong race at the mountainous Fatdog sets her up for a great finish at S7.
Abi Moore (Fernie, BC): The hometown fave and reigning 2012 and 2013 S7 champ, Abi has stood on the podium at every ultra she has competed at. Some say that Abi has just got started. The sky is the limit for this gritty runner.
Joanne Schmidt (Calgary, AB): Already claiming a victory at Blackfoot50M in May Joanne is looking in fine form. Finishing in 5th at S7 in 2012 Joanne knows this course well and will look to improve this year.
And now for the boys:
Joe Huising (Edmonton, AB): This bad mamma jamma gets better year after year. With a 2nd place finish at S7 in 2012, a 1st place finish at the Lost Soul100M in 2012 and a 3rd place finish at the Canadian Death Race last year it's obvious Joe is amongst the leaders in every race.
Philippe Lagace (Calgary, AB): Okay, here's my wild card for this year. As an unknown racing his first ultra Philippe ran a 8:51 and finished 2nd at the Blackfoot100K this past May. After the race I asked him if he was running S7 which he replied "Yes, but it'll be my first 100M." To which I say, yeah, but this was your first 100K and you kinda whipped this race like a rented mule.