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Salas grinds out another victory on Grouse

SEBASTIAN Salas is still the king of the mountain after easily outdistancing a pack of tough challengers to defend his title at the annual BMO Grouse Grind Mountain Run Saturday, falling seconds shy of his own record in the process.

SEBASTIAN Salas is still the king of the mountain after easily outdistancing a pack of tough challengers to defend his title at the annual BMO Grouse Grind Mountain Run Saturday, falling seconds shy of his own record in the process.

Salas, a competitive cyclist from Vancouver, climbed the steep trail, known as nature's Stairmaster, to the top of Grouse Mountain in a time of 25 minutes and 10 seconds. Salas set the official race record at 25: 01 in winning the event last year. He's now won the race three years in a row.

Washington's Joe Gray, one of the top-ranked mountain runners from the United States, finished second in a time of 25: 54 while Vancouver's Morgan Titus was third in 27: 21. The talented runners in the elite men's race pushed Salas right from the first stair.

"It was full gas from the start and at times I was ready to settle for second but I pushed through the pain and took it," he said in a Grouse Mountain release. "Overall I am pleased - after all, a win is a win."

In the women's elite race Vancouver's Stephanie Hamilton ran away from the field, winning in 32: 28. Tiffany Phillips finished second in a time of 36: 32 while Tamasin Reno was third in 36: 53.

More than 400 participants ranging in age from six to 77 raced in the 21st running of the event with proceeds going to B.C. Children's Hospital through Grouse Mountain's Grind For Kids Program. Race participants were asked to collect pledges for every Grouse Grind completed during the season. According to Grouse Mountian, Grind for Kids has raised close to $100,000 for B.C. Children's Hospital so far this year.

For full race results visit www.raceheadquarters.com.

aprest@nsnews.com

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