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Team Western Canada came together in late 2001 and is made up of four athletes (ok, three athletes and a photographer) with different perspectives on the Marathon Des Sables…



Dom Repta - Masters Student

Dom has been featured in Ultra Running Magazine, The Vancouver Sun, The Georgia Straight, and The Vancouver Courier. He relocated to Vancouver to train in a mountainous environment in preparation for taking his running career to the next level. He attributes his success to a few factors: family and sponsor support, dedication to training and lifestyle choices.  Dom lives a vegan lifestyle, and feels the nutritional and ethical benefits have directly contributed to his success. Dom is the speed demon of the team, overcoming a nasty bout of sciatica to place 36th (of over 670 runners) in the Marathon Des Sables.

Race Highlights:

36th  – Marathon Des Sables 2003; 2nd – Dirty Duo 50k 2003; World Record – 6h Treadmill run 2003; 6th – Bridle Trails 50km Seattle 2002; Finisher – Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run 2002 (22:21:00); 29th – 50 Mile US Trail Run Championships 2002; 4th – Mohican 100 Mile Trail Race 2001; 2nd – Greater Toronto 50km 2001; 1st – Banff Three Mountain Ascent 2000; 1st – Haliburton 50 Miler 1999; Finisher – Ironman Florida


Wade Repta - Occupational Therapist

Wade lives in Vancouver and works as an Occupational Therapist and Rehabilitation Consultant. He has traveled and worked in various countries throughout the world, and enjoyed the cultural experience that accompanies the Marathon des Sables.  Wade, like his brother Dom, is a vegan athlete - indicative of the importance he places on making positive environmental and ethical lifestyle decisions. Wade has been through two Ironman competitions and the endurance and mental toughness gained in those experiences helped get through the long days in the desert. Along with his athletic skills, Wade provided the bulk of the team’s stand-up comedy support.

Race Highlights:

195th – Marathon Des Sables 2003; 7th – Sulphur Springs 50km Trail Run 2000; 4th – DTRB 50km Trail Run 2000; 3:05 finish – Toronto International Marathon 2000; Finisher – Ironman Canada 2001, Ironman Utah 2002 


Jim Mandelli - Structural Engineer

Jim is a veteran of the 2001 Marathon des Sables and while many competitors may state reasons such as wanting to better their times, or to deal with unfinished business, nothing could be further from the truth when Jim considers why he wanted to return to the Marathon des Sables. Simply stated – he is very passionate about deserts. Like climbing mountains, one must learn to respect this barren landscape. At the same time, Jim loves racing and being competitive. Jim decided that racing the Marathon Des Sables wasn’t hard enough so he managed to get severe frostbite on six of his toes two months before the race – putting his participation in jeopardy. His perseverance through the pain, along with his foot care skills, showed the rest of the team what endurance racing is all about.

Race Highlights: 1st – Raid The North, Hope 2003; 276th – Marathon Des Sables 2003; 7th – Eco-Challenge Fiji 2002; 9th – Discovery Channel World Adventure Race Championships – 2001; 4th – Elf Authentic Adventure (Brazil) 2000; 1st – Raid of the North 1999; Finisher – Eco-Challenge 1997, 2001, and 2002; Finisher – Raid Gauloises (Vietnam) 2002; Finisher – MDS 2001



Paul Kennedy - Software Engineer/Photographer

Paul is a photographer and writer who has traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and Africa. After providing media coverage of the 2001 MDS, this experienced cyclist and outdoorsman took up the challenge of running in the Marathon of the Sands with Team Western Canada – hoping to survive the experience. Over a year of dedicated training and careful preparation was just enough to reach his goal.

Race Highlights:

225th – Marathon Des Sables - 2003; Finisher – 2002 Seattle Marathon; Finisher – 2002 Five Peaks Trail Race – Belcarra; Finisher – 2002 Silvertip 25km Trail Race; 3rd – BC Cup Cross Country MTB, Rossland 2000.


Come meet the guys at their slideshow!