Masters Dominate at Blackwell Dairy Run
With the overall winners of both the mens and womens divisions, and twelve of the first twenty finishers, masters runners demonstrated that on the toughest course of the series, age and experience count. Local runner Brian Rostek (M40-44) improved on his time of last year by over eleven minutes to lead most of the way and win in 56:09, the best time run on the course since 2006, despite a brisk swirling wind. Rostek also took the overall victory on age grading (53:05.) Young guns Skeets Morel (M20-29) and Nathan Champness (M20-29) of Vernon battled all the way for second, with Morel prevailing 56:54 to 57:17.
Multiple race and trophy winner Cindy Rhodes (F50-54) again dominated the womens race with an outstanding 1:04:49 to finish seventh overall and also ran away with the women's age graded results (54:35) to take the double for the second year in a row. Second woman was Mary Edgar of Vernon (F20-29) at 1:07:04, tenth overall, and third was Kamloops' Ali Fitzgerald (F35-39)at 1:07:49.
The other top finishers on age grading were all from Kelowna, with Laurelee Welder (55-59) taking second at 57:35, (1:10:12) and Diane Leonard (65-69) third in an outstanding 59:21, (1:22:11). Masters women took the top 8 places. For the men, Brian Rourke (60-64) took second in 54:19, (1:08:35) and John Wickenheiser (55-59) was third in 54:34, (1:04:43). Sixteen of the top twenty age graded men were masters.
The cool day was perfect for running, and the sun broke through enough to keep the crowd warm for the scrumptious breakfast of pancakes, strawberries and cream, with Blackwell Dairy ice cream cones for dessert! Thanks to RD Karen King and her crew of volunteers for a great event. Attendance was up over ten percent from last year with 130 finishers.
The series now takes a break for four weeks with the next race the Grizzly Bear 12K Run in Revelstoke on June 27. It is well worth the drive for the spectacular scenery and the yummy homebaked goodies after the race. See you there!