25th Grizzly Bear 12K
A small field of only 70 finishers gave some lesser-known runners their opportunity on the podium, including this reporter! The Mundall twins (M20-29) from Salmon Arm took off together at the start, and although James struggled a bit and fell back to fourth, Timothy held on to take the win in 48:40, with local runner Jesse Anchikoski (M30-34) second in 50:19 and first master, Michael Stoll of Vernon (M40-44) third in 50:35.
The women's race was close the whole way, with local runners filling the first three spots. Master Sarah Newton (F40-44) ran 52:22 for the victory, with sisters Brittany (F16-19) and Megan (F<16) Evans second and third in 52:54/52:56.
On age grading, Liz Borrett (F70-74) took her first victory at 44:02, with Laurelee elder (F55-59) second at 46:22 and Janet Rhoddy (F60-64) third in 48:18. Newton was fourth. For the men, Roy Uzelman (M60-64) took his first win at 41:53, besting Brian Rourke (M60-64, 43:07) making his first appearance of the year after battling plantar fasciitis, and Rick Jenkner (M55-59, 43:27). Seventy-six year old Guenter Naumann of Okanagan Falls ran an excellent race for fourth (43:33).
Race Director Jarrett Spannier did an excellent job with limited resources and came through with the usual beverage prizes for the victors as well. Thanks Jarrett. The race will likely move the start location for next year to make it logistically smoother for the organizers.