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Blackwell Dairy 15K

On a day where the major news in sport was Ryder Hesjedal becoming the first Canadian to win one of cycling's Grand Tours in Milan, the major news in Barnhartvale was 169 runners braving the heat to finish the umpteenth Blackwell Dairy Run. Strange to be complaining about 22 degrees in May, but when it has been as cool as this year, it felt like 30! The upside was that the many lilac bushes along the course were in full aromatic bloom.

John Machuga (M30-34) obviously relished the conditions, as he ran 53:40, the fastest time on the course since Hans Aabye won in 2007 with 53:18. Machuga is now 4 for 4, with two races left in the series. Aabye (M35-39) finished second to John for the third time this year, in 55:35, and Kamloops runner Rick Brewster (M45-49) finished third in 56:23. Rory Switzer (M50-54), sporting a 'playoff beard' ran his first series race of the year, finishing fourth overall in 57:10 to top the age graded standings (50:17), with Brewster second (50:40),and Sergio Pio (M45-49) third. Pio, who was fifth overall, continues to lead the standings in search of his second Greenaway Cup, over Aabye and Roly Muller (M60-64).

Three women made the podium for the first time, with the victory going to Kamloops' Jennifer Elfenbein (F40-44) in 1:10:47. Helen Munro of Kelowna (F50-54) finished second in 1:11:12, with Shanda Hill (F30-34) of Vernon third in 1:11:29. Munro topped the age graded standings with a time of 1:00:44, with Vernon's Lynda Proce (F55-59) second in 1:01:39 and Corrine Gable (F45-49) of Kelowna third in 1:05:43. Proce leads the standings for the Muckle-Gader Cup, with Arnie Gash (F65-69) of Okanagan Falls second, and Gable third.

We salute Norm Drake, running his first series race since his Spiller Award of Courage in 2010, who finished second in M55-59 and ninth overall on age grading, and Trevor Jordan, who missed the race to run the Coeur d'Alene marathon in Idaho, where he finished fifth overall and first master in 2:51:04 at age 46.

Thanks to the Kamloops Ridge Runners, race directors Reggie Black and Wes Kibble, and Blackwell Dairy for the ice cream.

The series takes a break for a few weeks until the Midsummer 8K in Kelowna on July 15, but there is no shortage of races for those who need their 'racing fix', including the first Barriere Fun Run on June 3, the Merritt Country Run on June 10, Do it for Dad (various locations) on June 17, and the Peachland Beach Run on July 1. I will also mention that a marathon returns to Kamloops this year on July 29, as the headline of a race weekend that includes a 5K, 10K and Half marathon.

Happy Running! Rick Jenkner

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