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Kelowna Midsummer 8K Race Report

The penultimate race of the IRRS was also the final race of the Timex BC Series, and Catrin Jones (F30-34) travelled from Victoria to consolidate her position, running away with a clear victory in 29:26. John Machuga (M30-34) and Hans Aabye (M35-39) staged another edition of their season-long duel, with Machuga confirming his superiority by triumphing 27:09 to 27:42. Nate Reiter (M20-29), who along with his wife Nikki has just been confirmed as the new coaches of the UBCO cross country team, took third in 28:11. Youngsters Amy Buzikievich (F20-29) 32:16 and Michelle Blackburn (F16-19) 33:54, took their first podium placings.

Machuga took fifth in the Timex series standings, and Jones captured fourth. Due to a soccer tournament at the venue, the race was forced to move to a date which conflicted with a triathlon and a trail run, and it is a tribute to the organizers and to the loyalty of our runners that the attendance maintained from last year at 177. The associated kids run proved very popular, as the separate post attests.

Turning to the age graded stats, Bruce Wark (M60-64) of Merritt took his second victory in two races run at 25:14, with local hero Rory Switzer (M50-54) second in 25:32. Gord Carscadden made the trek from Vancouver to win M55-59 and capture third A-G in 25:52. Race winner Machuga was fifth in 26:50. On the women's side, Cindy Rhodes suffered a rare loss, as last year's Runner of the Year, Liz Borrett, helped out on the registration desk and then won (F70-74) in 43:07, which graded out at 26:54, while Rhodes won (F55-59) in 34:44 which equates to 28:29. Diane Leonard (F65-69) was third in 28:42 while winning her group in 40:59. Jones was fourth in 29:18.

With one race left, Sergio Pio has a safe lead for the Willis Greenaway Age-Graded Trophy, with Hans Aabye and Roly Muller neck and neck for second. Things are more open on the women's side, with Lynda Proce holding the edge for the Muckle-Gader Cup, although contenders Borrett, Leonard, and Laurelee Nelson have only scored 5 races. Rhodes will fail to win her fifth consecutive trophy, as she has only run 4 races so far.

Thanks to race director Ray Snitynsky and the Kelowna Running Club for a well-organized event with cinnamon buns and many draw prizes. Thanks also to BCA and Timex for the watches.

The final race of the series will be the Peak to Beak on September 9. This tough, hybrid course eases the way into our XC series which begins with the revived Reino Keski-Salmi Memorial Run in Larch Hills on Saturday, September 15. See you there!

Rick Jenkner reporting

The Interior Running Association is generously sponsored by:
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