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The River's Spring Run Off 10K – Mar. 17, 2013

The capricious spring weather smiled on the IRA once again as the series moved to the Thompson Valley for race #3. It was a frosty morning with storms predicted, but they held off until late afternoon and race conditions were nearly perfect, with only mild wind. Course record holder Ryan Day had considered entering, but when he opted not to run, the Machuga and Aabye show held a re-run, with John Machuga (M30-34) continuing his mastery over Hans Aabye (M35-39) and winning his seventh race in his last seven entered over two years, clocking 33:42. Aabye was ecstatic at the line however, as his chase netted the first sub-34 minute clocking of his career, at 33:55. As happened at the Starting Block 10K, Nathan Champness (M30-34) of Vernon followed him home. His time was 35:19. Fourth was the first Kamloops runner, Mark Carolan (M20-29) in 36:22. Mark had won the Kamloops Hypothermic Half Marathon three weeks earlier.

The women's race was much closer, as Marie-Josee Bedard (F40-44) and Delilah Topic (F30-34) staged a sprint to the line, with Bedard just edging ahead to take her first IRA win. Both women were timed in 44:25, with Jennifer Watt (F40-44), all the way from London (England, that is) taking third in 44:37. Jolly good show!! A fellow in a right-hand drive Mini had passed me on the way to the race, and ran it too, but I didn't get his name. Crikey!

It was St. Patrick's Day, and numerous and sundry runners and volunteers donned various green costumes, including someone (nameless by request), who ran dressed as Gumby, and the president of the sponsoring Ridge Runners, who wore a green skirt and fairy wings. And they say our series is too competitive and doesn't cater to the fun-runners. Ha! Try it and see!

Turning to the age-graded results; for the second time this year, Liz Borrett (F70-74) took the overall title. Liz finished 68th overall, and 20th woman in 51:53, which graded at 31:49; very impressive. Liz is off to a flying start in search of her second Muckle-Gader Cup, topping the womens' age grading in the first three races. Laurelee Nelson (F55-59) of Kelowna finished distant second at 36:50 from a 46:46 clock time, and Vernon's Lynda Proce was third in 37:20, from a clock time of 47:24. Young Chantel Jeffrey of Blind Bay, only 11 years old, finished right behind Nelson in 46:58 and was 7th on age-grading. Race winner Bedard was tenth.

On the men's age-grading, Jack Miller (M65-69), coach of the TRU Wolf Pack, showed the team how it is done, finishing 22nd overall in 43:42 ( a faster time than he ran last year), to capture the men's title in 33:00, with Machuga (33:10) edging Aabye (33:12) for second. There were three men in (M65-69) in the top eight, with Bryan Chubb sixth in 35:14, and Bill Faulkner eighth in 35:38.

Thanks to Race Director Reggie Black, the Kamloops Ridge Runners, and their crew of volunteers for a very special event, with 163 finishers. The next race for the IRA will be the Okanagan College Half Marathon in Kelowna on April 7. Happy Easter to everyone, and I will see you there!

~ Rick Jenkner reporting

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