Hans Aabye is on a tear! The Merritt runner won his third straight IRA race in Penticton, blasting off on the downhill start and building a one minute lead by the 3K mark over Ryan Day, last year’s winner of the Kamloops Marathon. Aabye (M35-39) was never caught, and finished strongly in 54:40, the best winning time in some years. Day (M30-34) finished a distant second in 56:45. Last year’s winner Trevor Haaheim (M40-44) of Kelowna, was third in 57:37.
The excellent running conditions (cool overcast with a slight following wind) made for many fast times, with local teenager Emily Allin (F16-19) setting a new age group record in winning in 64:11. Marie-Josee Bedard (F40-44) put two Merritt runners on the podium by besting Cindy Rhodes (F55-59) 67:22 to 67:44 to take second.
Chilliwack’s Doug Alward (M55-59) was gunning for Allan Kerr’s age group record of 59:01, and ran his heart out in front of his parents to finish fifth overall in 59:39 and take his second IRA age-graded title in two Penticton races in 50:20. Another out-of-town runner who loves running in Penticton, Merritt’s Bruce Wark (M60-65), who finished 17th overall in 67:11, placed second with a time of 53:43, and Aabye was third in 54:00.