Hans Aabye has done it again. Running like a man with supreme confidence in his fitness, Aabye (M35-39) destroyed the field on the tough, hilly Barhartvale course in a time of 51:29 which may well be a course record. We are checking the records and will confirm this if we can. He also captured the title on age-grading, which is the first time the winner has scored the double this year, and won his fourth race in a row (and fifth of the year) as well. Ryan Day (M30-34) of Cache Creek came home a distant second in 56:01, with the first Kamloops runner, Richard (Rick) Brewster (M45-49) third in 57:39. Aabye is training for a June marathon, and is rounding into shape very nicely, but is concerned he may not be able to race the marathon, as his work is transferring him to another city and he will have to move house. I’m sure all his friends can get together and move him so that he will be able to race, as I smell a PB in the offing!
Turning to the women’s race, the amazing Cindy Rhodes has done it again. At the age of 56, Rhodes finished tenth overall in 1:05:41 to easily take the title from local Christina Nilsen (F35-39) who recorded 1:10:11, with Delilah Topic (F30-34) third in 1:11:00. Rhodes also tied for first on age-grading with the also amazing Liz Borrett (F70-74) with a time of 53:09. Borrett has a near-lock on her first Muckle-Gader Cup, with 5 wins and a second (to Rhodes) in six races, although Lynda Proce still leads the standings, having run all seven races so far. Rhodes retains a mathematical chance of overtaking Borrett if she wins all the remaining races. Taking third on age-grading was last year’s winner of the Cup (and Runner of the Year), Kelowna’s Diane Leonard (F65-69) in 56:32. Leonard also won the New Balance prize shoes. Nilsen was twelfth and Topic nineteenth.
For the men on age-grading, Aabye recorded 50:47, with Brewster second in 51:33, and Merritt’s Bruce Wark (M60-64) third in 51:58. Wark came home seventh overall in 1:05:02, and it is nice to see him racing more often this year. Day was relegated to fifth on age-grading. Aabye maintains a safe lead over Randy Werger in the scoring for the Willis Greenaway Cup, with Keith Burton now pulling into third. Both Werger and this reporter finished the race hobbling, and fortunately now have over a month to heal, with the next race the Peachland Beach Run 10K on Canada Day. This popular community event joins the series for the first time this year, so please come out and participate in the festivities. Less than a week later, the series moves to Kelowna for the Midsummer 8K on July 7.
Compared to 2012, when it was a scorching hot day, this year was a perfect day for running, with mostly overcast skies, temperature in the low teens, and virtually no wind. A spring storm held off until the awards ceremony was over before unloading, much to everyone’s relief. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Blackwell Dairy and two generations of Blackwells attended the race, and provided their usual ice cream cones to all.
Thanks to RD Regina Black and the Kamloops Ridge Runners for another successful event with 155 finishers, about 10% below last year, although there were an additional 70 runners in the untimed 3K fun run. Thanks to the Lions Club for the pancakes, and Special Mention to Ridge Runners president emeritus Sherry Maligaspe for handling the announcing without a microphone while wearing a cow suit.
~ Rick Jenkner reporting