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Blossom Ten Miler 2011

Rory Switzer of Kelowna (M50-54) and Cindy Rhodes (F50-54) of Kelowna repeated their victories of a year ago at the Naramata to Penticton Ten Mile Run, held on a typical March day last Sunday, May 8. The sun did eventually come out, and when it did, the lake wind came with it, but at least the rain held off until long after the awards were finished. The 'ageless wonder' Switzer, who has now won the race for three years in a row, was never seriously challenged, and recorded 57:54, ahead of Sergio Pio (M45-49), who was the only other runner under the hour at 58:47, and Kelowna's Andrew Savage (M20-29) who was third in 1:01:45. Local triathlete and coach Kevin Cutjar (M45-49), winner of Ultraman Canada in 2010, came fourth, while pushing both his daughters in a running stroller. Watch for them as athletes in the future.

Potential road work on the course necessitated a last minute change of several miles onto the KVR trail, and a change to the start location. The changes eliminated one of the big uphill sections, and meant that this year's times are not comparable to past years. I would credit all age group winners with asterisked records for the new course.

Rhodes continued her fabulous racing record of 2011 by finishing sixth overall and recording 1:03:58, a time over two minutes faster than her F50-54 course record set last year. Since 2009, she has lowered her time on the course by over five minutes! The top three women were all masters, with Vernon's Jennifer Jakobi (F40-44) finishing second in 1:12:33 and Salmon Arm's Antje Breugem (F40-44) third in 1:13:37

Age graded times will not be available for several weeks, as our age-graded guru Peter Pollhammer is on safari in Kenya. We wouldn't want a lion to eat his homework!! I can say that outstanding A-G performances were recorded by Switzer, Rhodes, Pio, Cutjar and Laurelee Welder. Guenter Neumann (M75-79, 1:24:22), Ellis Andrews (M65-69, 1:09:45), Diane Leonard (F65-69, 1:23:22) and Liz Borrett (F70-74, 1:30:29) also recorded excellent times. Naumann`s and Leonard`s times were well under their A-G records set last year, and Borrett`s time was also under the age-group record.

Steve King turned in his usual polished performance as announcer and MC, and the hot coffee was certainly welcome at the finish. Thanks to RD Deb Dunham and her crew of volunteers for an excellent event. Particular thanks to Neil Macdonald and those responsible for setting and measuring the revised course on short notice.

Our next event will be the Blackwell Dairy 15K on May 29. As usual, there will be no extra charge for signing up on line - use the link on this page. There will be pancakes, strawberries, and ice cream at the finish, so I expect to see a good turnout!

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