For the third consecutive year at the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon, the women got even faster.
Erin Burrett, of Nanaimo, surprised herself with a new personal best and course record in 1:15:43 besting the 2014 mark set by two-time defending champion Kim Doerksen, by just 12 seconds.
“My coach told me to shoot for a 1:17, but I just went by feel and didn’t even realize how fast I was going until I saw the time on the clock at the finish,” said Burrett. “I like the mix at the beginning—the ups and downs but then the last 10 kilometers along the lake were flat, which was a perfect way to finish.”
The men’s winner of the 21.1 km run was Steve DeKoker, from Seattle, who finished in a time of 1:10:04. Like Burrett, DeKoker saw the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon as a perfect lead up to a fall marathon, but also just wanted to spend time in the beautiful Okanagan.
“This was almost more of a date weekend for my wife and I,” said DeKoker. “My wife was intrigued by the area so we thought it would be great to get in a fun race and relax for the weekend.”
DeKoker and Burrett each took home a magnum of wine, an engraved decanter trophy and first place price money of $500 US dollars. Burrett’s course record earned her an additional $500 US bonus.
Vancouver’s Nicholas Browne was second overall in 1:11:22, while Brad Bickley from Kelowna took third in 1:11:57.
Kicking off at 7 a.m. at Vibrant Vine Winery with 1,200 people entered, a brisk morning gave way to sunshine and pleasant temperatures as runners made their way past orchards, vineyards and wineries, finishing up in downtown Kelowna.
“We could not have asked for a more perfect day for this event,” said Matt Dockstader, Founder and Race Director of Destination Races. “Kelowna continues to justify itself as a world-class wine region and recreation destination, which is why we brought our Wine Country Half Marathon Series to here in Canada, with incredible community support, great weather and quality wines.”