Kimberley Doerksen showed the way—and defeated all male competitors in the process—at the 2nd annual Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon.
Doerksen, 23, from Gibsons, covered the 21.1 kilometercourse in 1:15:55 on Saturday, eclipsing her own course record by over two minutes – a mark she set in the inaugural event last year.
When asked about what it was like to be the overall champion, Doerksen smiled and said, “I like being a girl and beating the boys.”
Finishing second and winning the men’s title was Andrew Maxwell from Santa Barbara, CA in 1:17:43
Rory Switzer and Christy Lovig did their hometown proud by finishing in the top five.
Switzer, 53, was third overall and second among male competitors finishing the half marathon Saturday in a time of 1:21:39.
Lovig was third among women and fifth overall in 1:22:21.
The race was held on a picturesque day, starting at The Vibrant Vine at 7 a.m., as 1,400 runners passed through the sun-drenched vineyards and apple groves, as they ultimately descended upon the waterfront of Okanagan Lake.
The race drew participants from every Canadian province and territory, as well as eight U.S. states. Highlighting this year’s race was Canadian adventure racing extraordinaire, Simon Donato. He is the host of Boundless, a North American television program that showcases Donato’s global experiences in ultra-endurance challenges.
“I had a great time out there today,” elated Donato. “What a beautiful race course and a beautiful day to race. A lot of the races I do are high stakes with a television crew there as part of the TV show, so it’s always nice to breakaway to a race that’s in your back yard; see someplace that’s a little bit different that’s also a beautiful destination.”
The male and female champions had similar experiences on the course. “It was nice and cool for the race start, and even though the course is deceivingly hilly, the overall amount of downhill made for a spectacular race,” said Doerksen.
She also claimed that one of the reasons for her return to the race was the scenery. “The overall views are absolutely amazing, nearly unrivaled here in B.C.”
Maxwell, the male champion, was all praises for the race and Doerksen. It was one of those days that I just went out to have fun.”
Regarding Doerksen’s performance Maxwell added, “Anybody that can run a 1:15, hats off to them. That’s a smoking fast time and they deserve that top spot on the podium.”
YMCA Strong Kids Foundation & YMCA of Okanagan Valley and the University of British Columbia Heat & Athletic Programs were the beneficiaries of this year’s race, with a percentage of registration fees going to each program.