You’d hard pressed to find many competitive runners with a more impressive résumé than Cindy Rhodes.
Six times the overall winner at the Victoria Marathon, the Kelowna woman is also the current B.C. age group record holder in the 55-59 category in the 5k, 8k and the half marathon.
“Running just makes me feel good” said Cindy. “I also love to go horseback riding and used to bike, but too many things are hard on my body. I need more downtime the older I get.”
On Sept. 22, Rhodes looks to defend her title at the Peak to Beak Run from Knox Mountain to Quails’ Gate.
In 2012, Rhodes completed the 18 k race in 1:18:34, 32 seconds ahead of fellow Kelowna runner Stacey Carrigan.
“This was a great race last year,” Rhodes said. “There was a young woman and she was close, she pushed me.”
For many runners the Peak to Beak is a demanding race. Rhodes says proper pacing is the key to a good run.
“If you go too fast down the hill you pay for it later on, and you don’t have the resources to run the hills. Get into the rhythm as it evens out.”
Until Sept. 17, well-known Kelowna runner Trevor Haaheim, is busy preparing interested runners every Wednesday morning, leaving at 6:30 from City Park to train the hills and getting the distance. “It’s a great way to prepare for such an event that has the stigma to be painful,” said Cindy. “If you run it smart it doesn’t have to be painful.”
Every year more women discover the benefits of running and sign up for races. Last year the Peak to Beak race had 98 finishers, 47 of them women.
“I would hope that half of them are women….in this case there was just under half, so hopefully this year women will represent half of the participants,” Rhodes added. “More women take on the challenge. I think that running is appealing to many because it can be measured and runners can set goals. I also feel very strongly about getting the youth involved. We need more youth in our running community. Not everybody has to be competitive.”
Rhodes lives in Kelowna and works as school counsellor at Rutland Secondary School. She loves her job and likes to encourage kids and adults to keep a balance in work, relationships and physical activities.
To register for the Peak to Beak, visit www.interiorrunning.ca