It was a new course but a familiar face who stood atop the podium at the Kelowna Running Club’s annual Midsummer 8 K race on Sunday.
Hans Aabye from Merritt repeated as the overall winner on Sunday, running the new and improved course in a time of 26 minutes and 13 seconds on a beautiful Sunday morning in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Once again the Midsummer 8K attracted top runners from across British Columbia and from other provinces. But iut was Aabye who once again finished first with John Machuga of Kelowna coming in second, just 22 second abck.
Nicholas Browne from Vancouver was the third fastest man with a time of 27:17.
The fastest women was Dayna Pidhoresky in a time of 28:44 from Tecumseh, Ontario followed by Rachel Ruus, of Richmond. The fastest Kelowna woman was Nikki Reiter clocking a time of 32:08.
The new, flat, fast and certified 8 km course was the focus of runners and spectators alike. The scenic route started and ended in Gyro Park with a turnaround in City Park. The athletes ran parallel to the lake, along Abbott Street and through one of the nicest residential areas.
“The course is much faster than the old one,” said race organizer Shawn Baenziger. “It was flat and fast and the runners really enjoyed it.”
Overall there were 148 runners that took part in the Midsummer 8K, down from last year’s total of 177. Baenziger also said that the race still attracts a mostly competitive group of runners. He says they would like to get more newcomers to the sport of running out.
“The problem is we just get the top runners and we seldom get tourists,” he said. “I think they are afraid to run with the fast runners and they might not take part because they think it’s just a competitive race.
Baenziger added the Kelowna Running Club is hoping to attract more newcomers to all of its events in Kelowna.
The Midsummer 8k run is part of the Interior Race Series and the Timex Race Series, Canada’s only national road race series with a minimum of nine series in all provinces across the country.
Cash prizes are awarded to the three overall female/male winners and medals beckoned the first three in the different age categories.
The race also included wheelchair racers and a kid’s race. The kids ran a shorter course of 1 km and 3 km respectively.
For more information and full results you can check out www.kelownarunningclub.com