Make sure you bring your super-fast shoes for this one because this course is lightning quick. The pancake flat 5k is guaranteed to set your heart rate on tilt if you are looking to push a PR. If you are just looking to finish or get your feet wet into road racing, then the course doesn't get any friendlier. You start off just past the Lakeside Resort and Casino and head straight down Lakeshore Drive. Those who have seen Ironman will be familiar with this stretch. As you get to the end of the strip you will take a couple of lefts, venture into some residential, and then loop back to to Lakeshore for the final straight-away sprint to the finish line.
The Pounders do a great job organizing and staging the event. There were clear markers to indicate direction and they had warning signs out for traffic. The intersections were traffic controlled for safety and they had a lead cyclist to show the way. There was an aid station strategically placed so that the athletes would pass it twice although there is little need in this short race. The great thing about racing in Penticton is that locals know how to handle these kind of events and the traffic was very accommodating to the racers. The Pounders made sure that there was an announcer to welcome in all the finishers. Timers were on hand to properly corral the finishers to insure as accurate of timing as possible. There was a nice spread for the finishers afterwards and an awards ceremony where overall and age group winners were acknowledged.
Nathan Reiter of Kelowna had enough in the tank to out-kick Hans Aabye of Merritt in the last 200 meters for the overall win. The two combatants set a blistering pace and came across the finish line in 16:19 and 16:21 respectively. This was good enough for a 3:16 per km pace! Chad Reid of Kelowna rounded out the top 3 exactly one minute later at 17:19. On the women's side, Jessica Hannah of Kelowna ran solo and broke the ribbon in a time of 18:59 which was good enough for 13th overall. Cindy Rhodes blew away her age group in the 55-59 category with a time of 19:56 which was also good enough for second overall for the women. Twenty seconds behind Rhodes, Nikki Reiter of Kelowna crossed the line to round out the top 3. For complete results and age group winners visit the IRA website.
WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
This race is good for runners of every caliber. It is a short, flat, and fast course. It will pay you back in precious time every bit that you put into it. That being said...bring your oxygen! Your heart will be in your throat if you go for it. If you are a first timer or looking for an early season race to get you back into the swing of things, then you couldn't pick a more perfect race. An amazing run along the water, flat, and friendly. There were finishers from 8-80+ in this race.
For photos of this race visit our gallery. Our video mash-up will be up later this week on our YouTube Channel and on this site.
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