The 10k and Half Marathon courses truly mimic each other. The race begins at Skaha Beach before taking a quick detour north along Skaha Lake Road through some residential and downtown sectors. After about a 1.5-2k the runners turn back south and head down South Main Street which turns into Lakeside Road. It is at this point where athletes will be running adjacent to Skaha Lake until they reach their turn-aournd point. The turn-around for the 10k racers is at about the 7.5k mark where the half marathoners will go out to about 13k. After the turn-around, the runners head back towards Skaha Beach and are eventually re-directed down the Skaha Beach Promenade towards the finish line. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor hills that will need to be managed or exploited if you are in attack mode. The course is open so you will have to be mindful of traffic; however, the organizers did have safety cones and volunteers managing traffic at critical sections. You will need to be paying attention to your last turn-off onto the promenade. Although it was marked with cones, there were a few tired athletes that nearly ran past the final turn-off.
The event was very well organized. This is Penticton after all and it seems like every event is a dress rehearsal for Ironman. Volunteers in this town know how to put on an event and the community is very supportive. The course was well laid out and there were plenty of volunteers. Medics were on hand if needed and aid stations were strategically placed along the course. There was tons of snacks and drinks for the athletes after the race. Most importantly, there was great music and commentary at the finish line to welcome the well deserved participants as they crossed the line.
WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
If you are planning to do your first 10k or first half marathon then this course is a good choice. It is relatively flat and you won't be tripping over competitors on the course. This is really a great event for any 10k or half marathoner looking for an event on a long weekend (there aren't many). Besides...do you really need a big excuse to visit Penticton? If you are planning to enter the race though, you should be able to run the distance that you have signed up for.
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