Inaugural event In Canada draws praise from participants - KELOWNA, British Columbia (September 7, 2013) – Sergio Reyes, of Palmdale, Calif. and Kimberley Doerksen, of Gibsons, BC, won the inaugural Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon, on Saturday, September 7.
Produced by Destination Races of Sonoma, CA the event was the first in the Wine Country Half Marathon Series held outside of the United States. The 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mile) course began at The Vibrant Vine Winery, which offered spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna and the surrounding mountains. The course meandered past vineyards, farms, and apple orchards, before taking runners onto the Mission Creek Greenway. The final four miles of the course took runners along Okanagan Lake to the finish at Waterfront Park for the post-race Wine & Music Festival.
Reyes, who has now won five different Wine Country Half Marathons, completed the rolling, winding course in 1 hour, six minutes, 19 seconds, beating runner-up Richard Mosley of Coquitlam, BC (1:08:42) and Hans Aabye of West Kelowna (1:14:04).
Doerksen of Gibsons, BC, ran a time of 1:18:04, ahead of second place finisher of Jessica O’Connell, of Calgary, AB by 40 seconds and Kelowna’s own Christy Lovig, (1:24:26).
Reyes, much like the over 1,000 runners who participated, raved about the experience.
“This was a real treat to come up here and win this inaugural race in such a beautiful place. The course was tricky with all the elevation changes in the first 10K but once I reached the downhill and Greenway, I was able to pull ahead and keep a nice pace to the finish.“
Reyes and Doerksen each received $500, wine and the Riedel Decanter trophy for winning. Two dozen wineries and local breweries poured tastings at the festival while the Blue Healers entertained the crowd with classic rock ‘n roll. Each finisher received a performance running shirt, unique finisher’s medal, and a Riedel wine glass good for the wine festival. The top three finishers in each age category received a bottle of wine at the award ceremony.
The morning was overcast and cool, but the sun broke though halfway through the race, providing a picturesque backdrop for the post-race festivities and awards ceremony.
”What a great day we all experienced here in the Okanagan Valley!” said Matt Dockstader, Race Director and President of Destination Races. “As far as first races go, I don’t think we could have asked for more than what mother-nature and the valley shared with us today!”
Graeme Wilson of Vancouver, BC won the men’s masters division with a time of 1:16:35 and Susan Loken of Phoenix won the women’s masters with trophy with a time of 1:25:15. The winning team was RUN LIKE HELL, whose five fastest times were USATF handicapped by age and gender.
YMCA Strong Kids and The University of British Columbia Heat Cross Country Running are the primary volunteer providers and beneficiaries of the event. Sponsors for the 2013 Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon include Tourism Kelowna, Fresh Air, Riedel, Kelowna International Airport (YLW), Tree Brewing, Adams Heymen Owen Accountants, and Astral Radio.
2013 Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon
Kelowna, British Columbia, CAN, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
1. Sergio Reyes 31 Palmdale, CA 1:06:21
2. Richard Mosley 31 Coguitlam, BC 1:08:42
3. Hans Aabye 35 West Kelowna, BC 1:14:04
1. Kimberly Doerksen 22 Gibsons, BC 1:18:07
2. Jessica O’Connell 24 Calgary, AB 1:18:47
3. Christy Lovig 36 Kelowna, BC 1:24:30
For full results, go to http://www.destinationraces.com