Photos: After a mass start, Rossland mom Andrea Lesniewicz took infants Miro and Atley on their very first Fun Run, while Trail Stingray swimmers Jennifer Chung, Danielle and Jordan Bell of Rossland relax after the race. The event drew Teck’s health and wellness families like Brian Chan who leads dad Francis and sister Maggie to the finish line. Happy Mom’s day to Sam Grebe who won the 5-km event in her very first race.
The sun was shining on Silver City Days Fun Run on Sunday at Gyro Park with a record number of participants in the field to mark this year’s event on Mother’s Day.
Close to 300 Fun-Run entrants, including an abundance of families, young runners and moms and dads pushing baby carriages, lined up to walk, run, pedal or push the 5 or 10-kilometre distances along the Columbia River.
“It was the best one yet,” said organizer Dan Horan. “What was surprising this year was that there were more 10-K runners.”
About 200 pre-registered for the run making them eligible for the $200 gift certificate to Gericks Cycle and Sport and about 100 more lined up to register the morning of the race, said Horan.
A healthy boost from the corporate world led by Teck’s Health and Wellness also contributes to its success, with the Teck family entering about 80 participants,.
“It’s important for organizations to come as teams and get their employees motivated, and I think it’s so important to come to these community events to promote healthy workplaces,” said Health and Wellness coordinator Megan Olsen.
School District 20, Celgar, Hall’s Printing, and J. L. Crowe all added to the numbers but more importantly the enthusiasm.
Being Mothers Day, it was only fitting that a first-time runner and mom, Sam Grebe, raced to victory in the women’s 5-km. race. Grebe’s two bike-riding daughters accompanied and cheered her on, as the course wound through Sunningdale, along the Columbia, and back to the finish at Gyro.
“This is the first race I’ve ever done, so not too bad,” said Grebe after the race. “I’ve never raced before. It’s their fault,” she said pointing to her kids.
It was a great inaugural race for the Trail resident, which she hopes will inspire her kids. Asked if she’s starting a mother’s day tradition, she replied, “You never know, I might – maybe get my kids into it. Then they’ll have something to work off of – 21:45 guys.”
In the men’s 5-k, Mike Zahn repeated, with a winning time of 8 minutes 46 seconds.
“It feels good, I was actually hoping for better,” said Zahn. “I would have pushed a little harder at the beginning – it felt like a better race but I actually did worse.”
Zahn won the event last year, running about 30 seconds faster, in what is his only race of the year.
In the 10-K run, veteran runners Dallas Cain of Rossland and Fruitvale’s Heather Johnson cruised to victory in the men’s and women’s respectively.
“It feels great,” said Johnson of her victory. “I love this race. I’ve done it a few times now and it’s a beautiful course and we got a beautiful day for it.”
Johnson is getting used to winning as she also claimed the BMO Okanagan Marathon title in Kelowna in October.
The 2011 men’s 10-k winner Ryan Cain of Cranbrook couldn’t make the run this year so his brother Dallas gladly took the title from him.
“We always race each other, this year we decided to give each other a break,” said Dallas.
The 33-year old outdistanced the field in what is a positive opening to the season, as he gears up for another Penticton Iron Man Triathlon and his goal of breaking the nine-hour barrier.
“It’s always great to do it at home,” says Cain. “Another year older and still keeping the young guys off my heels, so every year I can do that, I’m happy.”
Full results were unavailable at press time.