419 runners, 42.2 km travelled, 32,002 steps taken, 3,600 calories burned. Revelstoke runners Rich Hamilton, Brett McPhedran and Rory Luxmoore joined fellow marathon runners from across North America for Kelowna’s 22nd annual Okanagan Marathon. Each participant entered the race with their own goals: for some it was to meet their qualifying times for the Boston Marathon, for others it was to see if their bodies and minds could meet the challenge of running the distance.
For Hamilton this was his first marathon. Luxmoore endured one once before when he was twenty-six years old, but that was twenty-five years ago. McPhedran entered the marathon with much experience, having recently participated in both Ironman Canada Championships in Whistler and World Half Ironman Triathlon Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For ten years Hamilton and Luxmoore have been following a training schedule focused on trail running (with some road riding and Nordic skiing thrown in). This was upended with the introduction of McPhedran to their training regime earlier this year.
During an early morning training run their banter came around to running a road marathon. The challenge was set and for two months their focus changed to pounding the pavement. In Kelowna a flat course combined with cool temperatures encouraged fast times. This boded well for the trio. It is estimated that only two percent of runners who start a marathon will run under the elusive and much coveted three hour mark. For McPhedran this was easily achieved with a blistering 2:50:26 time, good for seventh place overall.
Luxmoore reached his goal of finishing under three hours, scraping over the finish line with a time of 2:59:31, good for second overall in his age category. Hamilton impressed the field with a 3:04:18 putting him in third overall in the same category. All three runners comfortably met qualifying times for the illustrious Boston Marathon. Around the world runners aspire to meet these times even if they never plan to go to Boston. While Brett will be off to Boston to compete with some of the world’s best, Rich and Rory will most likely be back hitting the trails around Revelstoke.
The Okanagan Marathon attracted other Revelstoke runners: Zoe Larson wooed the field finishing first in her age category in the 10 km run with a stunning time of 47:38 minutes. Bence Berkenbosch, aged eleven competing against others nineteen years old and younger finishing a fast ninth place. Tracy Larson and Gabriella Draboczi rounded the Revelstoke contingent running the half marathon.
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