Hans Aabye claimed his second Okanagan College Half Marathon title on Sunday, after the Merritt resident took an early, fast and commanding lead of the 21.1 km race.
Aabye won the race with a time of 1:18:14, just ahead of Penticton’s David Matheson who came in second at 1:20:10 and edged out Wade Carlson, also of Penticton and an Okanagan College student, who finished third just 33 seconds behind Carlson.
In the women’s division, Mary Edgar of Vernon won the half marathon for the second year in a row with a time of 1:30:37. Edgar was followed by Kelowna’s Claire Young, who captured second place with a time of 1:32:30, and Michelle Blackburne finished third at 1:33:48 (West Kelowna.)
In the 10 KM race, the youngest runner to register won the women’s division. Twelve-year-old Chantel Jeffrey of Blind Bay was the top female with a time of 45:45. She was followed by Alisha MacGregor (46:50) and Kelowna’s Alyssa Byl, who finished with a time of 48:11.
Two seconds separated the men’s 10 KM winner with Penticton’s Justin Birks (35:40) edging out Calgary’s Alex Hansen (35:42). Jared Kesteven from Mission finished the race in third place with a time of 37:48.
In the relay race the Results 4 Life finished first with a time of 1:26:40. The team from TWP Sistas finished second at 1:38:01 and in third was ZOOM, 1:40:30.
While some of the top finishers were familiar to race organizers, a large number of runners came from out of town – some as far as the United Kingdom, the Lower Mainland, Slocan Valley and Alberta.
“This year’s race brought some really exciting surprises,” said Okanagan College’s Race Director Christine Ulmer. “The course brings out some really competitive racers like our male winner Hans – but it also attracts a lot of first-time runners who want to challenge themselves with a really fun race. To see a 12-year-old female win the 10 KM was really exciting and is a great example of the diverse group of runners this community event draws.”
More than 500 runners took part in the annual fundraising event, which supports student recreation and athletics at Okanagan College.
Complete race results are available online here.