By Mike Carter, Chetwynd Echo
The heat was on for the 35th annual Chetwynd Half-Marathon.
Seventy-two runners took part in the 21.1 kilometre race, and an additional 16 kids under the age of 11 ran a separate three kilometre kids race earlier in the morning on Sunday.
Gilles Delmee had the fastest time overall, coming in at 1:34:16, followed by Kit Siguardson at 1:44:31, Wendy Giesbrecht at 1:45:16 and Rowena Beattie at 1:51:19. The lone junior runner, Jordan Davis, finished with a time of 2:35:40.
In the 11 and under kids race, Dylan Either and Seth Joyce tied at 15:05, and were followed by Draiyden Ritter at 16:21 and Amelia Benke at 16:53.
The heat affected the entire group, young and old. Marathon organizer Tyria Plamondon said it was probably one of the hotter races they had ever had, prompting her team of volunteers to scramble together a few extra water stations along the course.
“We typically only have three or four, we’re up to six. We added a little extra because we know they’re going to need it a little more along the way,” Plamondon said before adding, “I hope they drink lots along the route because they’re going to need it to stay hydrated.”
First place winner Delmee, who is from Belgium, said the heat definitely played a large factor for him on the day.
“I did the Emperor’s challenge in Tumbler Ridge and the weather is similar [today], 26 degrees, lots of sun. I don’t really like it. It’s really tough for me,” he said. “In Belgium, everything is grey so I am used to running under the rain and the wind. I like when it’s raining, you feel like a fighter. The first part of the race, I didn’t realize [the heat] because there was a frontwind. I was right at the right time for me at my pace, but I was using quite a bit of energy because I was into the wind. Second part, where you turn around you get pushed by the wind so that’s nice. My legs were feeling good by my head was feeling a little bit dizzy, I had to stop for hydration. There was good organization here, lots of people helping.”
The event wouldn’t be possible without the support from the volunteers, Plamondon says. “This has probably been our best year for volunteers. It’s nice because the more hands you have, the safer you can keep people. When runners are tired its easier to kind of funnel them home by telling them where to go as opposed to leaving it up to them to follow markings on the highway. When you have more hands, it is differently nicer that way all around.”
The official results are available on the Chetwynd Echo Facebook page,