Final Penticton Lakeside 5K to be run March 2

After 20 years as the test of early fitness in the Okanagan, the final edition of the Penticton Lakeside 5K will be run this year. The race is #2 in the Canadian Tire Interior Road Race Series, and also race #4 in the Timex BC Road Race Series and has been one of the best attended races in the Interior Series since 1994. It served as the BC 5K Championship race for three years. Long-time race director Neil Macdonald cited difficulties in finding a replacement as the main reason this popular race is unable to continue beyond 2014. The IRA and Rick Jenkner stepped in to assist Neil with this year’s race to ensure it goes out in style.

The race has had some illustrious winners over the years, several of whom have gone on to greater fame such as local coach and Peach City Marathon winner Kevin Cutjar, Olympian Malindi Elmore, Vancouver Marathon winner Keddi-Anne Sherbino, and Challenge Penticton winner Jeff Symonds. Symonds and Brent Helland are the only people to win the race three years in a row, while Mark Bomba has four wins and the course record of 15:17. Among the women, Jessica Hannah has won three times and Cindy Rhodes, Sarah Clark, and Brenda Shackleton twice each. Shackleton holds the women’s record of 17:50 set in 1997.

All former winners are being invited to attend with complimentary entry. If you are a former winner and have not received your invitation, it is because we do not know how to contact you. We are particularly seeking to contact original women’s winner Tanya Trevors, Kathy Rung, and men’s winners Aiden Gidlow, Chris Babiuk, and Michael Simpson. Please contact Rick Jenkner at ultramanrick@yahoo.ca with information. Thank you.

The final race will honour former Pounder and IMC age group record holder Lorne Smith, who passed away from Alzheimer disease in 2013. A portion of each entry fee will be donated to the Alzheimer Foundation in his memory.

The race will be held on March 2 at 10am, with the start on Lakeshore Drive just outside the Lakeside resort. There is a special room rate at the resort starting at $89. Ask for the 5K rate. Registration is on-line through Zone 4 (there is a link on http://www.interiorrunningassociation.com ) and costs just $18 for adults and $13 for those 15 and under. Entry forms are downloadable from the IRA site, and are also available at Peach City Runners and other select locations throughout the Thompson-Okanagan.

Race information and online registration, http://www.interiorrunningassociation.com/lakeside5k.html

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