Peach City Marathon
May 24, 2004
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
Five years ago Lenore and I went to Penticton, British Columbia, so that I could run the Peach City Marathon. It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. I liked the marathon, so we planned to return the following year. Subsequently, we learned that in most years this marathon is scheduled for the same day as another favorite, the Capital City Marathon in Olympia, Washington.
This year Capital City was run on May 17, 2004, and the Peach City Marathon was a week later on May 24, 2004. I could run them both!!
We made the most of the opportunity and drove 300 miles north of Yakima, WA, on Highway U.S. 97 through forested Wenatchee mountains and along the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers to Penticton. It's a nice drive.
In 1999, we knew only a few runners there, but this year there were quite a few friends on hand. The Marathon Maniacs were well-represented. There were the three founders, Tony Phillippi, Chris Warren, and Steve Yee.....plus Sue Fauerbach, Connie Ridenour (and her husband Ed), and the Dolphin Marathon Team (Bob and Lenore). We enjoyed the fellowship of the carbo-loading dinner and appreciated the opportunities to get better acquainted during the weekend.
Dave Bridgeman, a fellow member of the Yakima Hard Core Runners Club, came from Cle Elum for the marathon. He has run all four of the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHONS.
Some of our Canadian friends participating in the race were Al Homenchuk, Jon Mahoney, Harvey Nelsen, Mae Palm, and Nester Slywka. Nester's wife Joyce was a finish line volunteer.
We see Steve King and his wife Jean at the finish lines of the Vancouver International Marathon and the Royal Victoria Marathon each year where Steve is the announcer and Jean is his "spotter." Steve was very effective, as usual, at Penticton as he emceed the starting line, the finish line and the awards ceremony/dinner at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
The post race buffet meal was excellent. Awards were presented three-deep in all age categories but one. For the last division, males 70+ (my group), Steve King called the six finishers to the podium, introduced them, and mentioned their accomplishments. Race director Steve Brown then awarded age-class medals to all six! This was a pleasant and much appreciated surprise.
The race had been scenic, challenging, and interesting. It started at 7:15 a.m. in downtown Penticton and headed south on flat Main Street. The half marathon field had left earlier....at 7:00 a.m. on the same course.
In the third mile we reached the north end of Skaha Lake and ran along Lakeshore Drive by the east shore of this narrow lake. It was easy running, and there were pleasant views of the lake and distant mountains and forests. Above Lakeshore Drive the hills were covered with vegetation. There were ponderosa pines growing in bunchgrass with flowering shrubs such as baldhip rose and white-flowered mock orange nearby. Wildflowers abounded with pink, showy phlox, purple penstemon and yellow, arrow-leaved balsamroot being the most conspicuous.
The first half of the out-and-back course went well. In the second half of the race the conditions became more challenging. We negotiated a major hill in the 16th-17th mile, the air temperature rose to the high 60's under clear skies, and head winds increased to 20-25 miles per hour.
After running through the town of Okanagan Falls and by agricultural fields, the course returned to the lakeshore for the last 10K. I made slow progress into the wind and over a hill in the 25th mile....but I made it to the finish line in Skaha Lake Park with a few minutes to spare for a sub 5 hour marathon.
Steve King said kind things about me on his PA system as I finished in 4:57:12 (11:20), 149th of 169 finishers, and fourth of six 70+ males......the oldest runner in the race.
It was great to see the Marathon Maniacs (Chris, Tony, Steve and Sue) waiting for me as I finished. They had run good races. Chris, with a time of 3:07:15, was eighth overall. Finishing in 3:15:18, Steve and Tony tied for 12th place. Sue had run the half marathon.
Thanks go to race director Steve Brown, announcer Steve King, the race committee and the many volunteers for making the Peach City Marathon a classic race. The participants jackets are great, the large finishers medals are distinctive, and the pizza and other food at the finish line were delicious! I look forward to returning and competing in the 75-79M division in a future visit to Penticton.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Peach City Marathon Partial Results
(1) 2:48:01 Trevor Jordan, 35-39M, Vernon, BC
(2) 2:49:44 Robert Durrant, 35-39M, Langley, BC
(3) 2:55:17 Darren Froese, 40-44M,Victoria, BC
(1) 3:24:07 Stacey Butterfield, 25-29F, Victoria, BC
(2) 3:25:53 Lisa Kallio, 30-34F, Whistler, BC
(3) 3:33:30 Shauna Dahl, 30-34F, Richmond, BC
3:07:15 Chris Warren, 35-39M, 3rd in age division, Renton, WA
3:15:18 Steven Yee, 40-44M, 5th, Renton, WA
3:15:18 Tony Phillippi, 40-44M, 5th, Tacoma, WA
3:44:29 Connie Ridenour, 45-49F, 1st, Spokane, WA
3:46:41 Jon Mahoney, 50-54M, 3rd, Vernon, BC
3:52:31 Dave Bridgeman, 55-59M, 3rd, Cle Elum, WA
4:05:39 Lorne Smith, 70, (70+M) 1st, Okanagan Falls,BC
4:06:58 Mae Palm, 60-64F, 1st, Whistler, BC
4:26:22 Harvey Nelsen, 73, (70+M) 2nd, Langley, BC
4:34:23 Nester Slywka, 70, (70+M) 3rd, Burnaby, BC
4:57:12 Bob Dolphin, 74, (70+M) 4th, Renton/Yakima, WA
5:28:44 Al Homenchuk, 72, (70+M) 5th, Burnaby, BC
6:08:04 Steve Anson, 70+M, 6th, Spokane, WA