The 23rd Annual Grizzly Bear Run went like clockwork Sunday with 105 competitors in the 12-kilometre road race and 15 competitors in the four-km event. But even as the runners prepared themselves for the heat of the race they were aware that at least one would-have-been competitor was facing a different kind of heat — the flames burning through the Okanagan.
“I know one fellow who spent last night running back forth from Kelowna to his home and back rescuing horses,” Grizzly Bear Organizer Jarrett Spannier said. “He’s not here because of the fire.”
But aside from that the race went very smoothly and Revelstokians, many of them veterans who have participated in it for decades, placed very well in many categories.
“I’m really impressed by all the gray heads I see,” said Barb Little who took first place in the women’s over 60 category for the four-kilometre run. “Many of these people were running in this back in the 1980s when we first organized it.”
Little was pleased with her performance and even happier when she won a helicopter ride in one of the post-race draws.
“This really makes my day,” she said.
Here’s how Revelstoke’s women competitors fared among the top finishers in the 12-km run: Stephanie Kellock, third place among Women 20-29 with a time of 1:28:14; Gabriella Draboczi, second place, Women 30-34, 1:05:56; Anne-Marie Gill, second place, Women 35-39, 0:51:59; Steph Duguay, sixth place, Women 35-39, 1:25:48; Sarah Newton, first place, Women 40-44, in 0:54:16; Catherine Lavelle, third place, Women 45-49, in 1:13:50; Lynne Welock, sixth place, Women 50-54, 1:16:06; Robyn Abear, fourth place, Women 55-59, 1:20:39; and Elizabeth Kozak took sixth place, among Women 55-59 with a time of 1:36:25.
Here’s how the local men did: Patrick Paquette, third place in Men 20-29, with a time of 0:46:39; Ben Parkin came in fourth place among Men 30-34 with a time of 0:56:39; Neil Robichaud came in fifth in the same category with a time of 0:59:03; Rory Luxmore, third place, Men 40-44, in 0:50:06; John Skrypnyk, third, Men 45-49, 1:02:07; Thomas Madlung, fourth, Men 45-49, 1:08:59; Bill MacFarlane, tenth place, Men 50-54, 1:14:05; Terry Crane, 11th place, Men 50-54, in 1:20:40; Chris Swayze, second place, Men 55-59, 1:01:33; and Alan MacLeod took third place in the Men 65-69 category with a time of 1:11:32.
Spence Spannier was the fastest local boy. The nine-year-old won first place in the four-km run with a time of 20:54.
Adult winners received a ribbon and a quart bottle of Mount Begbie Brewery’s finest, which was emblematic of the way that local merchants generously supported the race. Spannier praised them for their willingness to contribute everything from keychains to running shoes and helicopter rides as prizes. The businesses that supported the race included Universal Footwear, Selkirk Mountain Helicopters, Mt. Begbie Brewing Company, the Revelstoke Golf Course, Mountain Goodness Natural Foods, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, Helios Rehabilitation and Performance, Legends-N-Heroes, Free Spirit Sports, Chantilly Kitchen Bed n Bath, Home Hardware, Skookum Cycle, Vide express, Energy Matters Health Spa, Pharmasave, Style Trend, the Regent Inn, People’s Drug Mart, Acklands Grainger Inc., NAPA, Coopers Foods, Revelstoke U-Brew, Ambrosia Day Spa and the City’s Parks and recreation Department.