Half marathon set for April 1

The Okanagan Half Marathon goes April 1 in Kelowna.

Registration is now open for the 2012 Okanagan College Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race.

Event organizers are celebrating 10 years of the community race – with this year’s extravaganza going Sunday, April 1 in Kelowna.

The race has grown steadily over the past decade and has adapted to offer a variety of distances and fun events to encourage participation from every type of runner – from newbies to corporate challenge teams to competitive racers.

“The 2012 race will be a celebration of running, fitness and participation in our community,” said race director Christine Ulmer.

The Half Marathon has a solid history in the Okanagan thanks to great support from area runners and the dedication of volunteers.

“We listened to feedback about the course and are pleased to be able to offer the same routes as last year, all of which proved to be popular, despite a rainy race day,” said Ulmer. “We also moved the race to the first Sunday in April – it’s only a week further into spring than previous years’ races but we’re hoping the weather will be that much more accommodating for runners.”

Each of the three races begins between 8 and 8:15 a.m. at the KLO Road campus of Okanagan College.

The half marathon course will cover 21.1 kilometres of Kelowna pavement, taking runners along the Abbott corridor into City Park and will turn around atop the first hill on Knox Mountain. Runners will make their way back along the waterfront to Gyro Beach, across Lakeshore and finish back at the KLO campus.

For new runners or those looking for a shorter distance, the relay race covers the same course as the half marathon and allows up to five runners to participate in segments of approximately four kilometres each.

Back for a third year is the popular 10-km route, which will take runners along the same first and last portions of the half marathon course with a turnaround in City Park.

Prize money will be offered to the top three finishers in the male and female division of the half marathon. On each side, first place will receive $250, second place earns $150 and the third place finisher gets $100. Prizes will also be offered to winners of the 10-km and relay portion of the race.

Any non-runners wishing to be involved with the race can lend their time as race volunteers or course marshals.

“There’s no experience necessary, just some common sense and a desire to help out. Course marshals do not direct traffic but momentarily stop cars to allow racers to pass.”

To register, find out more about the course or to view entry fee deadlines, visit: www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon.

All proceeds from the race are donated to Okanagan College’s campus recreation programs. To volunteer, contact Michelle Lowry at 250-762-5445 ext. 4649 or atmlowry@okanagan.bc.ca.