Summit Run a hit in new location

Perry Bergson
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Cordell Klarenbach’s trip home to the farm harvested him a second Summit Run title in three years on Saturday morning.

The Prince Albert-born and raised runner, who now lives in Sherwood Park, Alta., says it’s his fourth time doing the race. He took the Summit Run’s longest distance, the 21.1-km half marathon, a title he also claimed in 2012.

“It’s always good,” he laughs. 

He finished in 1:27:25, topping second place finisher Michael Morrison of Canwood by nearly seven minutes.

The 10-year-old Summit Run drew more than 400 runners this year, down from the 2013 record but well above the fewer than 100 in the first year. It featured a half marathon along with two-km, five-km and 10-km races at its new home in the northeast corner of the city, at River Street East and 13th Avenue East.

The race was formerly located at the other end of the riverbank in Mair Park at 12th Avenue West and River Street West.

Race organizer Lisa Evans and her committee of 10 thought it was time for a change.

“We decided we wanted to go to the east side of the riverbank just to try something new for the 10th anniversary,” Evans said. “And that makes for a fantastic race day for the runners.”

The three shorter distances remained on the Rotary Trail while the half marathon had to cross some city streets as it took the trail as far west as Mair Park and as far south as Marquis Road.

After a cool, rainy day in 2013, organizers lucked out on Saturday.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” Evans said. “There’s no rain this year, it’s a little bit cool which is always favourable for the runners. It’s been fantastic.”

The high temperature would have been in the mid-teens with a mix of sun and cloud and an east wind around 20 km-h.

“It was a good morning, nice weather,” Klarenbach says. “I like the new course. It’s nice to have the hill at the end.”

Robyn Luthi is now a three-time winner at the race. She won the five-km race two years ago, the 10-km race in 2013 and completed the hat trick on Saturday by winning the five-km race again. 

The Melfort woman finished in 19:23, topping second place finisher Eric Fisher of Prince Albert by nearly two minutes.

“I actually really enjoyed the new course,” she said. “I really enjoyed the new scenery and it was flat, which is good. It was fast.”

The 33-year-old mother of two, who only started training three years ago, was shy of her sub-19 goal but happy with the day.

“It’s a really well-organized race and that’s why I come back to it every year,” she says. “It has a good vibe to it; it’s relaxed. You have your elite runners but you also have lots of people who are beginning and it’s a great race to start off your running career.”

Jason Dunham of The Pas, Man., won the 10-km race in just under 36:53 minutes. Local triathlon star Christina Charles finished second in 37:22.

“I was expecting to run a little faster but at the halfway part I was kind of hitting cruise control and taking it easy,” he says. “The person who came in second woke me up with three km to go and I decided to push it coming home.”

Dunham’s plans include a half-marathon later in the summer and the Queen City Marathon in Regina in September. The Summit Run allowed him to wake up his speed with the volume and endurance coming later.

He thought the race on Saturday was a nice start to his season.

“I was just enjoying the scenery,” Dunham says. “It’s a great, lovely run down the river here. It’s a great view and a great path.”

In all, the Summit Run had 57 half-marathon finishers, the 10-km race had 120, the five-km race had 117 and the two-km race had 26. Not all of the more than 400 people who signed up started or finished the event.

With 70 to 80 volunteers scattered across the course at aid stations, directing traffic and putting the course up and tearing it down, Evans had a big team to take care of the issues that invariably crop up at big events.

“There are always little problems that come up and the committee is great at finding solutions to those last-minute problems,” Evans said. 

Some of those solutions might be finding their way to Melfort, where Luthi serves on their running race committee. She says she’ll be taking some mental notes back with her.

“A big shout-out to the organizers. Ten years; they’ve done an exceptional job.”












Organizations: Summit Run

Geographic location: Summit Run, Prince Albert

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