New venue, new community focus for Grizzly Bear Run 2012
There were many changes to the Revelstoke Grizzly Bear Run 2012, including a new sponsor, new courses, new location and a new feel.
126 racers took part in a race that is more of a community race than a competitive one, with an emphasis on fun and including children and youth.
The Revelstoke Credit Union (RCU) took over as the lead sponsor, transforming the race into a community affair.
“We decided to bring it downtown here ... in the centre of the community and utilize the Greenbelt," said organizer Todd Webber of the RCU. "Everyone's been on it, they're comfortable with it, it's great with the kids, so we chose to go with that route."
Webber said several RCU staff are active runners and they decided to get involved as the organizers this year.
The five-kilometre route started at Queen Elizabeth Park and headed downtown briefly before heading through Centennial Park, past the Illecillewaet Greenbelt and back. The 12-kilometre course added an extra loop into Arrow Heights.
The 2012 race wasn’t sanctioned by the Interior Running Association as it had been in previous years. That meant there were just a few competitive runners from out of town. In the past, racers from the Okanagan, Shuswap and beyond travelled to race and gain points on the circuit.
Jarrett Spannier had been a key organizer of the race for the past years under the banner of the Revelstoke Alpine Runners. In a brief speech following the race, he thanked former organizer Robin Abear for her help, and also welcomed the new RCU team. "I'd like to thank the Revelstoke Credit Union for saving this race for this community. A big round of applause for [RCU organizer] Crystal [Robichaud]."
Not having to man the timing booth allowed Spannier to race in his trademark Superman cape, (finishing 10th overall in the 12k with a time of 53:35.)
Rory Luxmoore won the men’s 12k with a time of 45:29, reeling in two early leaders at about the six-kilometre mark. "My kilometres were under four minutes, which I was pretty happy with," he said. He finished ahead of Denis Ryan of North Vancouver (46:40) and Gordon Mason of Revelstoke (49:00).
National champion Nordic skier Megan Evans had her best ever road racing result to date, finishing first amongst women with a time of 49:47. “I felt pretty good. I was kind of confused about pacing -- I think I went out too fast, but it worked out,” said the Grade 11 RSS student.
The top three finishers in the five-kilometre race were Rory Christie-Hoyle (22:36), Nina McKinlay (22:58) and Mel Grasso (23:10).
Following the race participants gathered in Queen Elizabeth Park for a barbecue, live music and lots of prizes and draws. Members of the Revelstoke Grizzlies volunteered to help with set up and prize duties.
See revelstoketimesreview.com for a photo gallery from the 2012 race.