Penticton runners finish strong

Penticton’s Michael Kascak trimmed three minutes from his personal best time, helping him win the Peach City RunFest half-marathon Sunday.

PENTICTON’S Mike Kascak smiles as he crosses the finish line at Skaha Lake Park Sunday to take first place overall in the half-marathon event of the annual Peach City RunFest race.

PENTICTON’S Mike Kascak smiles as he crosses the finish line at Skaha Lake Park Sunday to take first place overall in the half-marathon event of the annual Peach City RunFest race.

Penticton’s Michael Kascak trimmed three minutes from his personal best time, helping him win the Peach City RunFest half-marathon Sunday.

Kascak clocked in at one, hour,  28 minutes and 27 seconds and said it was a good day for him overall.

“I was pretty pleased,” said Kascak, adding that this is his favorite event because the course is beautiful. “It was a personal best for me on any half course as well. The conditions and everything else just came together really well for me.”

The win was unexpected for Kascak, who joked that the better athletes decided to stay at home Sunday (May 12).

“The course records are certainly faster (1:12:16 in 2008) than what I was able to run,” he said. “It’s a bit gratifying to know that the hard work put in paid off. It’s really racing against myself every time. I wanted to finish under 1:30 if I could.”

It’s the ninth time Kascak has participated. He said organizers Steve Brown and Neil MacDonald along with their volunteers, do a great job.

Taking the 10-kilometre event was Luis David Haro Beristain from Keremeos in 37:15. He was followed by Vancouver’s Jason Curran in 37:58 and new Penticton resident Murray MacPherson at 39:32. MacPherson, 60, won his age group.

“It was great,” said MacPherson, who loves living in the Okanagan after 30 years in Calgary. “If I can get a third place, I’m probably doing OK.”

MacPherson said his focus was just having a good run and felt the overcast conditions were perfect. As much as he liked the course, his only criticism was it could have been more flat.

MacDonald said the day went well and was excited to see Kascak take first. He and organizers received comments from athletes that it was ran well. MacDonald added the new addition of the pancake breakfast was welcomed by people. They also had a 5-km United Way run, which attracted 42 participants. There was also the Kid’s Miler event, which had 23. They were excited to run with local athlete Jeff Symonds. The 10-km run had 66 participants, while the half distance had 104.

MacDonald said numbers were down from previous years.

“We find there is just a lot of events going on,” he said. “People usually tend to stick closer to home.”

For full results, check www.peachcityhalf.com/results/.