In the world of athletics, achieving a Personal Best is often seen as the Holy Grail.
At last Tuesday’s Intersport 5-Kilometre Fun Run and Walk several runners set PBs for the season.
The timing could not be better with the Klondike Trail of ‘98 Road Relay just over two weeks away.
Thirty-seven runners enjoyed almost ideal running conditions with a temperature of 17 degrees and a light south wind.
In the female category, for the second time this season, Josianne Markley reached the finish line first in an almost PB time of 21:23.
Markley had no serious challengers with the second- (Carolyn Coombs, 24:22) and third- (Robin Fairburn, 24:41) place runners being three minutes behind her.
Fourth-place finisher Emily Aasman ran a strong race (25:35) in no man’s land as she found herself a minute back of Coombs and Fairburn but 60 to 90 seconds ahead of a group of five runners who were trying to close the gap (Zoe Zimmerman, Justine Scheck, Ziggy Riemer, Heather Johnson and Coralie Ullyett).
On the men’s side, Brock University runner Rodney Hulstein thundered through the course in a season PB of 16:16.
Throughout the race, Hulstein was closely pursued by the lanky University of Alaska cross-country skier Ray Sabo who finished just 29 seconds later in 16:45.
Rob Westberg was involved in the closest duel of the evening as he and John Parry ran neck-in-neck throughout the five-kilometre course with the lead position often changing between them.
This battle led to PBs for both of them.
In the end, Westberg (18:25) sprinted across the finish line in third place just one second ahead of Parry (18:26) who had to settle for fourth place.
The fifth and sixth place spots featured two masters runners having a struggle of their own as ultra marathoner Keith Thaxter (19:26) and Tom Ullyett (19:23) challenged each other all along the route leading both runners to PBs.
The walking category once again featured Ruth Hall and Rick Griffiths facing off against each other. For the second week in a row, Hall (35:48) prevailed over Griffiths.
The events over the next week are as follows:
August 26 (Sunday) — Chocolate Claim 10 Miler Road Race, hosted by Athletics Yukon
Whitehorse: Rotary Park, registration 9:30 a.m., start time 10 a.m.
August 28 (Tuesday) — Intersport 5Km Fun Run/Walk
Whitehorse: FH Collins School, 6:30 p.m., every Tuesday night until mid-October.
August 30 (Thursday) — Sportslife Trail Run, hosted by BARA
Start time 6:30 p.m. Call Nancy Thomson, 867-333-0983, for more information.
Fifty people turned out at Ear Lake on Wednesday evening, just as the rain started to fall.
It didn’t dampen any spirits though, and everyone had a wonderful time on the many ups and downs of the Ear Lake map.
Meet director Afan Jones planned four courses that offered something for everyone.
On the 1.75-kilometre novice course, the junior squad members led the way. Brother and sister team of Shawn and Evelynn Kitchen worked well together and finished in 19:50.
Dustin Wilkinson was not far behind in 24:09, and Galena Roots and mom Mary-Anne finished in third place with a time of 30:50.
The short intermediate course, at 2.25 kilometres, was led by another junior, Kerstin Burnett in 36:58. Ev Pasichnyk followed in 41:57 and Beth Hawkings in 47:02.
The long intermediate (3.5 kilometres) attracted the most participants. Juri Peepre finished in a speedy 46:14, followed by Ryan Kelly in 53:39 and Barbara Scheck in 58:27.
The seven-kilometre advanced course had competitors covering all parts of the map from the big depressions in the north end to the detailed contours in the south.
Only three took on the challenge, with Ross Burnett successfully holding off the young legs behind him. Burnett finished in 73:47, followed by Lee Hawkings in 85:11 and Nansen Murray in 88:07.
The next Wednesday meet will be on September 5th on the Long Lake map. The start location will be in the hospital parking lot. For more info call Afan at 667-6659.
Coming on Sept 15th and 16th will be the year end wrap up with two events, a middle distance on Saturday and a fun O-Cross on Sunday. For more info call Barbara at 668-2306 or check the website at www.yukonorienteering.ca