Anette Kralisch runs along the Millennial Trail during the Yukon 10-kilometre Road Race Championships in Riverdale on Aug. 15. Kralisch won her third women’s title in the event. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)

Quadragenarians win at Yukon 10K road championships

Ryan Leef, Anette Kralisch top the field

To borrow their expression: Sorry not sorry, Millennials, you didn’t win this one.

A pair of runners in their 40s were the top male and female at the Yukon 10-kilometre Road Race Championships, hosted by Athletics Yukon on Aug. 15.

Whitehorse runners Ryan Leef, 43, and Anette Kralisch, 42, were the first to complete the two laps of the five-kilometre Riverdale course that started and ended at F.H. Collins Secondary.

Leef has won a number of running titles over the years, but this was his first as a masters runner (over 40).

“I know I did it in my teens, my 20s and my 30s, but I think this is my first one in my 40s, so it’s kind of a neat benchmark,” said Leef.

“I was happy with my time. I’m getting into shape again and I thought we could crack 40, and we were on pace to do it. I had a great race, it was exciting as far as running goes — I had a partner (Ted Tucker) the whole way, right until nine kilometres. So we made a race of it and backed off the pace a little bit on the second five-K.

“I felt good and could kick well at the end, which was a nice feeling.”

Leef crossed the finish in 40 minutes and 15 seconds, outpacing Tucker, an open male runner, by 12 seconds. The third fastest male runner was Ross King at 47:01.

Kralisch regained the top female title, having won it in 2014 and 2015.

She finished in 44:52. So how did she feel at the end? “Awful,” said Kralisch.

“I was pretty disappointed actually. I was hoping for a much better time,” she added. “It felt great for the first three-K. I thought, ‘I’ve got this, this is going to be a personal best,’ and then it hit me. Then it was just about survival, mental strength training.”

Masters runner Janet Clarke placed second for females at 47:25 and open female Joanna Sharp came third at 56:22

Leef, a former Yukon MP, finished in second place just one second behind the winner at the five-kilometre championship in 2014 and placed second in the 10-kilometre championship in 2015.

He is considering competing at the Canadian Masters Athletics Indoor Track and Field Championships this winter.

“Once I start racing, I get the taste of it and it doesn’t take long to drill back down to a program I’m familiar with, and I think indoor nationals would be a great time — the middle of the winter — and I should be pretty fit by December,” said Leef.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com