Feb.3/02, Steveston — It was a bit of a scramble with no timing company on race morning, but director Peter Phillips pulled it all together for a successful first event of the 2002 Series. With lots of great draw prizes, food and drinks, and a warm room to relax in, participants in the Kajaks Steveston Ice-Breaker 8k didn’t appear to be ruffled by the temporary absence of computerized results.
Craig Odermatt of Island Pacific Athletics (Victoria) in particular was unconcerned as he knew his finishing place — crossing the line first overall in 25:28. This was after a mid-race battle with 2001 Series winner Colin Dignum, who wasn’t far behind for a second place result (25:42). Third man was Richard Lee in 26:15 — who, by the way, was also first master, having joined the 40+ ranks for this year’s Series.
Odermatt didn’t know what to expect going into the race, having been racing and training well over the past few months but then feeling run-down in the last week of January: “It could have been training or just being tired from work.” However on race morning he woke up feeling better and had a good warm-up. The wind was a bit of a concern “after last year’s psycho headwind” but he knew it would be the same for everyone.
After about 2 kilometres, Odermatt found himself in the lead of a small pack. “I didn’t really plan that with the wind. However I was feeling strong so I thought why not. Colin [Dignum] was in close pursuit.” After the turnaround point at 4k the wind was at their backs and Odermatt was able to push the pace a little. He heard less and less of Dignum’s breathing behind him until he was out on his own, and managed to maintain that lead right to the finish. “A very satisfying run, especially when you beat someone good like Colin who has beaten me quite often in the past.”
Darcie Montgomery of the Hershey Harriers got her year off to a solid start with a victory in this morning’s windy conditions, completing the out-and-back route in 29:31. (Montgomery’s mother Lenore also competed, winning the 70-74 division and beating over half the women’s field in an amazing 41:42 — wouldn’t we all like to have those genetics on our side!) Sheila Mullins took silver with a 30:08 clocking, while first masters woman and third overall in 30:36 was another Hershey, Jackie Holloway. Female masters rounding out the top three were Lesley Tomlinson (31:30) and Michele Carr (32:02), both in the 40-44 grouping.
Second and third place masters in the men’s competition were Rick Hickson with a strong 27:02 for 9th overall, and Dave Reed (27:57) in the 45-49 division. Herb Phillips demolished the 60-64 competition in 30:34, nearly nine minutes ahead of the next finisher in that division.
Richmond resident Ken Williams was first among the junior men in 29 minutes flat; though he will be competing in the 20-24 division of the 2002 Series as he is turning 20 this spring. Only three seconds behind Williams was the next junior male, Edward Hoey. First junior woman was Cristina Struik in an excellent 32:25, far ahead of her nearest age-group competitors.
See full race results here (close window after viewing to return to this page).