People from the Bentley area participated in a number of ways in the recent 13th annual 2011 Woody’s RV World Marathon and Half Marathon.
Participants from across Canada and a few from the United States, ranging in age from 11 to 77, with some former marathoner champions, participated in the three lengths of races.
It involved more than 1,500 participants on 40 kilometres of scenic riverside trails. About 300 volunteers assisted.
Not only is the co-chair/course director of the event, Jason Hazlett, a teacher at the Bentley School, but he challenged staff to compete as well, and some of the staff members did. A number of them entered the new 10K event.
Students, mostly from Grade 11 got involved by volunteering to man one of the well-appreciated water stations along the route.
Because of their enthusiasm around their well-decorated, encouraging and well-run station, the students were voted the best water station by participants. The school was awarded a plaque in recognition of their exceptional efforts. Manning the station were Grade 11students Jessie Cadman Shelby Duncan, Trent Grutterink, Steph Lenz, Darien Miller, Colby Reid, Andrea Taylor, and Tianna Reid from Grade 12.
Bentley students manned a station last year as well and indicated they are willing to do it again next year said Hazlett. “It is a way to get them exposed to marathoning and get them excited about entering themselves in the future,” he explained. “We (also) hope 10K participants (this year) catch the running bug.”
Eight staff, some running for their very first time in a marathon of any kind, completed the challenge.
Teacher Jill Howe, Grade 3 teacher Kelsey Ruttan and Grade 6/technology teacher Merv Leidel from Bentley School competed in the Half Marathon.
Entered in the new 10K event was administrative assistant Marsha Lush, who placed second among 90 runners in the women’s age 30 to 39 category.
Stephen Lush, school athletic director, taking over as assistant principal, came in third in among age 40 to 49 males. Grade 1 teacher Myrna Robinson placed fourth among 13 in the women’s age 50 to 59 class.
Ian McLaren, Bentley assistant principal, moving on to Eckville as principal, and educational assistant Trisha Giesbrecht also took part.
“The seven K mark would have been just about right,” first-time marathoner McLaren said. “The last three K was a struggle.”
When asked if he would do it again his response was “without a doubt” as he walked away with signs of stiffness and overworked muscles showing a few days later.
Hazlett has competed in about seven different marathons before. Last year he competed in Woody’s while also acting in the co-chair role. He found focusing on the competition while also helping organize the event was way too much to worry about, so this year he opted not to compete in it, concentrating solely on the organizing/administration end of the event.
Many others from Bentley also competed.
Those competing in the Half Marathon included Pamela Stephenson in the age 20 to 29 women where she placed 29th out of 128; Zach Nwaribe in the 19 and under males’ class where he placed sixth out of 12 in his class; and Amy Taylor in the 19 and under Half Marathon, a former student at Bentley.
Also taking part in the 10K event were Laurel Barton (16th out of 90 in the women’s 30 to 39 class) and Natasha Robinson (38th out of 90 in the women’s 30 to 39 class).
Michelle Harding and Richard Ritter from Rimbey ran the Half Marathon.
All are to be congratulated on their completion of a very challenging race, with a big vote of appreciation going out to all the organizers and volunteers.
Hazlett says they are developing the Red Deer marathon into a “destination run” that families and friends can plan to take part in together and enjoy a weekend together. The scenic trails are a drawing card for competitors who say they enjoy the course so much they like to come back.