Penticton teacher wins 10K race

Penticton teacher wins 10K race

Approximately 125 people competed in last Sunday's 10K race in Oliver. Here, competitors take off at the start line. (Photo by Shauna Isted)

By Lyonel Doherty

Simon Bleich from Oliver finished third in last Sunday’s 10K race in Oliver Community Park. (Lyonel Doherty photo)

Josh Heinrich from Penticton was the first to admit that he only ran 8.75 kilometres despite winning the 10K race in Oliver last Sunday.


Due to a course marker being moved, some runners completed a shorter race, however, there was no doubt that Heinrich would have dominated the 10K event anyway because he was so far ahead of the field.

“It was hard running on my own; it’s nice to have someone to chase,” he said after the race.

Heinrich, a teacher at Penticton Secondary School, coaches the cross-country team there.

“As long as I’m hurting, I know I’m doing a good job (in the race),” he said.

Heinrich, who has been running competitively for four years, is “addicted to it.”

The teacher was one of 126 runners who competed in the event, which was Road Race #3 in the Canadian Tire Interior Running Association series.

Simon Bleich from Germany, who is living in Oliver at the moment, finished in second place in approximately 35 minutes.

Keagan Ingram from Summerland finished third.

Shauna Isted from Oliver Parks and Recreation confirmed that someone apparently tampered with the course, but they don’t know who.

She explained that the 5K pylon was moved closer to the 4K pylon and placed in the middle of the track. As a result, runners and the lead cyclist were not able to see the actual turn-around point, Isted said.

“This shaved about 1K off their race.”

Isted said next year they will make sure to have a volunteer at the turn-around location.

She pointed out that the Interior Running Association took the pace of the lead runners and adjusted their completion times accordingly.

“However, it did throw a wrench in things.”

Leon Fartrins-Nichol from Oliver finished in 15th spot, while Jill Lawson, also from Oliver, finished in 31st spot.

Jack Wessel from Oliver finished 52nd, while locals John West and Sasha Hopp finished 72nd and 73rd, respectively.

Paul Doyle finished 75th, while Gurtej Sidhu took 78th, followed by John O’Connor (84th), Donald Lawlor (88th), Karen Keist (96th), Heather Johnston (105th), Heather Whittall (106th), Dawn Goulden (115th), Katie Hadwin (117th), Mary-Ellen Hesselgrave (118th), Gurneet Stone (119th), Nina Munckhof (121st), and Sabra McIntyre (123rd).