MEDICINE HAT, AB – It looks as though a torrential downpour was inevitable for racers at the 40th annual Rattler Run at Medicine Hat College on Saturday, but Mother Nature gave runners a break.
Morning rain showers cleared up before the opening gun of the 10 kilometre race, while temperatures hovered around a comfortable seven degrees for those testing their endurance.
Those conditions benefited Charlene McGrath, who won the women’s 10 kilometre overall title with a time of just over 45 minutes.
“I was really surprised when I got up, I guess it was raining,” said McGrath. “I think it was perfect timing. It was pretty decent out, it wasn’t too cold.”
McGrath’s victory comes as little surprise to anyone involved with the Rattler Run, as she is now the four-time defending champion in the women’s 10 kilometre category.
Ever the competitor though, she said it wasn’t her best result after posting a time of 42:22.44 last year.
“I guess a little disappointed,” she said. “Last year I did better, but I finished so that makes me happy.”
Also winning gold for her age category for the fourth consecutive year, McGrath said the Rattler Run is a nice combination of a community celebration that allows her to test her limits.
“Just very dedicated with my running,” she said. “I just feel like it’s a really good thing to be a part of the community.”
McGrath was also impressed by the wide array of ages taking part in the run, ranging from young children getting used to the three kilometre events to local seniors keeping their love of running alive.
“I think it’s just wonderful,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of seniors around and for myself that’s very inspiring.”
McGrath stood alongside Heather Tuckova and Sheri Emerson on the podium, who picked up silver and bronze in the 10 kilometre female category.
Neil Mardian meanwhile was tops in the 10 kilometre race for local men, crossing the finish line with a time of 36:57.86. That was good enough to beat out Tyler Larkin and Chris Jonker for the gold medal by over 40 seconds.
In the five kilometre race, Janelle Bykowski came away with a gold medal in the female category with a time of just under 21 minutes. She torched the rest of the field by almost two and a half minutes, with Jasmin Salmon and Elani Bykowski earning silver and bronze.
Landon Swartz topped Mike Orsini and Quinn Halldorson in the men’s five kilometre test, winning by over a minute at 17:28.97.
Finishing with a time of 11:50.15, Jayel Dovichak was the gold medal winner in the female three kilometre race, besting silver and bronze medallists Audyn Mettauer and Kamryn Dovichak.
And it was a close finish in the men’s three kilometre event, with Trevor Mickey crossing the finish line eight seconds faster than Eli Lavoie-Pierzchala with a time of 11:07.59.
Bronze in the men’s three kilometre race meanwhile was picked up by Denver Holt.
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