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Many compete in run and triathlon

June 6, the Saturday of Action Festival was an exciting day in Summerland.
Principals and vice principals from Summerland’s schools took part in the Giant’s Head Run on Saturday. From left are Jeff Redden of Trout Creek School

June 6, the Saturday of Action Festival was an exciting day in Summerland.

A glorious sunny day, with temperatures to soar up to 30 C, competitors were prepared to sizzle up their race routes.

Starting at 7 a.m., the bikers of the Man of Steel Triathlon took off around the famous Giant’s Head Mountain landmark.

The 10-kilometre loop was breezed through by the avid racers on their first of three laps to complete their 30-km distance.

Our youth of Summerland was well represented as young triathletes and triathlon teams completed their single 10-km loop.

The next portion of the Man of Steel Triathlon was the 9 a.m. swim.

Youngsters and recreational athletes swam 16 lengths (400 metres) or up to 32 lengths (800 metres) for the full distance triathletes and teams.

The pool was filled with cheering teammates, family members and friends as times were recorded for each swimmer.

Family teams are a great opportunity to get everyone involved.

The Mitchell Family for example, had Uncle Dave Mitchell ride the bike, six-year-old Payton Mitchell completed the 16-length swim, while three-year-old brother Emerson  geared up for his five-kilometre walk-run for the second time in his young life.

Eight-year-old teammates, the Domin8tors were all excited to be in their first triathlon as a team.

After Giant’s Head School completed their own marathon running program last week, it seemed the whole school got reeved up with healthy activity led by Principal Darcy Mullin to also enter the community run races.

After a much deserved break, the young athletes took to the streets of Summerland to enjoy the Action Festival Parade at 10 a.m., the midway and maybe a nap.

By 5:30 p.m. the library green space was full of Giant’s Head Runners warming up to music and exercises led by fitness instructor Lynn Ellis of the Recreation Department.

This warm up always gets people connected and in the spirit of a community event that is all about health, personal challenge and fun.

A sea of yellow could be seen in all distances as the new race shirt was being proudly sported.

At the start line, our five Summerland principals and vice principals who have been our ambassadors for this year’s Giant’s Head Run all met for a pre-race photo.

As ambassadors, they all have embraced the importance of healthy active living to their schools and students by leading by example.  They are Jeff Redden, Trout Creek School;  Sheena Fowlie, Summerland Montessori School; Darcy Mullin, Giant’s Head Elementary; Chris Van Bergeyk, Summerland Secondary School and Darryl Tenisci of Summerland Middle School.

The finish line was victorious for all 621 participants.

First five-kilometre finisher, Gabriel Girard (Male 16-18 category) finished in at a time of 22:23 while Ben Thistlewood, was the first to finish for the 10-km in a time of 35:47 (Male 19-39 category).

Families with strollers and children who would walk, run and rest were so proud to get their participation ribbons for competitors seven years or younger.

With the 22 categories of the Giant’s Head Run, all the results can be found on the District’s webpage or direct to the timing page at

Thank you for our amazing crew of volunteers who make this event possible, safe and fun. Thank you to the District of Summerland, the Recreation staff team, Public Works and Parks staff who continue to endlessly work to keep our parks beautiful and make our events a success.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.