The Omak-OkanOgan COunTy ChrOniCle • • • •
August 21, 2013
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view from the sidelines Al Camp
Run for beer in Seattle Heath named MVP of USA team Fresh on the heels of the Warrior Stampede, which had a beer garden and live music on Friday night, comes the 11th annual Fremont Oktoberfest 5K in Seattle. It’s the ultimate beer run, with racers crossing the finish line at the Fremont Oktoberfest Village Beer Garden and toasting their victory with a refreshing beer included in registration (for racers 21 years of age or older). Runners may take the standard 5K route and run solo, or in true Fremont fashion, they can follow a path less traveled and join the unique Beer Belly Division or Team Division. Men weighing over 220 pounds and women weighing over 175 pounds are eligible to compete in the Beer Belly Division and receive the unfair advantage of a head start, giving them the chance to be first to the finish line (and beer). “We honor the most elite Oktoberfest athletes, those who have spent years indulging in Northwest microbrews, and who are sporting the much sought after beer belly,” explains Creative Director Phil Megenhardt. Runners can also compete with friends in the Team Division for multiple award categories: biggest team, fastest team (based on the four fastest runners) and best-dressed team. “Hopefully you’re friends with Usain Bolt and Lolo Jones!” jokes Megenhardt. “You’ll want to gather lots of your quickest friends and get them to dress up in their ridiculous banana costumes or traditional German dirndl to win all the awards.” Preregistration is $25 and includes a seasonal beer for racers 21 years of age or older, and a Fremont Oktoberfest 5K T-shirt (guaranteed with registration before Sept. 19). More information can be found at FremontOktober fest.com. ◆◆◆◆◆ Chantel Heath, who has family ties to this region and played basketball at Reardan High School, looked great on a recent trip Heath with an USA team in Australia. She returned late last month as the MVP of her team called the Wildcats. The team included players from New Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona and California. “They took 50 girls and broke them up to make seven or eight teams,” Chantel said. The teams were split in two for pool play along with Australian teams. “Our pool was definitely the hardest,” the 5-7 point guard said. The Top 3 teams were Australian teams while the Wildcats finished fifth. Chantel, 18, who has family members from the Keller District of the Colville Indian Reservation, is attending Central Washington University this fall on a full-ride scholarship. “They brought me here to be a point guard,” Chantel said. “I have a pretty good shot at playing my first year.”
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Olivia Harnack/Special to The Chronicle
Brandi Wilson, left, and Rhiannon Easter, both of Pateros, work their way through the mud pit near the end of the third annual Warrior Stampede obstacle race.
Warriors get muddy Popular race draws nearly 300 to Omak By Al Camp The Chronicle OMAK – An opportunity to compete in cooler night air produced a sterling finish for the overall title at the third annual Warrior Stampede obstacle course and run Friday, Aug. 16. Competitors, with some joined together in clans, also competed Saturday, Aug. 17. “This year’s race went off without a hitch,” organizer Mark Milner said. “The timing system, course and weather were all perfect.” Races started and finished at the Omak Stampede Arena. The three mile-plus course included obstacles like a giant hay bale stack, junked cars, ankletwisting tires and tall walls. John Durkee of Omak and Chris Branch of Tualatin, Ore., were way out in front most of the race, exchanging the lead several times, Milner said. “I think the times were impressive considering it was darker,” Milner said. “I was expecting slower times.” Branch, despite an injured Achilles tendon, was first to descend the World-Famous Suicide Race hill. But the injury slowed him, allowing Durkee to slip in front. Branch caught up with Durkee in the mud pit, where competitors were forced to go face down to get under barbed wire across the pit. “Chris got hung up on the barbed wire,” Milner said. “I think that took the wind out of his sails.” Durkee, 24, won the race in 23 minutes, 6.2 seconds for first overall and first in the 19-35 men’s age group. Branch, 30, was second in 23:19.2. Hannah Smith, 14, of Omak, was the first female to finish in a time of 28:51.3. She was in the 0-18 age division. Kara Thornton, 24, of Omak, was the second female overall, taking first in the 19-25 division in 30:51.5. The Top 3 in each age division between races Friday and Saturday received medallions, Milner said. The overall crown came from runners competing on Friday only, he said. In the junior warrior, Evan Porter won the boys 18-and-
Roger Harnack/The Chronicle
Joel Barnes, left, and Sarah Tarbert, both of Waterville, chug along the dike between the hay bales and car scramble. under in 13:48.9 and Olivia Richards the girls title (second overall) in 13:58.0. The oldest entrant was Shirley Bowden, 71, of Okanogan, who entered the race for the first time this year. “It was pretty much what I expected it to be,” Bowden said. “I knew some of the things would be difficult because of my height. I usually say I am 5-2, but I don’t think I am quite that.” The taller obstacles, like the hay bales and walls, allowed Bowden to borrow on her upper body strength gleaned from pushups, along a station workout and five days a week doing whatever is on the calendar at the North Cascade Athletic Club. “The worst one (obstacle) was the tunnel, because I felt like I could not breathe in there,” she said. The river also proved tough, and she used a rope for most of the crossing. “I was up to my arm pits in water only 12 feet from shore,” she said. “I wasted a lot of time in the water.” Bowden managed to get under the first barbed wire
across the mud pit near the finish, but went around the second one. “I would not put my face in the mud,” she said. Bowden, who finished in 58:45.2, celebrated the next day with a bike ride of about 10 miles from Okanogan to Omak and back . Milner said the pit, which in the past was fairly easy to get through, proved a lot tougher this year thanks to the efforts of George Dunckel, Mike Ables and Gary George. The trio worked a week on the pit and right up to the races was stirring the mud to make it the toughest obstacle on the course. The pit not only claimed minutes of time off competitors, but also Shelly Martinez’s shoe that contained her chip for timing purposes. A chip is placed on a shoe, normally using a lace, and is used with a pad at the start and finish line to obtain times. “Those three guys made the mud pit as good as it was,” Milner said. “It was so gooey. Not like last year when it was dirty water.”
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Al Camp/The Chronicle
Organizer Mark Milner, right, and his niece, Amanda Milner, stop during Friday night races.
Tough golfers to wear pink on Friday Money raised from golf event goes to free mammograms The Chronicle OKANOGAN – The annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink
golf tournament returns Friday, Aug. 23, at the Okanogan Valley Golf Club, 105 Danker Cutoff Road. The registration deadline is Thursday, Aug. 22. Check-in at the course is 11:30 a.m. A shotgun, scramble start is at 1 p.m.
Lots of prizes will be awarded including for bestdressed team, closest-to-thepin, Top 3 teams, worst score and long drives. Play is limited to 72 players on first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $50, which includes a barbecue dinner. Additional dinner tickets are
available for $15 per person. Golfers can purchase, prior to play, extend-a-putt string, mulligans and skirts. Registration forms are available at the golf club. Proceeds stay in Okanogan County for free mammograms and follow-up cancer screens for women with no insurance.