Anyone hoping to run today's half-marathon in Kelowna in around an hour-and-a-half can follow "pace
rabbit" Rick Jenkner of Kamloops, with his ears reading 1:30. The half-marathon is among the courses in the BMO Okanagan Marathon.
Instead, he decided to sprint ahead and won the five-kilometre event at Saturday's BMO Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna.
"I guess I kind of left him in the dust," Pigott said of his stepfather. "The running felt good, so I just decided to go for it."
Pigott beat about 200 other racers with a quick time of just under 22 minutes.
"I like running, but I don't do it very often," said Pigott, who came into town from Calgary with family for the Thanksgiving long weekend.
"I've only ever done one race before - another 5K in Calgary - and I finished second with 27 minutes."
Saturday's 5K race, billed as a fun run, was one of several events leading up to the main-event marathon today.
Organizers present the marathon as a three-day festival to get as many people out as possible.
If you can't or don't want to run the 42 kilometres of the marathon, which starts at 7:15 a.m. this morning, you can do the three-kilometre Friendship Run, 5K or 1K Kids' Run on Saturday.
In addition to the marquee marathon today, which 535 are running, there's also a half-marathon with 1,500 runners and a 10K with 800.
In all, 3,500 athletes will take part in one or more events, and even more will drop by the Kids Zone and Sports Expo near the start and finish lines in City Park.
"The Okanagan Marathon is one of three big running events we sponsor in B.C. annually along with the BMO Vancouver Marathon and Goddess Run on Vancouver Island," said BMO head of corporate finance Christine Cooper, who will run the 10K today.
"We like to be affiliated because it's a fundraiser for the Sunshine Kids Foundation and it helps us connect with the community, clients and employees with a fit, healthy and fun event. A bank can encourage people to be fiscally fit as well as physically fit."
Little Colton Johnson did his third race Saturday. But since he's asleep, only nine months old and can't even walk yet, mom Amanda pushed him in a stroller.
"This is how we do our training, too," she said with a laugh.
"In addition to this 5K, we've done the Rock and Roll in Seattle and a leg of a relay for the Wine Country Half Marathon."
Angella and Nathan Dykstra of Summerland also did the 5K as mother and son, but Nathan, 9, actually ran himself.
"He's done 5K races by himself before in Summerland and Peachland," said Angella, "but he was nervous to do this one by himself in the big city of Kelowna, so here I am."
Rick Jenkner of Kamloops was wandering around wearing pink bunny ears after jogging the three-kilometre Friendship Run.
"I'm a pace rabbit," he explained.
"The 1:30 on my ears means I'll be running the half-marathon (today) in about an hour-and-a-half, so if people are aiming for that time, they can run with me. Usually, I get quite a pack following me."
Today's races start and finish at City Park with routes into the North End, along Abbott Street and around Okanagan College.
Motorists are asked to watch for runners at the side of the road and comply with the temporary traffic stops associated with the races.