Philip Rempel keeps an eye on the weather forecast back home as he prepares to compete in the BC 55+ Games, now underway in Kelowna.
Unlike many of the 4,400 senior athletes, Rempel is still working. And when you're a farmer, your livelihood can depend on the uncertainties of sun, rain, and temperature.
"It's been so wet back home we haven't been able to work the land, to get the crop off," Rempel, 68, said Wednesday.
"We need least three or four days in a row of dry conditions to get the combining done," said Rempel, who grows peas and grains on his land near Goodlow, in the Peace River country just west of the Alberta-B.C. border.
"It looks like we might be about to get the right weather now, so I might have to go home early," said Rempel, who had planned on competing in four running events.
Track and field competitions are being held at the Apple Bowl while other events such as badminton, darts, lawn bowling, slo-pitch and tennis were underway at venues across Kelowna.
At the Apple Bowl, there was a low-key, friendly vibe to the proceedings. Race winners were cheered by the smattering of fans in the stands, but the applause was sometimes louder for those who were last to cross the finish line.
"It's great to win, but really it's all about the effort," said Sharon McCallister, who was watching the 5,000-metre race.
"At 65, 75 and older, it's pretty impressive to see people being able to run that far, no matter what their finishing time is," McCallster said.
For his part, Rempel, who also owned a business in the oil and gas servicing industry, has competed in two past Games where he won gold medals in the 1500-metres and 5K.
But running, which he took up at age 45, isn't even his top recreational passion.
"Hockey, tennis, and pickleball are actually more fun to me," Rempel said. "I just run to keep in shape so I can do other things."