Picturesque Okanagan Lake played host to almost 3000 runners in the annual marathon and family festival weekend.  Participants could choose from the full or half marathon, 10k, 5k or kids run in the beautiful setting of Kelowna, in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

Much of the route followed the shores of Okanagan Lake, which stretches from north to south for approximately 110km.  

Kelowna is described as “the small city that offers the world”.  It is cradled within a glorious range of mountains; a sanctuary filled with pristine lakes, pine forests, abundant gardens, orchards and vineyards, sandy beaches, and superb amenities.

The lake sustains several diverse communities along the corridor known as the Okanagan Valley. The valley is located at the northern-most end of the Sonora Desert and has a semi-arid climate, boasting long warm summers and short mild winters.


Orchards and vineyards thrive within a 10-minute drive of the town centre and provide seasonal delights year round.  You can pluck ripe cherries or juicy peaches from trees, or spend a delightful day sampling the wares of Kelowna’s  internationally acclaimed wineries.

Okanagan Marathon was a perfect way for participants to enjoy autumn before heading into winter.


Focus on breathing

Breathing is a key area of focus for the runner.  It's as important as getting the limbs moving correctly and should all become part of the movement package; making the body operate like a well oiled machine.  Breathing problems can cause cramps and fatigue and subsequently poor performance.

Proper breathing will allow oxygen to flow to the muscles more efficiently which, in turn, will increase endurance and a good breathing rhythm will make running more enjoyable and comfortable.  It can also help to fix the runner into the correct mental state before a race.  It is as important to undertake breathing exercises during a warm up as it is to stretch muscles.  Taking deep breaths, ie inhaling and holding for 5 seconds and exhaling and holding for 5 seconds helps to focus the mind and get the runner into the correct 'zone', as well as calming the body down.

Working the arms and legs together with breathing into a set pattern will focus the runner and distract from any pain and soreness which may occur during any endurance sport.  Music can help with this process.  Finding music with a rhythm that works for the runner and helps them to focus on their movement and breathing can be a great motivator.


This method is commonly associated with elite athletes and very experienced runners.  There are various ratios to chose from, ie 3:2, 2:2 and 2:1.  Each of these can be used at different points in a race.  The easiest to follow is the 2:2 when starting out with this method of breathing.  It basically means breathing in for 2 steps and breathing out for 2 steps.  The 3:2 ratio means breath in for right, left, right and out for left, right, left.  Many Elite runners switch to 2:1 towards the end of the race.

This method can be practiced whilst walking until it becomes second nature.  It is then much easier to apply during running.

Ultimately, for all runners, breathing should be relaxed and natural and every runner should find the method that suits them and their performance the best.


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