Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon to Support Heat Cross Country

okanagan heat

Cary Mellon

August 16, 2013, Kelowna, BC (ISN) – The Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon is coming to the Okanagan, and UBC Okanagan Heat Cross Country is looking for volunteers to help with the event in their name.

The half-marathon in Kelowna is the newest event produced by Destination Races, and the first event held outside the United States. For more info on the race visit

If you’re interested in lending a hand as a volunteer and helping grow the burgeoning cross country program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, there are spots available.

Go to  and Register to volunteer as an affiliate of ‘Heat Cross Country (UBCO)’.

Team water stations of up to 10 individuals can be accommodated; other options will be to help at an aid station, doing setup/cleanup or at the start or finish line. If you have a group that would be interested in volunteering a station, please contact Nikki Reiter,

Going into their third year helming the Heat cross country program the husband and wife duo of Nikki and Nathan Reiter are working feverishly at the university and in the community to elevate cross country into a full varsity sport at the Kelowna campus.

“We want our student athletes to feel as if they’ve worked for the opportunity to represent their institution, and part of this involves them putting the energy into seeking the funding required for the success of the program,” says head coach Nikki Reiter. “We have six core values that we are utilizing to encourage the student athletes to find a way to becoming a permanent fixture in the Heat varsity athletics program: Excellence, Opportunity, Commitment, Collaboration, Adaptability and Self-Sustainability.”

Director of Athletics at UBC’s Okanagan campus Rob Johnson, whose athletics program continues to evolve since becoming the Heat in 2008, is in favour of adding the sport and is supportive of the Reiter’s efforts.

“I really appreciate the work Nikki and Nathan are putting into their sport; their work in the community and on campus is inspiring,” says Johnson.

Nikki and Nathan Reiter saw a hole in the athletics program when they arrived in August of 2011 and immediately searched out a way to help fill it.

“We had a great experience as student athletes while studying at CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) institutions, University of Windsor and McMaster University,” explains Nikki. “With the warm, dry climate late into the fall season and the beautiful trails located on and near campus we knew it was a special place for runners.”

The pair have made an impact in the community and at the university.

As coaches they have created an already strong Heat team. By November 2012, the women’s team had emerged as a medal contender at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships. With a fourth place finish, they narrowly missed the podium. The men ran well also and finished 10th in the country.

This fall, the women will fight for a spot on the podium in what may be their last season as a CCAA team before possibly moving to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league next year.

UBC Okanagan Heat student athletes dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to the university and community throughout the year. For example, the Heat Cross Country team has previously volunteered as course marshals for the BC High School XC Championships, have participated in the yearly Wendy’s Dreamlift Foundation Event, and are now hoping to support the runners in their local community by ensuring great volunteers at the inaugural Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon.

Unable to lend a hand? Other tax-deductible corporate sponsorship opportunities, including corporate team run training, exist. For more information, contact Head Coach Nikki Reiter at

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