Organizers of the first Kamloops Marathon have their eyes on bigger and better things for next year.
Most of the 400 or so runners who took part in the four-race event likely were thinking the same thing.
The Kamloops Marathon, the city's first such event since the early 1990s, was held Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's action featured the five- and 10-kilometre races, with the marathon and half-marathon running Sunday.
The whole weekend was aimed at promoting running and healthy living in Kamloops, with funds raised going to the TRU WolfPack cross-country team.
Christopher Seguin, the vice-president of advancement at TRU and a big push behind the event, couldn't have been happier with the way things went.
"It's an absolutely exciting day," Seguin said. "Some really fast finishers, some really fast runners, but, more importantly, everyone really enjoyed themselves."
The weekend also featured a running expo near Hillside Stadium on Saturday, where local races and clubs set up booths and Ryan Day of Cache Creek, who went on to win Sunday's marathon, gave a speech about his running and training philosophy.
According to the event's entry list, 397 runners signed up for the four races - 189 in the half-marathon, 56 in the marathon, 88 in the 10km and 64 in the 5km.
That's good, and Seguin believes it will continue to improve.
"Our goal structure is to double every year for the next couple of years," he said. "We had around 500 runners this year, we want 1,000 next year and, after that (2,000)."
The courses were set up to showcase the best of Kamloops.
The Saturday races started and ended at HIllside Stadium, allowing for great views of the valley and TRU, while Sunday's races, whose start/finish lines were on McArthur Island, had runners reaching all corners of the city.
The marathon course was flat, which is to the organizers' and athletes' liking.
"We've got the ability, with a flat course, to make it into a Boston (Marathon) qualifier and attract a lot of people to come and race here," said race director Phil Hiom. "Because it's at the end of July, if we get a really hot day, the heat is going to be a problem - so putting a hillier, more challenging course with heat is, I think, too much."
The runners were pleased.
Hans Aabye of Merritt competed in the 5km and half-marathon events, and ended up winning both. He obviously enjoyed everything about the weekend.
"They did a fantastic job - for a first marathon, it was perfect," Aabye said. "Just some small things - I might add a few water stations along the river . . . for the people who are out there longer, and maybe some more marking.
"But everything was fantastic."
Day, who won the marathon in two hours 35 minutes 25 seconds, also had good things to say about the first Kamloops Marathon.
"They did a good job," Day said. "I definitely didn't see any problems. Usually, the first year running a race, there's some kinks that need to be worked out, but these guys put on trail races all the time, so they know what they're doing.
"It went really well - it's nice to see a lot of volunteers out at the crack of dawn."