Kristy Lukewich celebrates finishing her first marathon at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon Oct. 7. Photo submitted.

Kristy Lukewich celebrates finishing her first marathon at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon Oct. 7. Photo submitted.

Comox Valley athletes show well at Victoria Marathon

The return of fall also marks the return of road racing season. For many local runners, their biggest target race of the year was the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon Oct. 7,which includes an 8k, half-marathon, and full marathon.

The biggest event of the day was the half-marathon, with nearly 3,000 participants.

The Comox Valley Road Runners Masters team won the team competition. Leading the group was Danny Keyes, who finished in 1:27 to place second in his individual category. Hot on his heels was Brian Stewart, finishing third in the same category, with a time of 1:28.

Next on the team was Andrea Wilson, finishing in 1:34 for fourth in her category. Roslyn Smith was next on the team, posting a time of 1:49 to win her category. Next were Darrell Fisher and Mark Arsenault, both in 1:51. John and Janice Youds were the final members of the winning team.

Many other local runners participated in the race but were not part of the Masters team. Becky Sulek finished in 1:33 to crack the top 10 in her category. Neil Collins had a great run, finishing in 1:47 as a new personal best. Sam Knowles ran a 2:03, for eighth place in his category.

Cathie Collins also ran a personal best, finishing in 2:04. And Cindy Blackmore had a great race finishing in 2:06.

With more than 2,000 runners, the next biggest event is the 8k race. Mother and daughter Sharon and Raleigh Fisher ran together to a great finish in 1:00. Not far behind was David Livingstone, finishing in 1:05 for fifth in his category. And both finishing in 1:13 were Wendy Sutton an Maureen Boldt, with Boldt also placing fourth in her category.

Despite being the smallest event of the day, at just over 1,000 participants, the full marathon is also the marquis event of the day. The top Comox Valley Road Runner was Keith Wakelin, who not only finished in a stellar time of 3:13, but also won his age category. Natalie Pulsford had a great run to finish in 3:20, earning 4th place in her category. Colleen Schmidt was not far behind in 3:27, also placing fourth. Yet another fourth-place finish was earned by Sharon Bearpark, who finished in 4:29. Janet Green showed the depth of her experience and fitness, winning her category in 4:40. And not far behind was Sonja Leach, who finished in 4:44 to place fourth.

One of the most exceptional stories of the day was Kristy Lukewich, who finished her first marathon ever in 4:37. While this is impressive in its own right, even more impressive is that she just started running with the Comox Valley Road Runners 5k running clinic this past January.

“What a fantastic experience,” she said. “The medal represents more than just the race, but all those training runs and all the support from the CVRR family. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Another first-time marathoner who had an excellent result was Kacey Wall, who finished in 4:50.

“It was great!,” Wall said, when asked about her experience. “I’m sore, but I finished strong and now I’m looking for the next challenge!”

Congratulations to everyone who participated. For full results, visit racedaytiming.ca.

If you’re feeling inspired or need more inspiration, be sure to check out the 2019 Comox Valley Road Runners 5k Running Clinic. The clinic begins in early January, and is a great way to kick off the New Year on the right foot.

For more information, go to cvrr.ca