Roadrunners Wayne Crowe (L) and Rob Kelly (R) celebrate the end of the Half-Corked Half Marathon. Photo submitted

Roadrunners Wayne Crowe (L) and Rob Kelly (R) celebrate the end of the Half-Corked Half Marathon. Photo submitted

Comox Valley Road Runners hit the mainland for races in Vancouver and Oliver

The BMO Vancouver Marathon took place May 2.

The race features a rolling course that is beautiful and varied. It begins at Queen Elizabeth park and heads up to UBC, then along the Spanish Banks, across the Burrard Street Bridge, and finally loops around the Seawall at Stanley Park to finish downtown. This was the 50th anniversary of the event and over 18,000 runners took part, with a strong contingent of locals also toeing the line.

The start line of a marathon is always a place of nervous tension. This year the tension was even greater than usual as the race start was delayed by approximately an hour due to what was reported to runners at the time as a “police incident.” Later, it was revealed that a suspicious device was spotted on the course and explosive experts were called in to dispose of it. Despite the disruption to their normal race routine, runners still had exceptional performances. This was aided by good weather with cool temperatures and light winds, although some wind gusts around the Seawall did add to the challenge.

Comox Valley Road Runner president Rob Kelly lea the way, winning his category and narrowly breaking the three-hour barrier with a time of 2:59:50. He was followed by Derek Brenchley, who ran well to win his category in 3:07.

Danny Keyes also had a solid day, winning his age group in 3:17. He was followed closely by top local female Andrea Wilson with Colleen Schmidt in hot pursuit, as they finished just 18 seconds apart, both in a time of 3:17.

Natalie Pulsford ran well to finish in 3:20. Wayne Crowe also had a strong run, finishing in 3:22 and taking 2nd in his category.

Andrew Brown had a good day, finishing the marathon in 3:40.

Roslyn Smith once again won her category, finishing in 3:50 and besting her own previous Canadian record. Neil Collins, Candice Wheeldon, and Paul Vieira also ran well, finishing in 4:08, 4:35, and 5:13 respectively. Meanwhile, Cabiri Calisto won her category in the virtual marathon with a time of 3:40. Full results are available online.

Half Corked Half Marathon

Crowe and Rob Kelly also demonstrated the fun and silly side of running, as they also participated in the Half Corked Half Marathon in Oliver. The race takes place through the vineyards of the Osoyoos wine country. In addition to regular race fare, the aid stations included samples of local wines for the runners. Runners are also encouraged to run in costume, and Crowe and Kelly did not disappoint, as both elected to run in vintage roadrunner costumes.

5th Street Mile

A fun local way to celebrate Canada Day is to lead the parade in the 5th Street Mile. This is a family friendly event, so be sure to bring out the whole family. Please be sure to register online at by June 30th, as there will be no day-of registration this year. Another fun event that is also coming up in July is the CVRR Backyard Ultra. This is a fun participation event where runners see how many loops of a set course they can run. Runners of all abilities are encouraged to participate, and there will be lots of prizes and some surprise snacks along the way. For more information on these or other local running events, be sure to check out

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