Comox Valley Road Runners hit the trails

File photo of Perseverance Trail Run in Cumberland. Lorenz Jimenez Photography

File photo of Perseverance Trail Run in Cumberland. Lorenz Jimenez Photography

While road running might be in their name, the Comox Valley Road Runners are not limited to roads. Many members are avid trail runners as well, and several big trail running events have taken place recently.

One group of runners made a trip to the high desert of Oregon for the Smith Rock Ascent 50k. The race circumnavigates Smith Rock State Park, and includes a lush river valley, stunning rock faces, and rolling grasslands. With 4,800 feet of climbing, the course tests the mettle of all of the participants. The race is described by organizers as ‘a treat for your eyes, and for your legs.’

The top local to finish the race was Marion Bryan, who finished in 6:07. She was followed by Jamie Moffat, who ran seven hours even. Next was Korky Richardson 7:32 and Sharon Fisher in 7:44. A new aspect of the race was crossing a bridge single file, which prompted a staggered start to the race. Despite this, runners still got backed up at the bridge but this added to the excitement and social connection as runners congregated to wait their turn. Even though the race was challenging, Fisher said the hardest part of the day was “deciding where we should eat in Bend!”

The second race of the Island Trail Series was in Cobble Hill, which features a 20k long course and a 12k short course.

In the short course, the top woman overall was Michelle Mark, who finished in an impressive 1:14 to take fourth place overall. Derek Kaufman ran 1:21, and Jay Waters 1:40. Ron Lariviere won his category in 2:03, while Ron Crowther took second in his category in 2:13.

In the long course, Alex MacKay finished second in his category in 2:01. Close behind was Nancy Edward in 2:03 to take third woman overall and third in her category. Cathy Clark won her age group in 2:50. Kala-Dawn Larsen ran 3:02.

Two locals also took part in the Elk/Beaver Ultras 50k race in Victoria. Keith Wakelin was second overall with a time of 4:02. Wakelin’s goal had been to beat the 60-plus Canadian record of 3:43 set by Herb Philips.

“I knew that after the first 5k the record attempt was off, but (I) felt good enough to continue to race anyway,” Wakelin said.

Melissa Freeman was the top woman in the open category, finishing in a time of 5:53.

Results for these events are available online.

The CVRR Backyard Ultra is a fun local trail event coming up July 23. See how many loops of the same 6.7km course you can complete. Come share in the energy of this event. There will be prizes and some food surprises. The Canada Day Mile is also coming up on July 1. This is a great way to kick off Canada Day as runners lead the parade down 5th street to Simms Park.

FMI: cvrr.ca

Comox Valley Regional Districtrunning