A large contingent of Comox Valley Road Runners, as well as a number of other local athletes, joined more than 8000 competitors at the 36th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Race Weekend.
The races included a marathon, half marathon, 8K and even a Kids’ Run. Runners were fortunate that the October storm clouds cleared to give a perfect sunny day, ripe for fast times. Overall marathon winner was Daniel Kipkoech in 2:25:40. He finished in dramatic fashion, passing fellow Kenyan Tisia Kiplangat, who collapsed due to exhaustion only 300 metres from the finish line.
The women’s marathon also ended on an exciting note with Erin Burnett outsprinting last year’s champion Lioudmilla Kortchaguina with only 300 metres to go to win in a time of 2:39:15. The men’s half marathon was won by Paul Kimugul of Kenya in 1:05:00 while Malindi Elmore won the women’s race in 1:15:35. First place in the 8K went to Nick Walker in 26:16 and Lindsay Carson in 27:32.
Local racers were lead by CVRR president Roz Smith who continued her stellar season by smashing her own Canadian record by five minutes to win W6569 in a world class time of 3:39:31. She also helped propel the CVRR team which included Marion Bryan 3:29:48, Tracy Kennett 3:53:53 and Janet Green (running her 328th marathon) 3:58:53, to the first place team prize. Keisha Disher showed that perseverance pays off as she kept pushing to the end to finish in 5:50:23.
The half marathon team, not to be outdone, also took the first prize in their event with a number of great performances. Neil Holm led the way with a spectacular time of 1:15:31, 2nd M4549 and 16th overall out of more than 3,000 racers. Roger Plamondon put in a solid performance, fighting off leg cramps to place 5th M5054 in 1:32:16. He was followed closely by Rob Kelly, 6th M5054 in 1:32:25.
Other notable results included Andrea Prager who ran 1:40:14 and Darrell Fisher 1:51:33. Jeff Stickler, who has fun no matter how much it hurts, ran 1:47:15 and Cathy Livsey finished in 1:47:04. Karen Weller also had an excellent race finishing in 1:47:41 6th F5559. Another stellar performance was by Sandra Linhart who set a personal best, 1st F6569 in 2:01:21.
Local runners also excelled in the 8K race. Former Comox Valley resident Robin Poirier, 2015 champion of both the Fifth Street Mile and the Comox Valley Nautical Days Four Miler, continued his excellent season by finishing 3rd overall in a field of more than 2,000 runners in 27:03.
Local athlete Colin Bullock made an impressive return to competitive running by finishing 16th overall and 2nd M3539 in 29:11. Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/Asics) put the finishing touches on his preparations for the upoming Canadian National Marathon Championships by winning M6064 and placing 31st overall in a time of 31:00. Hans Gane was not far behind in 35:53.
Many other local athletes competed in the race weekend. For a list of full results go to racedaytiming.ca.
Local runners should check out the 25th anniversary Miracle Beach 5K and 10K races taking place Oct. 18 10 a.m. at Miracle Beach Provincial Park. This is a flat, fast and fun event for the whole family. Full details at https://www.raceonline.ca/events/details/?id=996