Members of the Comox Valley Road Runners at the California International Marathon, from left: Rob Kelly, Wayne Crowe, Roslyn Smith, Keith Wakelin, Andrea Wilson and Danny Keyes. Photo supplied

Members of the Comox Valley Road Runners at the California International Marathon, from left: Rob Kelly, Wayne Crowe, Roslyn Smith, Keith Wakelin, Andrea Wilson and Danny Keyes. Photo supplied

Comox Valley runner steals the show in Sacramento

A stalwart group of Comox Valley Road Runners made the trip to Sacramento to compete in the recent California International Marathon — the so-called ‘Fastest Marathon in the West.’ While the course has a net 300 feet of downhill, there are in fact a number of hills in the course, so it is surprisingly more difficult than the race’s moniker might suggest. The early hills take their toll, so that only the strongest survive to the finish.

Local masters continued to dominate the road running scene in Sacramento with a number of excellent finishes. They were led by CVRR coach Neil Holm, who ran 2:51 to earn fifth place in his competitive age division. Also coming in under the coveted three-hour benchmark was club president Rob Kelly, who ran another solid race to finish in 2:58 and eighth place in the same category.

The top local female was the fast-improving Andrea Wilson, who got even closer to the magical three-hour barrier with a finish time of 3:05, earning sixth place in her category. Just behind Wilson was Wayne Crowe. Initially, because of a timing chip malfunction, Crowe was unfortunately listed as Did Not Finish. However, upon discovery of the timing error, event organizers were able to manually adjust his time and finishing place using the finish line video. Once the results were confirmed, Crowe had earned a place on the podium with a second-place finish in a solid time of 3:06. Not far behind was CVRR vice-president Keith Wakelin, who ran 3:10 to claim eighth place in his category. Next was Danny Keyes, who was running his second marathon in three weeks in pursuit of a spot in the Abbott World Marathon Masters Championships. He finished in an impressive 3:14 and took 11th place in his division. This sets him up well as he prepares for his next marathon in Vancouver in the spring.

Stealing the show in Sacramento was Roslyn Smith, who once again had a dominant marathon performance. She finished in 3:46 to not only win her category, but she also broke the course record that had stood for 38 years. Smith bested the previous record by seven minutes. Hammering home what an outstanding performance this was, Smith earned an age graded effort of 95 per cent. Perennial marathoner Janet Green also had a good day, finishing in 4:34 and placing 16th in her category.

Ready to start the new year on the right foot? Be sure to check out the CVRR 5km Running Clinic, starting Saturday, Jan. 8. The clinic is great for those new to running, and for runners wanting to improve. Also check out the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon, March 13.

FMI: cvrr.ca

Comox Valleyrunning

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