For the past three months of the Vancouver Island Race Series, Run to Beer Comox Valley has been neck and neck with powerhouse club Harriers Prairie Inn of North Saanich, hanging onto second place by a thread for the first five races. On April 10, the dust settled with the final race in Sidney. Hyped as one of the fastest courses around due to its “pancake-flat” profile, this race is finished in less than 20 minutes for many Comox Valley runners.
Some say it’s a long way to travel for a 5km, but there was no hesitation for Patrick Simoneau (19:35), Simon Jean (19:22) and Kimberly Coscia (19:05). Each was determined to break their own personal records and that’s exactly what they did at the Bazen Bay 5km. Kimberly was a smoke-show, crossing the finish line ahead of every one of the 16 RTB racers and placing 19th out of 220 women in the race.
Tanya Ansley (21:50) scooped third in her division, also a personal best, and Barbara Polehoykie (21:59) walked away with another second-place result.
The 5km distance is considered extremely difficult because of its short distance. Runners put forth a “red-line” effort and occasionally a racer may vomit at the finish, but the Run to Beer Team reported no incidents.
“Maybe they didn’t run hard enough,” came a sarcastic joke from someone in the crowd.
Overall, the team held an impressive third-place finish, with Harriers Prairie Inn narrowly sneaking past them at the last race.
“We’re so stoked with this result,” club organizer Derek Kaufman said. “This was our first year racing as a team and we really didn’t have any expectations except to have fun, cheer each other on and encourage others to race. Admittedly, after seeing the results on that first race in Cobble Hill, a lot of us started wondering if we could keep that going. So that’s what we did.”
There were 63 teams in total, but only a top few have a crack at taking the series as a large roster is needed in addition to fast runners. Comox Valley Road Runners finished fourth, and had impressive and consistent results over the entire series.
What’s next for the Run to Beer team?
Many will shift their road shoes to the back rack and lace up their trail runners as the Vancouver Island Trail Series kicked off April 9 at Royal Roads. The series consists of six races all over the island throughout the year with sport and gut-buster distances. FMI: www.islandtrailseries.ca
The Cumby, one of Comox Valley’s most exciting races, is a fundraiser for the Cumberland Community Forest Society on May 7. The event sold out well in advance. Run to Beer registered 42 racers.
Run to Beer meets every Tuesday in Comox. FMI: runtobeer.com
Call or text Kaufman: 778-585-1424.