Sunday, March 24 marks the return of the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. This year the Half Marathon is a part of the Comox Valley Race Weekend, which also includes the 5K Fun Run and the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon pasta dinner, both on Saturday, March 23.
The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon is a scenic, out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the Florence Filberg Centre on Anderton Avenue in Courtenay. The course winds its way through rural Courtenay along Condensory, Piercy, Dove Creek, and Burns Roads.
The race may result in minor traffic delays in this area during the events. To ease congestion, residents in the area and skiers heading to the mountain are encouraged to consider taking alternate routes while the races are taking place. This will help to ensure the safety of both the public and event participants.
The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon has seen many fantastic races over the years, including many star-studded fields with appearances by Canadian Olympians. The earliest form of the race was as a 20K along a similar route to the present race. Records of the event began in 1987 and it continued as a 20K race until 1994.
Over this time, several Canadian records were set for the 20K distance which still stand today. Maurice Tarrant is notable as achieving the M55 and M60 Canadian records for the 20K distance at this race. Simon Timmer also achieved the M45 Canadian record for 20K at the Comox Valley race.
In 1995 the race was updated to the modern half marathon distance and the current course was adopted. Soon afterwards, in 1998, Stephanie Andrews set the female course record of 1:16:55, which still stands to this date. The male course record was set by Canadian Olympian Jon Brown in 2005. His time of 1:03:57 was the fastest half marathon in Canada for that year. Tarrant has continued to have great success at the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon, setting B.C. half marathon records for the M75 and M80 age groups.
Continuing on the record setting trend, Jim Finlayson will be racing the half marathon this year in hopes of breaking the Canadian Masters’ half marathon record of 1:06:33. He is currently the B.C. half marathon record holder. He is also the current Masters’ record holder for the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. Finlayson will also be the keynote speaker at the pasta dinner event on Saturday night.
The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon is one of the cornerstone events of the Frontrunners Island Race Series. It is also part of the TIMEX race series. The race annually draws close to 500 racers, with hundreds of volunteers and supporters also involved.
The half marathon is one of the major fundraising events for the Comox Valley Road Runners, allowing the club to put on events such as the Canada Day 5th Street Mile, Jingle Bell Run, and the 5K Running Clinic. A part of the proceeds from the event are also donated to two local charities. This year the supported charities are Kidsport and the Friends of Strathcona.
More information on any of these upcoming events is available at cvrr.ca.
– Comox Valley Road Runners