A couple of first-time 4-Milers made impressive debuts at the 45th annual Comox Nautical Days 4 Mile Road Race.
Local athlete Derek Vinge won the event in a time of 20 minutes, 49 seconds. Vinge, who has a chiropractic business on 4th Street in Courtenay, ran the event for the first time and finished ahead of Craig Odermatt, the winner for the previous two years. Craig finished in a time of 21.06, with third place going to local barefoot runner, Robin Poirier, in a time of 22.00.
The first female, placing fourth overall, was Maria Zambranu in a time of 23.04. Zambranu, who is originally from Columbia, now lives in Calgary and also ran the event for the first time. The second female was Colleen Schmidt in 27.30 and third was Cathy Rung in 27.59. Cathy is the coach for Comox Valley Road Runners, who were the organizers of the event.
The race was held on Monday, Aug. 4 (BC Day) as part of the Comox Nautical Days celebrations. The main sponsor for the event, Jim Smiley of Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty said, “It was a superb event, held in ideal weather conditions for both runners and spectators, and everyone appeared to be having a great time. It was great to see many family members sharing the experience by running together also.”
Full age category winners are: Ben Prager (M12 & under); Sofia Cecic (F12 & under); Daniel Luckenchuk (M13-19); Madisson Naswell (F13-19); Robin Poirier (M20-29); Kayla Souter (F20-29); Derek Vinge (M30-39); Colleen Schmidt (F30-39); Craig Odermatt (M40-49); Maria Zambranu (F40-49); Wayne Crowe (M50-59); Mylissa Evans (F50-59); Barney Feenstra (M60-69); Roz Smith (F60-69);George Brose (M70 & over); Louise Reed (F70 & over).
Almost 100 runners completed the event, which had a substantial age range, the youngest being nine years and the eldest being 79 years. Three members of the Prager family took part (Andrea, Ella and Ben) and seven other families had two runners.
Comox Valley Road Runners use funds raised from this, and other races, to donate to local charities and support local youths in their sporting goals.
They are grateful to local businesses for supporting the event: Quality Foods, Tim Hortons, Water Pure & Simple, Canadian Tire, Medicine Shoppe, Extreme Runners, Blackfin Pub & Restaurant, Avenues Restaurant, Toscanos Restaurant, Blue Heron Books, Benino Gelato, Charisma Essentials, Café Amantes, Longlands Golf Course & Coastal Credit Union.
– Comox Valley Road Runners