LEADING THE WAY Geoff Martinson's (left) winning time was also the course record for the 25-29 age group. Jim Finlayson's (right) time broke his own master's course record in the 40-44 age group.

LEADING THE WAY Geoff Martinson's (left) winning time was also the course record for the 25-29 age group. Jim Finlayson's (right) time broke his own master's course record in the 40-44 age group.

Half marathon a huge success

Over 500 runners finish in annual event hosted by Comox Valley Road Runners

The rain fell – and so did the records – at the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on Sunday, March 24.

The the sixth race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series was hosted by the Comox Valley Road Runners. The race was won by series leader Geoff Martinson, whose time of 1:07:01 set an age group record for the M25-29 category.

He was followed closely by Jim Finlayson who set a masters course record of 1:07:10. Finlayson had hoped to break the Canadian masters record of 1:06:33, but wind, rain, and cool temperatures made for a difficult day for racing. Given the conditions, his result was exceptional, an event spokesperson noted.

“I talked with Jim a few weeks ago about him going after the record. I thought that if I could run 1:06.30 myself I would be quite happy,” said Martinson. “I tried to help take some of the lead for Jim on the climb for the first 10km, and hopefully make his record chase a little easier. We worked hard today, even though it wasn’t quite enough.”

In the women’s race, Catrin Jones won in 1:19:47, second was Jen Millar in 1:20:03 and third was Melissa Ross in 1:21:46. The top female master was Meghan Stothers in 1:26:38. Jones was particularly pleased with her performance considering she had just returned the night before from Kenya, where she competed in the Rift Valley Marathon the previous weekend.

“I wasn’t sure if I would feel rested for today but decided to drive up for the event anyway, and although it was tough considering how my body felt, I was happy to race the event again,” Jones said. “I only found my rhythm at 15km, so the last 5-6k felt the best. It’s not close to my PB but I am pleased with the end result. I have always enjoyed running Comox, so I was pleased to take part in the race and thank everyone who organized the great event.”

There were also many excellent performances by local runners. Neil Holm (Extreme Runners/ Adidas) was the first local to finish, coming ninth overall and winning his age group as the third masters racer to finish. Vince Brotherston and Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/ Asics) also had excellent races and finished second in their respective categories. Gord Harris also posted a fantastic time and won his age group. The local women were led by none other than CVRR club coach Kathy Rung. Janet Green posted a third-place age group finish.

Many local racers met longstanding race goals this year. Louis Lamb knocked nearly three minutes off of his previous best, coming in at 1:26. Danny Keyes (Comox Valley RV) and Chris Winkelaar both completed a major running quest by beating the coveted 1:30 mark for the half marathon.

Angelica Lauzon managed to break the two-hour mark, another highly coveted time for many racers. Ron Crowther completed his first half marathon in a time of 2:10. Many other excellent results were seen, with too many notable performances to include in this article. For full results visit cvrr.ca.

Race director Wayne Crowe was pleased with the event. “Race day was overcast and had a cool breeze with the odd shower greeting the 512 finishers. In spite of that there were some exceptional times and there was great food and excellent draw prizes to follow the event.

“The race was preceded on the Saturday evening by the first annual pasta dinner and an inspirational talk by Jim Finlayson, so it was an excellent weekend.”

As part of the big race weekend, the CVRR hosted the annual 5K Fun Run on Saturday. Those results are available at cvrr.ca.


– Comox Valley Road Runners