Keyes leads locals in California

Three elite masters runners from the Comox Valley Road Runners took on the best at the 35th annual California International Marathon Dec. 4 in Sacramento, Cal. CIM hosted the U.S. marathon championships, attracting some of the best racers in North America and making for a competitive race.

It was a perfect day for racing with cool temperatures, blue skies, and a light breeze.

Billed as a fast course, it was deceptively difficult with rolling hills in the first half of the race pounding the legs of the runners, making the second half of the 42.2 km course even more punishing.

The overall winner was Timothy Ritchie, with a time of 2:11, while the fastest female was Sara Hall in 2:28. The top Canadian male was Anthony Larouche in 2:24, and top Canadian woman was Allison Drynan in 2:45.

Comox Valley runners were led by Danny Keyes, who continued to impress with a time of 2:58 for a ninth-place finish out of 319 racers in the competitive 55-59 age category. Keyes was joined by training partner Wayne Crowe, who was impressive in a come-back race after a prolonged layoff due to injury. Even with an abbreviated preparation he managed an eighth-place finish in the 60-64 group in a respectable time of 3:17. Faster times are definitely ahead. Mega-marathoner Janet Green survived a mishap early in her race and still managed to complete the distance in 4:13 for a 15th place out of 84 runners in the 60-64 age group.

Locally, the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon is March 18. This event makes a great goal for the new year, and a free training plan is available through the CVRR.

The Learn to Run 5km Clinic begins Jan. 13. The 10-week clinic culminates with a 5km Fun Run.

For information about both of these events, as well as the free training plan for the Half Marathon, visit cvrr.ca

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