The first race of the Vancouver Island Race Series, the Cobble Hill 10k, took place Sunday, Jan. 23.
It was a foggy, chilly morning but that didn’t stop people from coming out en masse as more than 400 runners toed the start line. This included a strong contingent of locals from the Comox Valley Road Runners and Run to Beer Comox Valley. “Everything about it was positive,” CVRR racer Sheila van Gisbergen said in describing the race. “The weather co-operated, the volunteers at the race were very helpful and friendly, and the race course was expectedly hilly.”
The top local runner was Logan Roots of RTB, who won the race overall. He finished in 31:56 and came in a full minute ahead of the second place finisher. CVRR president Rob Kelly had a strong race to win his category in 39:26.
“It felt like a homecoming,” Kelly said. “So many familiar faces. So many smiles. And so many fast runners!”
Not far behind Kelly was a cluster of local runners, all with stellar finishes. The group was led by top local woman Laura Weston of RTB, who placed third in her category in 40:32. She was followed by Derek Brenchley, who won has category in 40:38. Seconds behind was Danny Keyes, who won his category with a time of 40:41. Hot on his heels was CVRR vice-president Keith Wakelin, who was second in his category in 41:07. Next was a hard closing Andrea Wilson, who took second in her category in 41:25.
Wayne Crowe had a solid day to also place second, with a time of 42:19. Gord Harris ran well to also place second in his division in 48:46.
“It was a fun day, the best part was celebrating it afterwards in the pub with other Comox Valley runners,” Harris said.
Roslyn Smith once again had a great day to finish in 49:19 and win her age group.
van Gisbergen also had a great race, finishing in one hour, 11 seconds.
“I had a good race and took off over 25 seconds from the last time I raced it even though I’m two years older,” she said. “I placed eighth in my 70-74 age category, so I earned points for the club…which is my goal at these races.”
van Gisbergen noted that she is signed up for the rest of the Island Series, and is “looking forward to going down island to promote our upcoming half marathon race and to besting my previous times.”
Leslie Dargie also had a great day, finishing in 1:17. Dargie, who co-ordinated the CVRR 5k Running Clinic for many years, is a proponent of the walk-run method during a longer run.
“I run three minutes and walk two, and I found the walk portions especially grounding for me in the race atmosphere,” said Dargie, who describes herself as a back-of-the-pack runner. “My usual regret is that more folks my pace don’t come out and try these races. They are fun competition that can both up your game as a runner but they’re also a safe introduction to racing. You don’t know if it’s really you until you try!”
The 5k clinic is ongoing, but registration is still open. The clinic is a great way to start running or get back into running for people of any fitness level. It includes Wednesday talks from a variety of talented local speakers and a weekly Saturday run. The clinic culminates with the 5k Fun Run, March 12.
On March 13, one of the biggest running events on Vancouver Island takes places – our very own Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. This is a fun filled event, and there are many opportunities to volunteer for those not inclined to race.
For more information on both of these local events, go to cvrr.ca