Island Honda Banzai are all smiles after winning the 2016 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. It was Banzai's 23rd victory in the 34-year history of the event

Island Honda Banzai are all smiles after winning the 2016 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. It was Banzai's 23rd victory in the 34-year history of the event

Redemption for Banzai

23-time Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf winners back on top after pair of DQ years

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Island Honda Banzai captain Bill Brett summarized his team’s performance at the 2016 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow To Surf Adventure Relay Race in one word: Redemption.

“This was a big comeback for us this year, because we got disqualified the last two years,” said Brett. “We had some breakdowns and stuff (in 2014 and 2015).”

Sunday’s win marked the 23rd victory for Banzai in the 34-year history of the race.

Brett is one of three original members of Team Banzai.

“Just me, Ron (Williams, Sr.) and Glen Bond.The other guys have been coming and going, but our runner was the superstar this year,” he said of Banzai rookie Rory Moloney. “He put us in first going into the mountain bike, and we picked up time right through.”

Moloney, who recently moved to British Columbia from Ireland, ran the 8.5-kilometre trail run, then re-entered the race for the 2.2-kilometre run from Millard Road to the canoe leg, at Courtenay Air Park.

Banzai were in fourth place when Moloney started his trail run. By the time he  finished that leg, the team was in the lead.

“The trail run was challenging because I am not really a trail runner, so that was new to me, but it was good to be going downhill rather than going uphill, and I was able to take away a few minutes off the guys ahead of me during that leg,” he said. “We were 3:45 back when I started the (8.5km run) and at 6.5k I hd caught first.”

He said the biggest challenge for him was staying loose, between runs. He had a nearly 90-minute wait between runs.

“What I did was I took one of the cars down and left it at the hotel, then ran over (to Millard Road) at a leisurely pace, then went through my warm-up routine again,”  said Moloney. “But yeah, once I got into the run again, it was like ‘oh my god, I am so stiff.’ But somebody had to do it. We had enough of a lead, t wasn’t necessary for me to go too fast.”

For official results, go to www.snowtosurf.com

For a full recap of the race, see Tuesday’s Comox Valley Record