Derek Vinge led the local runners with a fourth-overall finish at the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon March 24.
He covered the course in a time of 1:16. Stephan Smit and Rob Kelly also broke into the top-20 overall, both running 1:26. They finished second and first in their respective categories. The top local woman was Marion Bryan, who finished as the 13th woman in 1:37.
The event celebrated its 25th birthday this year. The 21.1-kilometre course showcases some of the rural beauty of the area, and treats runners to fantastic mountain views. The race is also one of the flagship events of the Island Race Series, and is one of the biggest running events on Vancouver Island. It has a storied history that includes several Olympians, and many B.C. and Canadian age group records for the half marathon distance.
Nearly 400 runners finished the race. There were also close to 100 volunteers, and many spectators along the course. The ideal conditions produced many fast results, including two new course records. Marilyn Arsenault of Victoria broke the W50-54 record by over six minutes. And local runner Roslyn Smith broke the W70-74 by nearly six minutes, finishing in a time of 1:51:20.
The locals showed their grit and course knowledge, as many CVRR members made it to the podium. Danny Keyes placed second in his category in 1:27, and was followed closely by Keith Wakelin, who won his own category. Hot on Wakelin’s heels was Derek Brenchley, who placed second in the same category. And Wayne Crowe was seconds behind to take home third in the same M60-64 category. The Brians (Patton and Stewart) both finished fifth in their categories, running 1:35 and 1:37 respectively. Young local hotshot Brandon Reeder placed second in his category. Gord Harris and Shannon Jones both finished in 1:46, taking third and fifth in their categories. Meanwhile, Janet Green finished just over two hours to place fourth in her category. Art Beck ran a poetic 2:22 to finished second in his category, and Tom Munro placed fourth in his age group.
For full results, go to racedaytiming.ca
With the advent of spring, many runners begin to turn their focus to the trails. Be sure to check out The Cumby, the next major local running event. The Cumby is a trail race that takes place May 11. It includes 5k, 13k and 25k distances. The race is conducted by the Comox Valley Road Runners to help support the Cumberland Community Forest Society. More than $40,000 has been donated to the CCFS over the past three years.