Andrea Wilson was the top local woman at the Pioneer 8k.

Andrea Wilson was the top local woman at the Pioneer 8k.

Vinge top Comox Valley runner at Pioneer 8k

The Island Road Racing Series kicked off with the Pioneer 8k, Jan. 12 in Saanich. This is event is always an important early season testing ground as runners find out their true post-holiday fitness through the crucible of competition.

The Comox Valley Road Runners were well represented at the race, with 17 local runners participating and throwing down some outstanding performances.

The top local was Derek Vinge, who ran 26:33 to place 18th overall. Jonathan Noel was next in 29:40, showing he has road speed in addition to the strength and talent that he brings to the trails. Rob Kelly had a great day, finishing in 31:25 to win has age group. Eight seconds back was Derek Brenchley, who also won his category. Immediately behind him was Danny Keyes, finishing in 32:16 to place third as he gears up towards his next marathon. Young gun Brandon Reeder placed a solid fifth in his category with a finish of 33:50. Keith Wakelin and Derek Kaufmann also ran well, finishing in 34:56 and 35:10 to place ninth and 10th in their respective categories.

The top local woman was Andrea Wilson, who ran 34:26 to take second in her age group. Roz Smith continued her dominance in the F70-74 category, winning the age group in 38:57 and beating the next competitor by an astounding seven minutes. Tanya Ansley ran well to place sixth in her category in 41:29. Just 30 seconds back was Sam Knowles, who was 10th in his age group. Another 20 seconds back was Kala-Dawn Larsen, who also took 10th in her category.

For full results, visit

Be sure to check out the 5km Running Clinic — a 10-week clinic put on by the CVRR. It includes a variety of paces from walking to running to racing. The clinic finishes with a 5km fun run on March 21. There’s also the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 22.

For more information about these events or to register, go to