The big names battled it out at the Comox Valley Half Marathon on Sunday, March 20, with Simon Whitfield talking first place by a margin of three seconds.
Whitfield, an Olympic gold and silver medal triathlete, broke the tape in one hour, six minutes and 23 seconds while Jim Finlayson was right on his heels, finishing second in 1:06.26.
The event was part of the Frontrunners Island Race Series. Jerry Ziak of the Comox Valley finished third in 1:06.36.
Kyle Jones, who has won three of the first five races in the series and has his sights set on the 2012 Olympics, took fourth in 1:07.35 while three-time Olympian Jon Brown (who coaches triathlete Jones) was fifth in 1:07.37. Brown holds the course record of 1:03.57, which he set in 2005.
A total of 504 runners showed up for the event, which was hosted by the Comox Valley Road Runners on an out-and-back course from the Florence Filberg Centre.
CVRR members posted 28 top-10 finishes and won four age group divisions. Vince Brotherston was the first CVRR member across the finish line, placing 19th overall in 1:20.08. First female CVRR finisher was Mary Bridges, who was 92nd overall in 1:35.12.
Fifty Road Runners finished the race, amassing 509 points and keeping the club in third place in the series standings. The final two events in the series are the Merville 15K on April 3 and the Sooke River 10K on April 17.
Complete Comox Valley Half Marathon results are available at www.cvrr.ca.
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