The Oceanside Running Club Association (ORCA) had only two members who took part in the last race of the 2018 Island Race Series in Sydney on April 8.
Faye Amos and Jill Davies were among the field of about 519 who ran the Bazan Bay 5k, which was held in perfect race conditions. The runners enjoyed the cool temperatures on the mostly flat and quick course along Lochside Drive as it produced some fast times.
Amos won her women’s 60-69 age group by finishing the distance in a remarkable time of 22.53, which was a new course record for her age group. She wound up winning the overall series awards for her classification.
“She is an amazing and gracious ambassador for Team ORCA,” said Davies, who finished fourth in her last year in the women’s 70-74 age division and also claimed the bronze in the series awards.
University of Victoria runners Ben Weir and Alison Hooper were the first overall men’s and women’s finishers. Weir, who said he placed second in the event two years ago, says the course is beautiful.
“I love the races here. It’s nice and close to home. We had a pretty good crowd of guys out there,” he said, adding he was hoping to win the race. We were all pushing each other, trying to go a little faster.”
He said Josh Kozelj, who won last year’s Bazan Bay race in 15:17, pushed him a lot over the course of the event.
“He’d respond real well, and try to pull away from me a little bit.”
Kozelj placed second overall, followed by another UVic runner in third, Derrick Evans.
The 5K and 10K racer for UVic is training now for the Times Colonist 10K and then he’s off to the Portland, Ore., Twilight track event, where he will compete in the 5,000-metre run.
Hooper (F25-29) said this was her fifth time on the course and her second win in as many years.
“This is the best weather we’ve ever had. It wasn’t windy, it wasn’t raining. The last bit felt a little harder than normal, but that was just where I was at today.”
Her goal was to be under 16:30, and she narrowly missed that mark, finishing at 16:47. She improved on her 2017 winning time of 17:01 in the event.
Following Hooper in second place overall among the women was Chloe Hegland (UVic) and in third place was Catrin Jones (F35-39).
Hooper, a UVic cross country runner and former professional triathlete, said the course felt smooth and fast, but said she prefers the mud, grass and hills of cross country. She’s training now for national-level racing.
Her next race will be the Sun Run for training, followed by the TC 10K. She then will join Weir in Portland later this year.
— With files from Peninsula News Review