Five members of the Mid Island Distance running club shook of the rust at the 10th annual Harry Jerome indoor meet earlier this month.
It was the first indoor track meet of the season and it attracted a record number of more than 600 athletes, ages nine to 80. Seven meet records were broken.
Leading the way for Mid Island Distance was nationally ranked (age group) sprinter, Juliette Desvaux, who ran personal bests in both the 60 metres and 300 metres.
With an impressive start in the 60, Desvaux, a Grade 12 student at Ballenas Secondary, set a new indoor personal best of 8.18 seconds to qualify third for the A final.
Although a U20 athlete, Desvaux had to compete in the open category where she faced university athletes much older than her.
Desvaux followed the 60 heats with a blistering 300, where she finished second overall in another indoor personal best of 43.18. With very little time to recover between her 300 final and 60 final, Desvaux gamely gave her best to finish seventh overall.
Mid Island Distance coaches Kim and Randy Longmuir were happy with Desvaux’s performance and indicated that she is setting the stage for a very competitive outdoor season.
Provincial 400-metre hurdle standout, and Grade 12 Ballenas student Spencer Bradbury won his heat in the 300, breaking 40 seconds for the first time, in 39.20. Aspengrove teammate Corin Cooper also won his section in a personal best of 41.81.
VIU student Tyler Ponsford ran a personal best in the U20 1,000 metres and Grade 10 Port Alberni runner Emily Hunt finished sixth in the U16 1,500 for Mid Island Distance.
Travelling with the Mid Island Distance team was Ballenas runner Elise Cole, who finished sixth in the 300 with a personal best of 45.77.
The Longmuirs are encouraged by the times posted by their athletes early in the season on a track that is not noted for being quick.
“We call this meet a rust-burner,” said Kim. “Everyone was there to take a bit of a break from intense winter conditioning and were not rested going into this meet. Randy and I are excited to see such strong performances this early in the season.”
Next up for the Mid Island team are back-to-back events — the UBC Open on Saturday, March 28 and SFU Emilie Mondor Memorial Meet, March 29.
Mid Island Distance is a running club that is open to Grade 8 and older athletes who live in the area and love to run cross-country, middle distance and distance.
Kim said there is no pace too slow and no expectation that athletes have to compete. All that is needed is a commitment to come out and be willing to work hard and support each other.
The goal is for athletes to improve their personal bests, feel successful about their running and have fun.
Anyone interested in learning more about Mid Island Distance is welcome to contact Kim or Randy at 250-248-8515 or firstname.lastname@example.org