Oceanside Running Club Association member Christine Rivers racing through Beacon Hill Park in her first half-marathon since recovering from breast cancer. (Kim Williamson photo)

Oceanside Running Club Association member Christine Rivers racing through Beacon Hill Park in her first half-marathon since recovering from breast cancer. (Kim Williamson photo)

Oceanside Running Club Association athletes produce strong showings in Victoria races

Cancer survivor Davies places first in her age group in 8K run

The Oceanside Running Club Association was well-represented at the Royal Victoria 8K and Half-Marathon held on Thanskgiving weekend.

There were close to 20 ORCA members among the more than 4,000 runners taking part, simply happy to be racing again. It was the first major in-person race since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The weather was sunny but a strong headwind slowed the times down on the return routes,” said Terry Riggins on the club’s Facebook page. “A large transient ORCA pod showed up to represent our running club and bring home some hard earned awards.”

In the 8K race, there were eight ORCA racers entered and five of them placed in the top 10 in their respective age groups. Leading the way and marking her remarkable recovery from cancer and injuries was Jill Davies, who placed first in the 75-79 age group, crossing the finish line in 52 minutes, 59 seconds.

“The win was delightful and unexpected surprise,” said Davies.

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Placing second in the men’s 65-69 age group with a time of 40:45 was David Beatty, while in the same age group for women, Heather Beatty placed third, posting a time of 41:27. Club president Paul Watson was third in the men’s 70-74 category, clocking a time of 41:16. Dianne Darte placed fourth in the women’s 70-74, finishing the distance at 50:43. Other ORCA members who completed the 8K race were Shirley Wong (42:27), Kim Williamson (48:44) and Barb Low (53:11).

In the half-marathon, four of the 10 ORCAs in the race placed in the top 10 of their age groups. Setting the pace for the club was Faye Amos who was first in the 65-69 age group, registering a time of one hour, 56 minutes and 25 seconds in spite of the headwinds. Patti Rogers placed fifth in the 60-64 category in 1:46:09. Terry Riggins came in seventh in the 70-74 age group clocking in 1:59:41 while Barb Wildman-Spencer placed eighth in the 55-59 age group in 1:51:24.

Other ORCA racers who completed the 21-kilometre distance were Rob Watt, who clocked the fastest ORCA time 1:38:45, Michael Pederson (2:03:12), Chris Greenway (2:00:33). Michael Gunther (1:46:40), Simon Gallimore (1:56:37), and Don Barber (2:19:41).

Christine Rivers completed her first half-marathon since recovering from breast cancer. She used the event to raise funds for B.C. Cancer Foundation. Her target was $1,000 but she ended up raising $1,521.66.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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