The Vancouver Island Race Series got underway with the Harriers Pioneer 8K in Saanich, Jan. 7.
Wet, windy conditions didn’t seem to hamper the spirts of the 481 runners who raced on a new, rural out-and-back course for the 39th annual event.
Some members of the Oceanside Running Club Association (Team ORCA) were entered in the inaugural event of the new year. There were a couple who made it up to the podium.
Faye Amos took gold in the Women’s 60-69 age group with a net time of 40.09.
Jim McLean took silver in the Men’s 85-89 division and also received a standing ovation for his time of 1.05.56. Jill Davies took bronze in the Women’s 70-74 division, with a net time of 49.44.
Both Lucas Bruchet (24:06) and Rachel Cliff (26:23) repeated as overall winners in the male and female divisions, respectively. Nanaimo’s Shelby Drope crossed the line in third place overall, in 26:08.
Bruchet, who runs with the Vancouver Thunderbirds, had a clean lead from the get-go as he battled the rain and an annoying head wind. His time of 24:06 was 42 seconds slower than 2017.
Sixteen seconds separated the first two women in the ladies field. Cliff repeated her 2017 victory, winning in 26:23, with 2015-2016 winner and Canadian record holder Natasha Wodak close behind. Third was Erica Rigby of the Vancouver Thunderbirds, finishing in 27:15.
Top male master was Craig Odermatt from the Harriers, finishing in 26:58. Odermatt competed for Team BC in the Canadian Cross-Country Championships last fall and then took a break.
Full results can be viewed at racedaytiming.ca.
The next race is Cobble Hill 10K on Jan. 21, followed by Cedar 12K on Feb. 4, Hatley Castle 8K on Feb. 18, Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 4, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 18, TriStars 10K on March 25 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and series awards on April 8.
To register for any of the races in the Island Series go to www.islandseries.org.
— NEWS Staff/ORCA Submission