A field of 243 runners, including several from the Oceanside Running Club, break from the starting line of the Paper Chase 10K in Port Alberni Sunday, April 2. The race returned to the Vancouver Island Race series for the first time in 15 years. — J.R. Rardon photo

A field of 243 runners, including several from the Oceanside Running Club, break from the starting line of the Paper Chase 10K in Port Alberni Sunday, April 2. The race returned to the Vancouver Island Race series for the first time in 15 years. — J.R. Rardon photo

ORCA runner claims series crown

Melissa Ross wins women’s title in Vancouver Island race series

Oceanside Running Club Association (Team ORCA) standout Melissa Ross claimed the women’s victory in the Cedar 12K and earned the overall women’s title in the Vancouver Island Race Series following the final series event in Nanaimo Sunday, April 9.

Ross, 35, earlier won the Comox half-marathon women’s race. Though she runs with Team ORCA, Ross hails from Nanaimo and was essentially running on her home course for the Cedar 12K.

“The weather was perfect,” said Team ORCA runner Jill Davies, who finished second in both the race and in the season series in the women’s 70-74 division. “It was an excellent event, even with the final few hundred metres up a berm and across the school playing field!”

Her point total over the eight races of the Island series gave her the top spot among women’s runners and third overall.

Nick Walker of Victoria was the men’s series champion.

Other top series finishers for Team Orca were Faye Amos, who was first among women in the 65-69 age group; Jim McLean, Amos’s father, who earned silver in the men’s 85-89 division, and Davies with her silver among women 70-74.

The three duplicated those places in Sunday’s Cedar 12K. Amos led the women’s 65-69 class in a time of 59 minutes, 40 seconds; Davies was second among 70-74 women in 1:17:49; and McLean was runner-up in the men’s 85-89 race in 1:21:38.

“Faye won her age group in an amazing sub one-hour time,” said Davies. “She was also the overall winner in her age division in the series, which she didn’t expect. Well deserved.”

The Oceanside Running Club now turns its focus to its annual Mother’s Day 10K and 5K fun run/walk, scheduled for Sunday, May 14.

The race will support the Parksville Haven Society, and donations are kindly accepted and can be made during the registration process or on race day.

Registration is under way online at raceroster.com. For more event info visit orcarunning.ca or the club’s Facebook page at facebook.com/oceanside.race.

— NEWS Staff and ORCA submission