It was a day of records in the Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 8.
A new course record and 12 age-group marks were established. Richard Reid of Victoria set the new record of 50 minutes and eight seconds, while Catrin Jones, the women’s winner, also set a masters record of 58:34.
The race, hosted by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, had 262 participants, including members of the Oceanside Running Club Association.
Reid won the race by nine seconds over Dusty Miller, who held the previous course record of 52:04.
Reid also set a M35-39 age group record. Miller easily beat his 2018 time, finishing in 50:17. Third was Jordan Brietzke, with a time of 55:40. Top masters runner and fourth overall was Jerry Loeb (55:44).
Jones took seven minutes off the old W40-44 course record, set in 2018 by Carolyn Coffin (1:05:05). Melissa Ross from the Bastion Run Club was second in 63 minutes and third was Sofia Donnecke finishing in 1:04:05. Donnecke also set a W20-24 age group record.
Six ORCA members cracked the top 10 in their respective age groups, with Jill Davies leading the way when she finished first in the women’s 75-79, shattering the previous record of 1:40:32 with a time of 1:39:05.
The other age-group records that were set included Melanie Phillipp (W16-19 – 1:12:57); Andrea Wilson (W45-49 – 1:05:11); Pauline Nielson (W50-54 – 1:12:04); Holly Pirozzini (W55-59 – 1:07:25); Derek Brenchley (M60-64 – 65 minutes); Wayne Crowe (M65-69 – 1:03:40) and Frank Towler (M75-79 – 1:13:21).
ORCA members that made the top 10 include: 7th — Tanis Ridout F40-44 (1:18:43); 7th — Mary Biel F65-69 (1:29:290); 8th — Jason Ridout M35-39 (1:14:59); 9th — Cathy Byron F55-59 (1:45:09); 10th — Paul Watson M65–69 (1:25:45); 11th Debbie Kuhn F50-54 (1:42:06)
Leading the club standings is Ceevacs Roadrunners with 2,026 points, followed by the Prairie Inn Harriers with 1,805 and Bastion Run Club with 1,501.
Results can be seen at: https://racedaytiming.ca/results/2020PortAlberni15K
Unfortunately, the Vancouver Island Runners’ Association has decided to cancel the remaining races in the 2020 Island Race Series. The races are the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon (March 22), TriStars Sooke 10K (April 5) and Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K (April 19).
VIRA followed the BC Ministry of Health advised on March 12 that events with more than 250 participants should be cancelled.
The association said the health and safety of participants and volunteers is of utmost importance and this must be top priority.
The VIRA board is discussing the next steps and what options they are going to offer series registrants and the individual race registrations. They indicated they will inform registrants of those decisions in due course.