Four hundred and 31 people completed the 2012 Comox Valley Half Marathon March 18, and no other woman was faster that day than Oceanside’s own Melissa Ross.
Ross, 28, finished the 21.1 km litmus test 17th overall, and was the first female to cross the finish line with a personal best time of 1:20.25. Besides the trophy, Ross was also awarded the yellow jersey for finishing first in an Island Race Series event, and she also earned the green pinny for having the fastest 100 meter sprint to the finish that day amongst women.
It was her sixth time running the race and first time she has won it.
“The conditions were perfect. It was a but cold, but there was no wind.”
An ‘out and back’ course with some challenging hills along the way, “it’s fairly tough, especially the first half,” she said, explaining “there’s a gradual uphill climb to start, so you have to be careful to pace it right so you don’t start out to fast and then burn out in the second half.”
The win, she conceded, came at a good time, and was just reward for all the road work she put in over the winter as she ramps up for her racing season.
Ross runs five times a week for about 80 kms in all.
“I ran an easier course about five weeks ago (her first half marathon of the season in Vancouver along the seawall), and my time was a lot slower,” she said, adding “the half marathon is so long I was a bit worried (going into Comox) that maybe it’s not my event, so I’m really excited that I was able to run a PB, and hopefully I can keep continuing to get faster.”
Melissa now turns her attention to the 10km Vancouver Sun Run in three weeks.