Bazan Bay start photo by Phil McOrmond

Bazan Bay 5K wrapped up the Vancouver Island Race Series today with the University of Victoria Vikes dominating the fast, flat course. Catrin Jones won the overall series title, with Shelby Drope the top male series winner. The race, hosted by Team West Coast, had 519 participants – the largest turnout of the 2018 race series.

From the get go it was the Vikes athletes that set the pace with Ben Weir, Josh Kozelj and Derrick Evans jostling for the lead. A sprint finish saw Weir winning in 15:08, with Kozelj and Evans two seconds and three second behind. Alison Hooper comfortably won the women’s race in 16:47. Second was Chloe Hegland in 17:16, and third was Catrin Jones in 17:26.

Exciting finish at Bazan Bay 5K. Photo by Phil McOrmond

James Richardson won the men’s masters division in 16:01, and Marilyn Arsenault the women’s masters in 17:43. Arsenault set not only a F50-54 course age group record but a new Canadian F50-54 5K record today. There were two other age course records: Fay Amos in the F65-69 and Roslyn Smith in F70-74.

A very surprised Jones accepted her series champion award with delight. Known to run longer distances, such as marathons and ultras, she was pleased with her third-place finish today. “I felt better than expected today. I went out hard and shocked myself,” she said at the awards ceremony. “This is a foreign distance for me, I am used to running for hours.” Coming back from having her baby girl, and getting over a knee issue, she is hoping to do a spring marathon, either Vancouver or Calgary, and then possibly an ultra-marathon. “I will see how my body holds up. I am trying to get more speed work in which will help my training.” She enjoyed running the race series this year, having completed six of the eight races. “It was nice to be back and running the series, it is such a great community event.”

Shelby Drope and Catrin Jones . Photo by Phil McOrmond

Drope was the top male series champion. He won three series races in a row, Cobble Hill 10K, Cedar 12K and Hatley 8K. Today, however, was a different story. He had a bad day and didn’t feel well. A trail runner, he won the Fletchers Challenge 17km last weekend. However, he is delighted in winning the male title. “For a trail runner it’s neat to win a road series,” he quipped afterwards.

In the club championship, where bragging rights prevail, a new winner was declared – Ceevacs Roadrunners came away with 3,147 points just 16 points ahead of Bastion Run Club with 3,131 points with Prairie Inn Harriers relegated to third with 2,687 points. “It is great to see such close competition for the club championship”, said Jonathan Foweraker, VIRA President. “It speaks to the strength of the running community the length of the Island.”

VIRA partnered with the Victoria Hospitals Foundation for the fourth year and raised $2,131 for the Foundation. To date $6,600 dollars has been raised for the foundation by the VIRA runners. When registering, participants had the opportunity to top up their registration and support the cardiac program at Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital.

The 39th Annual Vancouver Island Race Series will start in January 2019, with registration opening in October.

Full series results can be seen on: https://racedaytiming.ca/vira/2018

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