© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News

The Mountain Equipment Co-op Victoria Race Series reconvened today at the stately Royal Roads University grounds with event number three of their five-race series. This one was dubbed, The Tape Breaker.

There were three distances offered, 5K, 10K and the 21.1K half-marathon event.

For Race Director Caitlin Brown, who manages events during all seasons, the hot weather was a respite from the constant threat of rain. “We saw the heat warnings a while ago, so we knew it was going to be a warm one, we are well prepared for it.”

Having the race near the ocean helped, as the temperature inland was expected to reach approximately 30 degrees, for many, it probably seemed hotter after experiencing one of the rainiest springs in west coast history.

Runners takes the bridge to the lagoon. Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri

The two longer races include a section along Esquimalt Lagoon, which is surrounded by water and is flat as a pancake; however, there were hills throughout including one at approximately the 2K mark as well as 19K into the half-marathon.

“It’s a character course,” shared long-time local running veteran, Rob Grant. “This is the type of race I like. If you want to run dead-flat road races, race track.”

Grant won his age group, handily.

Matthew Winkler won the 5K by 34 seconds over his nearest competitor, Pete Perrin. They finished in 17:50 and 18:24, respectively. The third place finisher was Chris Fraser, who also won the master’s division, crossing the line in the time of 20:06.

“The first kilometer was like 3:27, and then we hit a couple of big hills. Great race though, I really enjoyed it,” said Winkler.

Elodie Chantal was the first woman across the line, she finished fifth overall in the time of 21:21. Renee Milne (23:38) and Leanna Scaife (24:01) finished second and third. Marie Slade was the first master’s finisher among the women. She came in at 25:34.

Matt Walsh won the 10K in 39:11. Simon Widmann and Sean Conway finished second and third in 39:12 and 39:18, respectively. “It’s a great day though,” said Walsh, who typically runs a 10K in 35 minutes. His response to the statement, it goes to show how challenging the course is when you run 39:11, he simply chuckled and said, “Yeah.”

Brianna Brandon was the first woman across the line, she finished in 41:46, while Mel Russell and Carolyn Swanson finished just one second apart from each other for second and third stopping the clock at 45:13 and 45:14. Swanson won the master’s division.

MEC employee and local triathlete Andrew McCartney, as usual, won his race. He finished the half-marathon in the time of 1:20:38. Sam Wetzel was over a minute back at 1:21:55, he was followed in by Shay Averbuck in 1:24:28.

Andrew McCartney on his way to winning the half-marathon. Photo credit: Joseph Camilerri.

Elise More won the women’s division in 1:38:08, while Lana Taves finished second and first master in the time of 1:45:10. Sara Li managed a 1:48:29 for third.

There was an increase in participation from 2016 with approximately 700 registered, which is up by nearly 200. “We typically have a good percentage of race finisher numbers vs the registered, we will see what the temperatures did today, but it looks like a good turnout and it is great to continue to grow each time out,” shared Brown.

The MEC series reconvenes at a location yet to be determined in September, however, the 5K and 10K distances will be offered. For anyone who enjoys warm weather; September is often the nicest month weather-wise on Vancouver Island.

To see all series information, click here>>


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