Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

The Victoria MEC Race Series finale event, the Grand Banana, took place Sunday at Elk Lake’s Hamsterly Beach with three races including a half-marathon, 10K and a 5K.

Five-hundred and three runners spread across the three events, many dressed in Halloween costumes, raced under sunny skies and cool temperatures.

Matthew Winkler won the 5K race in the time of 17:14. In so doing he also won the MEC race series gold medal. The second place finisher was Matt Walsh who crossed the line in 18:09. The third male was Chris Fraser, who finished in 19:24. He was also the first master (40-plus); however the third overall finisher was Olivia Willett who is credited with a finish time of 19:21.

The second female was Elisabet Lapointe who finished in 20:16 and to round out the top three women Anne Marie Sutherland crossed the line in 24:34.

Bruce McKenzie captured third with his performance of 21:39. He was running in the over-60 category.

Eleven-year-old Trevor Neil was the first in the U-16 age-group. He is credited with the same time as Lapointe. Neil raced the BC Cross Country Championships the day before in Nanaimo’s Beban Park coming in sixth overall.

“Yeah I am pretty happy with that result, I felt pretty good out there,” said Winkler.

Winkler is nearing 40 races during the 2016 calendar year.

In the 10K race, Aaron Holmgren won in the time of 34:38; he was followed in by Sam Horn and Sean Marsh who crossed the line in the time of 37:09 and 37:49, respectively.

The top master was Jeremy Watts, who finished in 38:49.

The top three women were Claire Clark and Adele Lay, they finished 14th and 15th overall, while the third place finisher was Alicia Roske. They ran in at 41:30, 41:34 and 42:17, respectively. The three are former UVic Vikes runners and currently compete in the 25-29 age-division. Today they were dressed in costumes and only decided to race the night before.

Sara Li was the top master. She finished in the time of 46:59.

In the half-marathon MEC employee and former national triathlete Andrew McCartney won in the time of 1:16:33.

“I really outran my fitness today,” shared McCartney. Asked how one can outrun their own fitness he replied, “hurt.”

“I have been running only about 10K a week and riding more, so I am not that fit, but I knew I had the lead, so I pushed – sometimes too hard.”

Adam Buzinksy finished second in 1:17:58, while the third place finisher was Sam Wetzel who crossed the line in the time of 1:19:01. All three are in the 25-29 age-group.

The top master was long-time Victoria area runner Will Boothman who finished in 1:28:10.

The top three women were Karen Thibodeau, Laura Ferreira and Jillian Swan. They are credited with the finish times of 1:28:29, 1:36:40 and 1:39:22.  Thibodeau was the seventh overall finisher.

The top master was Heather Christie who finished in the time of 1:41:33.

Jerry Hughes raced the day after running from Nanaimo to Clover point, over 130K joining Fast Eddy on his final leg of his double cross-Canada run for charity. He finished the half-marathon in 1:27:44, just a few minutes off of his own personal best.

The Grand Banana was race number five of the season-long series that starts in January and takes in various locations throughout Greater Victoria.

Photos and videos to follow soon. Check back often. border=

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