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© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

Vancouver Island and generally the west coast of British Columbia is well known for sporting culture especially in outdoor endurance sports and even more so with masters age athletes. Middle and long-distance running is no exception.

Saturday, July 23rd, four Vancouver Island master runners will attempt a new national record in the 4 x 800-metre relay event during the Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series. The record is for the 55-59 age-category.

Three runners from the Comox Valley area and one from Greater Victoria will attempt the record, which currently stands at 11:51.02. The record was set in London, Ontario on June 27, 2015 by, Bill Wheeler (ON,61), Brian Burke (ON,60), Pat Connor (ON,56)and  Steve Connor (ON,56).

Michael Lax, a long-time Victoria area runner who is organizing the relay record attempt said, “”We have no idea what this will look like, but it’ll be either be a gas or a gong-show! One of us just had knee surgery a few weeks ago, and two more have been battling back from injury… but one thing is for sure: we’re going to leave it all out there on the track! We’ll be pumped!”

The Runners are:

Keith Wakelin
Merville (near Campbell River)
Club: Comox Valley Road Runners
Age: 57

Wayne Crowe
Courtenay
Club: Comox Valley Road Runners
Age: 60

Danny Keyes
Courtenay
Club: Comox Valley Road Runners
Age: 55

Michael Lax
Saanich
Club: Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club
Age: 59

“Over the past seven years of the series, there have been 21 national age-group records set, with one from Alberta, 20 British Columbia provincial records and two world records.

Victoria’s Maurice Tarrant set five 80-89 age-group records, while New Westminster’s Herb Phillips set one in the 70-plus age-group, Helly Visser of Vancouver set a world record, while Victoria’s Marilyn Arsenault has set four, two in the 10,000m distance, one in the 5,000m and one in the 3,000m.

So far, during the 2016 series, Colin Dignum of Vancouver set the 50-plus 3000m record, running 9:18.80 on May 14th this year.

During the first year of the series four BC runners broke the 50-54 age-group record in the 4 x 800m relay, they were Kevin Searle of Shawnigan Lake (2:18.0), Garth Campbell of Victoria (2:32.00), both Prairie Inn Harriers as well as Peter Holmes (2:24:00) and Mark Pinkhard (2:10.00) a Kajaks Track and Field Club member of Vancouver. Total time was 9:24.50.

The series is open to all abilities and ages. The 2016 edition of the series includes three track meets and three other races that will take place in September: The Mt. Doug Ascent, Elk-Beaver 10K and a traditional 6K cross-country race at Beaver Lake.

Register for any race for $15 in advance or $20 on the day, here>>

 

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