After a 15-year absence from the Vancouver Island running scene the Port Alberni Paper Chase 10K is back. On Sunday, April 2, one of the Island’s oldest races will return as the seventh race in the Vancouver Island Race Series.
Originally organized by the Alberni Valley River Runners, the race was part of the Island Series for 20 consecutive years from 1983-2002. So strong were the runners back then that the course records date from 1987 and 1988. Paul McCloy set the overall record of 29:46 in 1988 with former Vike and TC10K Champion Ulla Marquette setting the women’s record the year before in 33:40. Masters men champion is Mike Creery (32:07 – 1987) and for the women – Rosamund Dashwood in 48:30 (1988).
Bob Reid, from the Prairie Inn Harriers, and elite athlete director for Harriers Pioneer 8K, has fond memories of the 1988 event. “The Harriers chartered a 46-seat bus to travel to the event and over 60 club members participated. Also this was Rob Reid’s first ever Island Series race. He was 3rd overall in 32:31.”
The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is organizing the Paper Chase on Sunday. “We are excited to bring back the Paper Chase run to Port Alberni,” says race director Bill Collette. “The event is supported by none other than the makers of Paper – Catalyst Paper Mill, a wonderful partner who we are excited to work with alongside the series sponsors, the race directors and organizers of the Island Series. This is a fast level course that goes through the beautiful Cherry Creek area in the Alberni Valley.”
Runners can register online until 6 pm, Friday March 31 at www.islandseries.org , or on race day. Race registration until March 31 is $30 for adults and $25 for students. Race day fees are $40.
There will be a 10:30 am start for walkers and runners anticipating finishing in more than 1.5 hours. The race starts and finishes at the Cherry Creek Community Centre, 3720 Moore Road, Port Alberni.
The last race in the Island Series is Cedar 12K, which will be followed by the series awards on April 9. To qualify for the series awards participants have to run in five of the races, with one being over 10K. Current leader in the series is Jen Millar with the Prairie Inn Harriers leading the club standings.