An unexpected last minute change to the course didn’t deter Nanaimo runner Shelby Drope from winning his second successive Vancouver Island Race Series race today – the Cedar 12K. Catrin Jones, from Victoria, won the women’s race, with 280 participants finishing the third race of the series.
Drope, running for the host club, Bastion Run Club, won in 40:06, second and top master was James Richardson finishing in 40:13, and third was Nick Walker (Frontrunners Athletic Club) in 40:16. Drope didn’t have a major game plan going into the race but knew there would be competition. “There were five of us out front and I got passed on the hills, but was able to catch them on the downhills,” he said. “At 10K I put on the gas and the other guys couldn’t stay with me.” Having won two of the Island Series he now plans to run some of the others to ensure he qualifies for the series awards. “I will do Sooke and either Port Alberni or Comox, but my goal is for a sub 15 minute at the Bazan Bay 5K.”
Only one second separated the first and second finishers in the women’s field. Catrin Jones won in 44:42 with Melissa Ross from the Bastion Run Club finishing second in 44:43. Third was Patricia Roney (Prairie Inn Harriers) in 46:12. Top master, and fourth, was fellow Harrier Nancy Baxendale finishing in 48:40.
For Jones this was a special win, coming back after having a baby six months ago, and battling a knee injury. “Melissa had a great pace during the race so I tried to stay by her side during the race and wasn’t sure if I could stay that strong for the whole 12K having a current chest cold, but it was so good to have someone like to push me today,” she said. “I managed to dig a bit deeper in the last 2.5 kilometres, but knew she could pass me at any time since she is a strong runner.”
The 2013 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon champion is slowly getting back into marathon and Ultra marathon shape. “I still have a long way to go but things are slowly starting to fall into place. The Island Series is such a great way to race into shape! On top of that, I am getting to see all the familiar faces of our island running community again. This is something I absolutely love about running. I hadn’t raced Cedar in years so it was nice to get back to that race and as usual the race was run smoothly, volunteers were fantastic, and the weather cooperated perfectly.”
“The Bastion Run Club was pleased to host runners from all over Vancouver Island today for the annual running of the Cedar 12K,” said Jim Rutherford, Race Director. The change to the course early Sunday because of a vehicle accident didn’t deter the runners or the organizers. “It had the Bastion Executive and over 80 volunteers scrambling to design a new course that was fairly flat and fast. The new course seemed to be enjoyed by all and resulted in some outstanding times.” Because of the course change no official course records were set.
The club championship is currently led by the Prairie Inn Harriers with 1,369 points, second is Bastion Run Club with 1,133 points and third is Ceevacs with 1,031.
Cedar 12K results can be viewed here:
To qualify for the series awards participants have to run in five of the eight races, with one being over 10K. The next race is Hatley Castle 8K on February 18, followed by Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 4, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 18, TriStars 10K on March 25 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 8.
To register for any of the races in the Island Series go to www.islandseries.org