Shelby Drope and Melissa Ross win Hatley Castle 8K

Hatley start photo by Brian Domney


Unseasonal cold conditions greeted over 300 runners today in the Hatley Castle 8K. But the temperature didn’t deter Shelby Drope who made it three in a row, winning the fourth race in the Vancouver Island Race Series. Melissa Ross won the women’s race. The race was hosted by Frontrunners Athletic Club.

Drope who runs with Nanaimo’s Bastion Run Club, won in 27:08. This comes after winning Cobble Hill 10K and Cedar 12K. Second was Nick Walker (Frontrunners Athletic Club) finishing in 28:02, and third was Robert Johnson in 28:24. Top master was Jerry Loeb from Campbell River (29:49). Drope didn’t have a game plan today, “I went out fast and hung on for dear life!” A trail runner, he enjoyed the off road through the grounds of Royal Roads University. “I thought I would run faster but I am happy with my time. Because of the course undulations it is hard to do a fast time here.”

Fellow Bastion Run Club member, Ross was the first female finishing in 31:09, closely followed by Catrin Jones in 31:19. Third and top Master was Nancy Baxendale finishing in 33:48. She also set a new course record in her age category – F55-59. Ross and Jones were the clear frontrunners in the race. “I kept close to Catrin and stayed with her and took advantage of the downhills,” Ross said afterwards. “We were neck and neck the whole time until we went on to the trails and then I took off. Then for the last kilometre I pushed it.”

“We were delighted to see a good turnout on such a cold morning and thanks to those runners who journeyed down from up Island,” said race director, Nick Walker. “A big thanks to my co-race director, Cindy Todd and to all of the volunteers who bundled up and braved the temperatures.”

For full results go to:

The club championship is currently led by the Prairie Inn Harriers with 1,697 points, second is Bastion Run Club with 1,442 points and third is Ceevacs with 1,406.

Hatley Castle 8K is 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

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