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Andrew Russell leads Matt Noseworthy over final 200m stretch to the finish line of the 2019 Cedar 12K in Nanaimo. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

Matt Noseworthy, last week’s Vancouver Island Race Series winner, from the Hatley Castle 8K in Colwood, finished second to Andrew Russell at the Cedar 12K on Sunday. The two runners crossed the final timing mat in 38:56 and 39:11 respectively.

Noseworthy’s former UVic Vikes teammate Ian Searle finished third in the time of 40:20.

Searle is training for the 2019 Boston Marathon and was looking for some good training stimulus by racing Cedar. His best marathon time is 2:36:31 from the 2018 Ottawa Marathon.

Noseworthy is looking to run a sub-31-minute 10K this spring – perhaps at the TC10K or Vancouver Sun Run. He would also like to run in the “14s” for 5K. His best is 15:07.77 on the track from June of 2018. So he will race the popular St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Stanley Park.

“He hung onto my shoulder to half-way, then after the turn-around, I got a small gap on him and maintained that gap for the rest of the race,” said Russell of Noseworthy.

Asked if the former triathlete was running scared he said, “yes.” Russell won the Cobble Hill 10K in January.

“It’s a nice race. I like the course. I hung onto him to about half-way, but he got the lead after the turnaround and I couldn’t catch him back,” said Noseworthy. “I came hoping to have a good strong training run; I didn’t think I was going to have competition.”

Runners enjoyed a gently rolling course but were treated to cool temperatures. The day offered a headwind going out and a tailwind on the return, which resulted in many negative splits (running the second half faster than the first half).

The top five were rounded out by Victoria’s Nick Walker and Nanaimo’s Jonathan Behnke who both finished under 42-minutes as did the first master, Craig Odermatt who crossed the line in the time of 41:42, one second back of Behnke and 45 seconds back of Walker.

Mark Cryderman finished as the second master in 42:03, while Felipe Edora, racing in the 50-54 category, finished ninth overall and third master in the time of 43:26.

Catrin Jones wins the Cedar 12K a day after running for four hours. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

Victoria’s Catrin Jones won the women’s race, finishing 14th overall and in the time of 45:20. She was also the first 40-plus master to cross the line.

In contrast to the men, she ran alone for most of the race.

“I focussed on catching people in front of me. At one point I could see the next five runners and I picked them off one by one,” said Jones. “That kept me focussed.”

Jones will be racing the 2019 Comrades Marathon in South Africa – a bucket list distance race for even the most competitive athletes.

Jones is a 50K ultramarathon specialist who often takes in races of various distances for the training benefits. She ran for four hours the day before, which didn’t seem to hinder her performance.

“Well most of it was off-road running and in some snow that was still around,” said Jones. “Also my daughter slept through the night for the first time in two weeks, which was nice.”

It is likely she would have raced regardless of the sleep.

The second and third women, both competing in the 35-39 age-group, finished 21st and 39th overall. Heather Hillsburg clocked a 48:04 and Aislinn Deenihan finished in 49:53.

Kristine Kelly finished second in the masters division and 52nd overall. She recorded a 51:19 finish time. The third women’s master was Binder Kelsall crossing the line in exactly 54:00.

The Cedar 12K was the fourth race of the eight-race Vancouver Island Race Series.

Next up is the Port Alberni 15K next Sunday.