Port Alberni 15K start line. Photo by Lyndon Cassell

Bastion Run Club members Jackson Isnor and Jessica McKierahan were the champions Sunday at the Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K. Sunny skies greeted the 225 participants who ran the undulating, rural course that was hosted by Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Just 38 seconds separated the first three finishers with Nanaimo’s Isnor hitting the tape in 55:05. Second and top master was Jerry Loeb from Campbell River in 55:17, and third was Eric White in 55:43. “My main goal was just to run under an hour,” said Isnor. “This is the first time I have ever run the Island Series so I have not run some of the distances before. I felt really good today but I wasn’t expecting to come in first so it was 100% above my expectations.”

Jackson Isnor. Photo by Lyndon Cassell.

McKierahan finished in 1:04:37. Second female was Yana Hempler in 1:05:36 and third was Marion Bryan from Comox Valley in 1:06:53, who was also the top female master.

McKierahan works part-time in Port Alberni and so knows the course, running it occasionally on her lunch breaks. “My goal for was to run around 4:20/km and come in under one hour and five minutes, so I was pleased to be able to make that goal and take a couple minutes off last years’ time,” she said. “Yana Hempler ran a strong race as well so she pushed me to not let up, especially with all those rolling hills.” McKierahan runs many races on the Island and had a personal best at Cobble Hill 10K this year with a time of 40:46.

Jessica McKierahan. Photo by Lyndon Cassell.

There were ten new age group records:

  • Bret Schuurman M1-15 was 1:21:53 new time 1:12:44
  • Mackenzie Loyer F16–19 was 1:30:02 new time 1:16:07
  • Jackson Isnor M16–19 was 57:04 new time 55:05
  • Maddie Naswell F20–24 was 1:21:54 set in 2018 new time 1:11:18
  • Yana Hempler F25–29 was 1:07:24 set by herself in 2018. New time 1:05:36
  • Suzanne Erickson F60–64 was 1:17:55 in 2018. New time 1:14:07
  • Joseph Camilleri M65-69 was 1:06:09 new time 1:05:16
  • Roslyn Smith F70-74 was 1:40:01 in 2018 new record 1:17:50
  • Frank Towler M75-79 was 1:27:18 new record 1:16:14
  • Lue Kerr M80–84 was 1:43:39 new record 1:39:01

In the club standings, the Prairie Inn Harriers lead with 2305 points. Second place is Bastion Run Club (2057 points) and third is Ceevacs Roadrunners (1625 points).

To qualify for the series awards, participants have to run in five of the eight races, with one being over 10K. Next race will be Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 24, followed by TriStars 10K on April 7 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 14.

To register go to: www.islandseries.org