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Natasha Wodak of Vancouver winning the 2019 Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, April 14. It was her third win. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The Vancouver Island Race Series finished their 2019 season with their eighth race that took place in Sidney on Sunday, the Bazan Bay 5K.

Martin Sobey won in the time of 14:56. He was the only athlete to break the 15-minute benchmark. Aiden Longcroft-Harris finished second in 15:07, while Jonathan Toombs finished three seconds back – all three are from Victoria.

Former UVic Vikes athlete Julia Tschanz won her second consecutive Island Series race in 17:26. Caitlin Vail of Edmonton finished second in the time of 17:44. Another Caitlin from the prairies was Caitlin Mann in third at 17:50, she won the 16-19 age category. Mann hails from Melville, Sask.

Apparently; the two are prospective UVic Vikes athletes.

James Richardson was the first male master (40-plus) finishing 11th overall and in the time of 16:23.

Catrin Jones. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The top female master was Melanie McQuaid, multi-time Xterra world champion finished in 18:14.

Andrew Russell and Catrin Jones won the overall series points race. Russell is a former triathlete, Jones is an ultra-marathon specialist who will be running the legendary 89K-long up version of the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

Jones is also a masters age athlete (40-plus).

Vancouver Sun Run

Two hours earlier in Vancouver, Victoria’s Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club athlete Natasha Wodak won the Vancouver Sun Run for her third time in 32:38. She previously won the race in 2012 and 2013. She flew in from Flagstaff, AZ, where she is training at altitude in preparation for a track meet in Los Angeles called the Payton Jordan Invitational. The Canadian record holder hopes to run under 31:50 to qualify for the 2019 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that are taking place in Doha, Qatar starting Sept. 27.

“I knew it was risky flying in for the race and now I am going back down there on Monday to finish my altitude training, but I just love the Sun Run; it’s in my home town and my parents always come to watch me,” said Wodak.

Her coach, Lynn Kanuka won the race three times in the 1980s.

The Men’s winner is first-time champion Justin Kent of Surrey in 29:30. It was the first BC win in the men’s division in 27 years, in 1992, the year Kent was born.

The other notable Victoria performances in Vancouver were Josh Kozelj (Vikes) 27th in 31:58, Matt Newsworthy 34th in 32:40 – he was hoping to run sub-31:00.

Jen Millar was the fastest female from Victoria in 196th spot, 19th female in 37:30.

Read the full story here>>

Victoria’s Ian Searle winning the 2018 Comox Valley Half Marathon. He is racing the Boston Marathon. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Monday morning the B.A.A. Boston Marathon is taking place in America’s Patriot’s Day. The leading Victoria-based athlete at Boston is Ian Searle, who, early in the race is on pace for a 2:32:00 marathon – a marginal personal best performance.