Brandon Vail, 5K winner. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News

Big numbers and fast visitors made for an exciting race at Thetis Lake on Sunday, as event two of the 2017 MEC Race Series took place.

In the 10K event, which included two laps of the two Thetis Lakes (upper and lower), 249 runners took to the mud, rocks, hills and downed trees for an exhilarating race that was lead easily by Victoria triathlete and MEC employee Andrew McCartney.

He won the challenging race in the time of 42:38, which was a near four-minute lead over second place finisher Matt Walsh who crossed the line in the time of 46:20, while the third place runner was Simon Widman in 46:56.

McCartney had a big, near two-minute lead at half-way, as he ran through the finish area on the sandy beach to begin his second lap.

“I try to get a good lead when I can, so to be clear of other runners and because I don’t want a race to come down to a finish sprint,” shared McCartney.  “It was a great day for a race with perfect temperatures and a tough course.”

Adele Lay won the women’s race in the time of 50:41. She was 13th overall. Lay was followed in by Erin Palmer who was nine seconds back. Heather Sandwith was just another 11 seconds back of Palmer, but was racing in the 60-99 age-category, to win the (40-plus) masters age-class.

Sadie Sigfstead. Winner of the 5K. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Carolyn Swanson was the second master in 55:24, while Sara Li nailed 60-minutes exactly for third.

The top three master men were Trevor Coey in 47:51. Gary Duncan was second, he competes in the 55-59 age-group. Duncan finished in the time of 50:45. Nicholas Burford finished as the third master male and is credited with the time of 52:29.

The course offers steep hills, puddles, logs and sharp turns.

The Edmonton Harriers Track and Field Club showed up to race en masse, as they are visiting Victoria during spring break to get in some west coast training and to visit the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence as well as CARSA, the new facilities at the University of Victoria as well as Oak Bay High School’s new building and track.

Both the female and male winners of the 5K event were Edmonton Harriers. In the men’s race, 18-year-old Brandon Vail won in the time of 20:19. Vail is a 3,000-metre specialist, who owns an impressive personal best at the distance of 8:37.

“It’s a great start to our trip here in Victoria, getting this race in. It’s a fun race,” shared Vail.

Having a gas on the beach. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The second and third males were Peterson Perrin of Victoria and Derrick Ushko, another Edmonton Harrier. They finished in 21:25 and 21:31 respectively.

Chris Fraser was the first over-40 master male with his time of 24:51. Second and third were Lyndon Keeping and 29:36 and Jay Timothy in 30:30.

The first female was 13-year-old Sadie Sigfstead, who crossed the line in the time of 21:53 for eighth overall. She is also an Edmonton Harrier. Sigfstead owns the national 16-and-under record for the 1500m steeplechase event.

“It was muddy, there were lots of rocks and logs to jump over, I am covered in mud, the race is a lot of fun,” shared Sigfstead.

Local triathlete Olivia Willett finished second in the time of 23:52. Third was Olivia Cooper, she finished in 25:05.

The top three master women were Shannon LeBeuf, Dawn Wilson finished third. At the time of publication, the second place finisher was not clear in the results. LeBeuf finished in 29:16, while Wilson crossed the line in 31:49.

Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The MEC Race Series is one of the few running events that experience growth, year-to-year.

“It’s great that we are experiencing this type of growth,” said Series Director Caitlin Brown. “Last year we had an 80% increase, this year it is a 40% increase in registration numbers. We almost had a record for this series. The record is 709 for the Elk Lake event that happened in January.”

The MEC Race Series continues with their race in June at the stately Hatley Castle. There will be a new course for 2017.

For all of the details regarding the MEC Race Series, click here>>

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