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Matt Noseworthy won the 2019 Hatley Castle 8K, his first Vancouver Island Series win. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Three-hundred and 56 Hatley Castle 8K runners looked out their windows Sunday morning and wondered if we were going to have another snow day in Greater Victoria – not to be – just some random scuttling clouds and a minor wet flurry.

A few of them were former University of Victoria Vikes athletes, who dominated the event at the Royal Roads grounds.

Although graduated from UVic, Matt Noseworthy’s varsity career is not over just yet. The St. John’s, NL native has one more year of eligibility remaining and will likely run for the University of British Columbia as he starts his undergraduate program in the science faculty. Until then, he is going to enjoy some road races this spring. He was out with former Vikes teammate Ben Weir who also took in the race.

Sunday, Noseworthy won the 8K handily finishing in the time of 26:53. Second overall was Jonathan Behnke, and third Shelby Drope both of Nanaimo. They finished the challenging semi-road – semi-trail race in the time of 27:44 and 27:48 respectively.

Drope, who won the eight-race series title in 2018, has had his share of competition this year. “I am fit, but I just don’t have that fine edge this year.”

Drope and Behnke train together.

“We train together. He is in good shape. He is also a great guy, 10 out of 10 as far as people go. You can’t get better,” added Drope.

It was Noseworthy’s first Island series win. In January, he finished fourth in the Pioneer 8K in the time of 25:32.

Asked if he was aware of the big hill that is located at the 3K area he said, “Well, in the warm-up I saw it and thought, if that is in the race, I will have to hold back a bit before getting to it.”

Julia Tschantz wins her first Vancouver Island Race Series event at the Hatley Castle 8K. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

He did. He, Drope and Behnke worked together, and then Noseworthy made his move over the second half of the course.

As for his spring goals, he plans on racing well at the Bazan Bay 5K, TC10K and Vancouver Sun Run 10K amongst others.

“The goal is to get under 31-minutes in the 10K this spring,” said Noseworthy. Last year at the Sun Run, teammate Josh Kozelj dipped under 31 and so we are going to work together to make that happen again.”

Other former Vikes included Nick Walker, the Hatley 8K race director, who finished fourth in 28:12 and Weir who finished seventh in 28:18.

Prairie Inn Harrier Shane Ruljancich (28:52) was the first master over 40 and Jayden Watson was the first junior (01-15 age-group). Watson (31:36) a Bastion Running Club member from Nanaimo finished 20th overall, while Ruljancich was sixth.

Former Vikes runner, Julia Tschanz, won the women’s race. It was also her first Island Series win. She clocked a time of 30:21.

Melissa Ross (Bastion – Nanaimo) and Patricia Roney (Harriers) of Victoria finished second and third respectively. They were both timed at 31:29 – the two had a good final sprint that spectators could watch over the final 300m of the course. Ross just edged Roney near the end.

Katelyn Putz was the first junior (01-15) finishing in 39:37. Alicia Bulmer was the first over-40 master stopping the clock at 35:34.

Hatley was meant to be the fourth race of the series; however, the Nanaimo-based Cedar 12K was postponed two weeks ago due to snow. The race is scheduled for next Sunday. The Bastion Running Club promises that the new course is flat and fast. The Cedar 12K previously had a large hill at approximately 8K into the race. Due to vehicle accident in 2018, the course was altered and the hill was removed.

Full results are available here: https://racedaytiming.ca/results/2019HatleyCastle8K

Full series details are available here: http://www.islandseries.org/