Andrew Russell winning 2019 Sooke 10K. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2019 – Victoria Sports News

Renowned poet and Sooke resident, Marilyn Bowering, wrote the stanza:

…to Hanfaard Wood in the first line of objectives,
footsteps echoing a thousand previous,
given no choice
but to set the world quaking

Sunday, she could have been writing about Andrew Russell and Julia Tschanz. The two Victoria-area residents set the world quaking when they raced to the finish of the Sooke 10K. There, they dropped a good ten thousand steps, each, to win in the time of 32:03 and 37:00 respectively. So did approximately 300 others.

Russell bettered Matt Noseworthy, who finished second in the time of 32:23. He also took the 35-39 age-group course record. The third-place finisher was Nick Walker crossing the line in the time of 33:41.

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“I sat on him until seven-and-a-half km into the race,” said Russell. “At the bottom before the last big hill, then I climbed the hill hard and picked up the pace for the final two-kilometre stretch.”

That final two-kilometre stretch is downhill. Turning the corner to the finish, the final 150m offered a tailwind.

It was Russell’s third win of the eight-event Vancouver Island Race Series. He also won the Cedar 12K in Nanaimo and the Cobble Hill 10K.

Sooke’s gently rolling hills were no deterrent for Russell.

Russell had run many more thousands of steps during the Chuckanut 50K in Bellingham, WA two weeks prior. He finished fourth overall in the time of 4:05:30.5. He was the first of 98 in his age category. During the middle 30K of the event, runners climb over 5,000 feet of elevation.

Julia Tschanz put it all out there to win the 2019 Sooke 10K: Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Tschanz left nothing to chance in finishing first as she put in a great effort through the final timing mat. It was her second Vancouver Island Series win this year. She also won the Hatley Castle 8K.

“I love this race,” said Tschanz. “I am happy with the run.”

Asked if the wind – that howled around the start and finish area – affected her on the course, she said, “no, I guess we were protected from all the trees.”

Tschanz is a former University of Victoria Vike, who was on the cross-country and track team.

This was her fifth consecutive year racing at Sooke. She took a minute off of her result from 2018 and another minute off of her performance from 2017. She was the 14th finisher overall.

“I did start too fast though as I was near the overall leaders at 1K,” she laughed.

The second place female was Catrin Jones who set a masters (40-plus) age-group record finishing in 37:37 and 18th overall.

Dayna Jones (not related) was the third female finisher, 33rd overall and in the time of 41:03.

The first male over the age of 40 was Felipe Edora, who runs in the 50-54 age-group. He crossed the line in 35:54.

The final race of the series takes place on April 14 in Sidney at the Bazan Bay 5K.

Series awards will be handed out at the event. Bazan Bay is a popular fixture because the course is flat and fast with no turns aside from the 180-degree turnaround at halfway.

Full results:

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