‘A running club that supports a social atmosphere and provides both competitive and recreational running opportunities within the community.’
That is the mission statement of Nanaimo’s Bastion Running Club, which has been active in our city since its formation back in 1981. It has grown in size since then, to the point where it currently has 121 members and 22 family memberships. But its philosophy has remained the same, as the club welcomes all levels of runner and offers a supportive culture for people to reach whatever their running goals may be.
Returning as president of the Bastion Club for this year is Mike Thibodeau. Byron Trajan is the vice-president, Cheryl Davies the treasurer and Angellos Glaros the club secretary. Jane Campbell Arnold looks after membership, while Carene Booth is the social director. Ross Palfery handles club communications and my thanks goes to him for keeping me updated on club activities.
New members are always welcome, whether their interest is in recreational jogging or competitive running, road races or cross country. Cost for annual membership in the Bastion Club is just $10 for an individual or $15 for a family. That fee gives access to support for training and joining in running events through the year, fitness and training opportunities and advice and also the club’s many social functions.
Among those, the club kicks off each new year in a fun way by hosting a New Year’s Day Run and Dip at Westwood Lake, a Spring Fling barbecue and a Christmas Light Run in December.
Regular workouts that club members take part in include a weekly Saturday morning trail run at Westwood Lake that happens all year long in whatever weather. All levels or runners are accommodated with a variety of routes and distances and the club tradition is for participants to gather for a breakfast afterwards. There are also Wednesday evening track workouts at the Rotary Bowl facility and any level of runner can join in. This year some of the members have also started two other trail run groups on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons.
It should also be noted that the Bastion Club also provides its services as a support group for the community by offering equipment, advice and volunteers to other organizations putting on running events.
The Bastion Club also puts on the Bastion Mile, which is a popular race run just prior to the Empire Day Parade. Runners race along the parade route to packed streets with the excitement of the crowd cheering them on. The race has been held for the past two years and the club plans to make it a tradition for as long as there is an Empire Day parade.
This week is probably the busiest of the year for club members, as the Bastion Club’s biggest event of the year is coming up this Sunday (Feb. 8). The local club is hosting the third event in the Frontrunners Island Race series, the Cedar 12K race. The race starts and finishes at North Cedar Intermediate School and usually draws about 500 entrants from up and down Vancouver Island. John Durkin is the race director and he has a large group of club volunteers ready to help with registration, marshalling, food and water and entertainment. There is race day registration from 9-10:30 a.m. this Sunday, with the race to start at 11 a.m. Walkers and slower joggers will get a head start at 10:30 a.m.
Information about the Bastion Club, including membership forms, is available online at www.bastionrunning.ca.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.