Island series yields fast finishes

We’re pounding the pavement this week, acknowledging top Nanaimo runners who took part in the Frontrunners Island Race Series.

We’re pounding the pavement this week, acknowledging top local runners who took part in the second half of the Frontrunners Island Race Series.

The Island Series is a set of eight road races held during the first four months of each year. The races are of varying distances and each is held at a different location on the Island. We covered Nanaimo Bastion Running Club performances from the first half of the series several weeks ago, so now let’s review results from the second half.

Sidney was the site for the fifth and shortest race of the series. The Bazan Bay 5K featured 632 finishers, including 20 from the Bastion Club. Of the locals, first to the finish line was Shelby Drope, whose time of 15:47 earned him second in the M25-29 age division. In 26th spot was Erin Burrett, first in the F30-34 age group in 16:35. Byron Trajan took sixth in the M30-34 division with a time of 16:57, while Damian Allen’s finish in 17:19 gave him third in the M35-39 class.

The Comox Valley Half Marathon was the sixth and longest event in the Island Series. Of the 477 people who completed the distance, Trajan was the fastest local, fifth overall with a time of one hour, 17 minutes and six seconds. Allen finished first in his division with his time of 1:20:18. In 11th spot came David Depasquale, second among M50-54 in 1:21:01, while Darren Seaman was third in the M40-44 division in 1:22:49. A time of 1:25:59 gave Sean Reilly third in the M35-39 group. Robert Shurniak finished in 1:27:06, earning him fourth in the M35-39 division. Seventh in the M40-44 group was Brad Goodman thanks to a time of 1:27:42 and Mark Blackell was sixth among M45-49 in 1:28:08. Quentin Proud placed eighth in the M45-49 group at 1:28:27. Wendy Simms finished at the same time, taking first in the F40-44 division.

Next came the Merville 15K, held near Campbell River. Just over 300 runners were in the field for that one, with Allen leading the pack of 17 Bastion runners by finishing 10th overall and second in his age group with a time of 56:15. Edwin Johnston was 29th, fourth among M45-49 in 1:01:05. Cheryl Davies had a time of 1:02:09, good for 41st spot and first in the F40-44 division. Yanna Debelic was close behind, second in the same age group in 1:03:14.

The final race in this year’s Island Series was the Sooke River 10K, which involved a total of 360 finishers. A dozen Bastion members were among them, led by Davies who placed first in the F40-44 age division with a time of 41:42. Marita DeSchiffart was first in her F16-19 group in 42:02. Orphee Bernard ran the course in 42:16, good for eighth in the M40-44 category. Arjan Gelling finished in 44:28 which put him second in the M65-69 division.

Points for participation in any of the races were tabulated to determine final standings. Thanks to the efforts of its member athletes, the Bastion Running Club placed third. Individual results showed Trajan seventh among the men, while Davies and DeSchiffart were third and fourth among the women.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Thursdays.