Runners put best foot forward

Dedicated runners from Nanaimo's Bastion Running Club take part each year in the Frontrunners Island Race Series.

As we head into April, it’s time to catch up with members of Nanaimo’s Bastion Running Club who have been involved in several competitions during the past couple of months.

Dedicated runners from the club take part each year in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. The series consists of eight road races of varying lengths held in different locations on the Island between January and April. The series is more than half over now, so this week we check out top Bastion Club results from the first four events…

The first race in this year’ Island Series was the Harriers Pioneer 8K held in Saanichton in mid-January. A total of 605 runners took part, including 15 Bastion Club members. Of those, first to the finish line was Erin Burrett, whose time of 27 minutes and 16 seconds earned her 15th overall and second in the F30-34 category. Next was Neil Gaudet, eighth in the M40-44 division with his time of 31:18, then Mark Blackell in 31:49 and Scott Jones in 32:23. Jane Campbell finished second in the F50-54 group with a time of 33:36. Kevin Stedmon was next in 35:37 and John Durkin placed second in the M65-69 division in 36:57.

At the end of January came the second race in the series, the Cobble Hill 10K.

This time Jeremy Clegg was the first Bastion runner to the finish line, placing third overall and first in the M35-39 group with a time of 33:01. Byron Trajan was sixth in the M30-34 division at 37:50. A time of 38:53 gave Edwin Johnston fourth among M45-49, while Blackell finished eighth among M45-49 in 39:39. Other locals in the top 100 were Gaudet with a time of 39:54, Jones at 40:32 and Damian Allen in 41:06.

The third race in the Island Series was the Cedar 12K, hosted by the Bastion Club on Feb. 8. Durkin was the race director and together with his team of volunteers did a super job of organizing the event for the 382 participants. A total of 31 of those were Bastion runners, including Clegg who was first to the finish line in a time of 39:57.

In 13th spot was Darren Seaman, second in the M40-44 division, in 44:43, while Johnston was 25th overall and fourth in the M45-49 group in 47:02. Gaudet’s time was 47:31, Blackell ran 48:47, Jones finished in 49:23 and Allen in 49:56. First female Bastion runner to the finish line was Campbell, whose time of 52:13 gave her second in the F50-54 division. Also in the top 100 of the field was Ceri Jakobsen in 52:21 and Yanna Debelic who finished in 52:26 for first in the F45-49 group.

Held in Colwood on the grounds of Royal Roads, the fourth race in the series was the Hatley Castle 8K. Gaudet was the Bastion leader, finishing fourth among M40-44 in 31:38. Allen finished in 33:38. Debelic earned first place in the F45-49 division with her finishing time of 34:53. Just one second behind her was Norm Olsen in 34:54.

After the Island Series concludes this month we’ll review results from the final four races.

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