We’re into what is arguably the busiest week of the year for the Bastion Running Club, with a major road race in Cedar just days away.
Nanaimo’s premier running club got its start back in 1981 and through the years since then has provided training and support for hundreds of joggers and runners of all ability levels. The club welcomes both competitive and recreational runners and prides itself on offering a fun social atmosphere along with facilitating personal fitness.
While some of us may be fair-weather joggers, most Bastion Club members stay active year-round. As is club tradition, a number of hardy members ushered in 2016 with a New Year’s Day Run and Dip at Westwood lake Park. The dip portion involved first breaking through the ice on the lake, but participants were able to warm up afterwards with hot chili.
At the club’s annual general meeting prior to Christmas, Jane Campbell and Brad Goodman took their place as new co-presidents of the Bastion Club, taking over from Mike Thibodeau. Assisting them will be a pair of vice-presidents: Byron Trajan and Shelby Drope. Also on the new executive are treasurer Denise Bonin and social director Matthew Lamb. Returning for another term as race director is John Durkin, with Paris Gaudet stepping up as assistant race director. Directors at large are Carene Booth and Zlatko Zvekic.
Membership in the club is certainly a bargain. Annual dues for an individual is just $10 and a family membership is $15. Among the services offered to club members is expert advice and assistance with training. The Bastion Club also acts as a conduit of information relating to other clubs, upcoming clinics and competitions. Much of this comes through the efforts of Ross Palfery, who ably takes charge of club communications.
Important to note is the club’s contributions to the community at large. The Bastion Club has made donations to Morell Nature Sanctuary and the Nanaimo Track and Field Club and regularly donates volunteer time and equipment to various school or charitable running events. In the plans for this year is to begin a student bursary award. Also this year, the club plans to revive the Bastion Mile race as a part of Heritage Days celebrations.
For those that wish to take advantage of training sessions, the Bastion Club sponsors regular Saturday morning trail runs at Westwood, with runners of all levels accommodated. Routes and distances vary and often the workout is followed by a breakfast social. On Wednesday evenings, workouts are held at the Rotary Bowl track facility behind Nanaimo District Secondary. Thursday night trail runs have been added this year, along with a speed training group that trains at Rotary Bowl on Wednesday mornings.
For the more competitive club members, the training sessions are preparation for race events held throughout the year on the Island. Among those are the races in the Frontrunners Island Race Series, a set of seven competitions held at different island venues.
This coming Sunday (Feb. 7), the Bastion club is hosting the third event in the Island Series. The annual Cedar 12K will start and finish at North Cedar Intermediate School. John Durkin is race director, so he and a crew of club volunteers have been busy ensuring that everything such as registration, marshalling, food, water, and entertainment is well-organized. Registration for the race can be done onine at www.vira.bc.ca, or also on race day from 9-10:30am, with the race scheduled to begin at 11am.
For addition details about the Bastion Running Club, information can be found at www.bastionrunning.ca.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.