Runners rise to challenge at road races

Last month, two of the hugest running events in the country were held in this part of the world.

Last month, two of the hugest running events in the country were held in this part of the world. So it’s on with the running shoes this week as we acknowledge some of the top Nanaimo finishers in both events.

First came the Vancouver Sun Run, held on April 19. Billed as Canada’s largest road race, the 31st running of the competition attracted an incredible field of more than 39,000 participants. Among them were more than 60 from Nanaimo and they were led to the finish line by Sean Miller.

Miller was third in the M16-18 age division with a fine time of 34 minutes even. Next from our city was Erin Burrett, sixth among F30-34 with a finish in 36:39.

Other top local runners included Seamus O’Toole, whose time was 44:26. Masashi Hasegawa reached the finish line in 46:58. Dennis Mousseau completed the course in 48:15, David Sketchley in 48:22 and Adam Inglis in 48:23. Also placing in the top 5,000 were Arthur Self with a time of 50:14, David Buchanan at 52:38, Ed Fairhurst at 52:43 and Jessica Brocklehurst with a finish in 52:50.

Two Sundays ago, the  26th annual Times Colonist 10K was held in Victoria, in conjunction with a half marathon event.  Participants in the 10K numbered over 7,700 in total, with Vancouver’s Kelly Wiebe outracing several elite Kenyan runners to claim first place overall with a sparkling time of 29 minutes and eight seconds.

A sizable contingent of Nanaimo athletes took part in the competition. Quickest local to the finish line was John Clough thanks to a time of 42:00. Next came Brett Bestwick with a race time of 44:52.

First Nanaimo female to finish was Hannah Bassett with a time of 45:07. Cameron Pettit finished in 45:21, Corinne Cochrane in 45:23, Neil Meanwell in 46:08 and Fred Douglas in 46:18.

Lantzville’s Marc Teixeira crossed the finish line with a time of 46:55, Sean Walsh completed the run in 47:27 and Gillian Fox in 47:44. Others in the top 1,000 were Kevin Wanke at 48:34, Erin Moody at 48:57, Ron Deschambault at 49:10, Alessandro Morelli at 49:28 and Stephanie McCune with a finish in 49:36.

A total of 455 runners braved the half marathon distance in Victoria, including 31 local entrants. Yann Bernaquez had an excellent race, finishing third overall in a time of 1:14:49.

Stefan Jakobsen from Lantzville was ninth in the field, completing the distance in 1:23:58, with Sean Reilly close behind in 11th spot with his time of 1:24:43. Al Shirley crossed the finish line in 1:39:27 and David Dutton in 1:40:20.

Several local female runners were next to the finish line. Joanne Brear had a time of 1:41:42, Esther Holubowich finished in 1:46:49, Carene Booth in 1:47:44 and Sarah Bestwick in 1:48:29.

Also in the top 200 of the half marathon field were Andy Parker with a finish in 1:50:50, Jane Pegg in 1:52:53, Maisa Grecco De Ferrero in 1:52:54 and Nicole Lamb in 1:54:41. Congratulations to all local runners who took part.

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