Runners setting pace on Island series

Let’s spring ahead to catch up with Bastion Running Club members who have been involved in several competitions in recent weeks.

Having put the clocks ahead last weekend, let’s spring ahead now to catch up with Bastion Running Club members who have been involved in several competitions in recent weeks.

Each year, dedicated runners from the Nanaimo club take part in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. The series consists of a group of eight road races of varying lengths held in different locations on the Island between January and April. Individual points are awarded based on each runner’s finish in each race, as well as team points to determine top clubs at the end of the series of runs. This week we check out top Bastion results from the first four races…

The first event in this year’s Island Series was the Harriers Pioneer 8K held in Saanichton in mid-January. A total of 655 runners took part, including two dozen Bastion Club members. Of those, first to the finish line was Bryon Trajan, whose time of 27:48 gave him 22nd overall and fifth in the M30-34 category. Then came Erin Burrett, 35th in total and fourth in the F30-34 division with her time of 28:46.

Two other Bastion athletes finished in the top one hundred of the field. Damian Allen was 54th overall in 30:02, while Arjan Gelling finished 98th and first in the M65-69 category with an impressive time of 31:42. Also worthy of special mention is Bill Hollingshead, who posted a time of 37:03 to finish 253rd in total and first in the M70-74 division.

At the end of January came the second race in the Series, the Cobble Hill 10K, involving 531 finishers including a strong local contingent. This time is was Stephen Struthers as the first Bastion runner to the finish line, placing ninth overall and fifth in the M25-29 group with a time of 34:35. Byron Trajan was 11th, fifth in the M30-34 division, in 35:08. A time of 37:30 gave Damian Allen 35th spot, with Bill Corsan 41st with a time of 37:57.

Arjan Gelling was first in the M65-69 competition, 66th overall, in 39:44. Also in the top 100 runners was Bastion’s Scott Jones, who placed 73rd in 40:17. Cheryl Davies ran the route in 40:21, good for 75th overall and fourth in the F30-34 category and Bruce Busby had a time of 40:46 to give him second in the M60-64 class and 83rd in the total field.

The third race in the Island Series was the Cedar 12K, hosted by the Bastion Club on February 10. Race director John Durkin and his team of volunteers did a super job of organizing the event for the 452 competitors. Of those, Byron Trajan was the fastest from Nanaimo, crossing the line in 42:14 for sixth place overall and fourth in his division. In 24th spot was Damian Allen at 46:18. Then came Stefan Jakobsen, fourth in M40-44 and 30th in total with his time of 46:44. Karl Nykwist finished in 47:20 for 35th overall and fifth in the M40-44 class.

First among M65-69 and 44th in the field was Arjan Gelling at 47:48. Scott Jones ranked 60th, fifth among M45-49, at 49:35. Quickest local female was Cheryl Davies, whose time of 50:09 gave her 64th spot and second in the F35-39 division. Next came Deb Epps, 92nd overall and second in the F40-44 group at 52:16. Also in the top 100 were Stephen O’Brien, 94th in 52:24 and Yanna Debelic who was 97th in 52:52.

Held on the grounds of Royal Roads in Colwood, the fourth race in the Series was the Hatley Castle 8K. In the field of 455, Byron Trajan was again the Bastion leader, finishing a strong fourth overall and second in his M30-34 age division with a recorded time of 27:51. In sixth place and second among M25-29, was Stephen Struthers with a time of 28:31. Finishing 31st overall with a time of 31:25 was Karl Nykwist. Sean Reilly ran the race in 31:56, good for 38th in total. In 46th spot came Gareth Saunders, whose time was 32:35.

Four Bastion female runners also finished in the top 100. Cheryl Davies was 55th with a time of 33:03. Erica DeSchiffart placed 81st and first in the F16-19 division at 34:16, with her sister Marita DeSchiffart second in the same age group and 86th in total at 34:38. Yanna Debelic placed first in the F40-44 category and 91st in the field, with a time of 35:02.

When the Island Series wraps up in April, we’ll review Bastion club results for the final four races.

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