The author is an experienced sports journalist, having been a contributing writer for publications such as the Ubyssey (at U.B.C), Sports Vue, BC Athletics Record, Amateur Sports News (Alberta) and his own newspaper, The Deerfoot Review . Rather than just reporting times, here he brings to the reader some of the human story in each race. On this page he writes a narrative mainly about British Columbia Lower Mainland races. Perhaps you might see your own name!
The Resolution 4K & 8K Races January 1st 2017
The 4K event featured Jaiveer Tiwana running away from the field to post a 16:44 for the distance. Olivia Willett was the first women following home in second place overall with her 17:24. Cole Wilkie’s 19:09 was a hard fought effort that ran him into third place. He was followed by masters’ runner M. Dauncey’s 19:15, and Ethan Wilkie who slipped under the 20 minute marker going 19:51.
Other women scooting into the Top 10 taking eighth thru tenth spots were Georgia Ellenwood’s 20:32, Helena Meier’s 20:32, and Caitlyn Collingwood’s 21:01. Also inside the Top 10 were Erkan Akyuz and Arjun Dhatt going ‘mano a mano’. pinning down sixth and seventh 20:31 to 20:32.
In the 8K road race Squamish masters athlete Mike Murphy took home the bacon running 29:22, but not before he was pushed all the way by Jaxon Mackie’s 29:24. Dean Ellenwood was content to finish a respectable third at 30:48. Kayla Weltzin brought the women’s field through the post in 36:49. Kathy Rung kept second to herself with a 38:19 and Alyssa Altomare’s 38:33 was just enough to keep top fifty + chaser Geoff Hughes-Games’ 38:36 at bay.
Steveston 8K Ice Breaker Jan 15th 2017
Christian Gravel took 26:09 to complete this year’s Ice Breaker towing Brendan Wong’s 26:14 and masters ace Jeremiah Ziak’s 26:23 along for the ride. Jeff Symonds also managed to slide under twenty seven minutes in 26:56.
In other performances elder statesman Mark Bennett – which means you’re over fifty and still running – stopped the clock at 28:29 for eighth . Forty plus Mike Murphy grabbed 9th in 28:41holding off Dimitrios Mylonas trying to get past him in 28:42. Ben Hanke put in a determined bid as well in 28:43 while being chased from behind by the leading women’s runner.
The stage was set for Sabrina Wilkie tagging along with the leading men as she outdistanced the women’s field with a pedal to medal performance of 28:46. Running into second with her 29:35 placed Jen Moroz clear of masters athlete Jillian Fong’s third place 30:26 over the pancake flat 8K race.
MEC Race Series 5K/10K Jan 29th 2017
Braving the weather scores of lower mainland runners took to the streets of Vancouver in this year’s season opener of the 2017 MEC road race series. The turn-out was good and the weather behaved itself which was a plus.
In the women’s 5K Olivia Willett had company a good part of the way from Caitlin Sinclair as they both raced to beat the twenty minute mark. Willett with a full head of steam went 19:33 for the distance make a sub-19 a real possibility. Sinclair running on heart with everyone cheering her on ran 20 flat which had to be both great and frustrating at the same time. Following the leading duo home in third was Rachel Lam going 23:01.
The men’s 5K featured a trio of runners who helped each other along until time decided enough of that and went to work on their legs. Aljeandro Romero’s 17:28 had enough juice to it for the win. Just a few seconds back Randall Kippen was asking questions as Lee Kennett within spitting distance of deciding the issue ran out of room 17:39 to 17:42.
In this year’s men’s 10K go-around Blakely Browne held his ground against Ben Hanke to the timer’s line 35:16 to 35:17. Dallas Cain’s 36:14 grab at third did not come without some work with Michael Harris’ 36:23 hanging around long enough to make him think about it.
For the women’s 10K the results were clear cut down the line with Jocelyn Poirier-Hardy running away from the field with a solid 40:55 effort. Meryn Sim and Rhonda Dice managed to slip the forty five minute barrier recording respectable times of 43:18 and 44:54 between them.
West Van 5K March 4 2017
Kevin Friesen brought his race legs with him on the roads and in the process produced a fine 14:48. In doing so, Friesen pulled two other runners under the Magic 15 marker with him. For Rob Watson and Theo Hunt it was one of those times when you look down at your feet wondering if they have one more step left in them. With your eyes popping out of your head you watch time evaporate in front of you.
Watson’s 14:55 and Hunt’s 14:58 was a blood and guts performance asking them if they wanted to do it again. Back in fourth and fifth Christian Gravel’s 15:11 and Even Elder’s 15:17 was a taste early in the season of how few footsteps it is to a sub 15.
Sabrina Wilkie and Catherine Watkins led a charge of their own inside the leading pack of men in their own donnybrook to break seventeen minutes. Hanging on for what must have felt like forever garnered Kirsten Lee a top three spot in 17:24.
Inside the top fifteen was a dog fight focused around seventeen minutes for time rights the way a boxer trades shots to wear a belt at the end of the contest. This was trench warfare with eight runners inside fifteen seconds on either side of seventeen minutes.
Fifty plus stud Mark Bennett was running a nifty 16:57 to stay ahead the Wilkie and Watkins freight train while Ben Hanke was left wondering where two seconds disappeared to with his valiant 17:01 for fifteenth .
Bennett had a front row seat to Paul McNamara running 16:50, Sebastian Salas taking his 16:52 home with him and Dimitrois Mylonas in 16:56 was glad the runner behind him ran out of real estate.
West Van Run 10K March 5 2017
Craig McMillan took top honors in the Men’s 10K hitting the finish line in 33:41. A determined Glenn Saqui gave up his chase of the leader a second at a time to run out of room clocking 33:57. Mikael Mandonnet’s 34:39 nabbed third among the men.
The leading women charged into the open Top 10 finishing with Robyn Mildren’s 35:35 and Sabrina Wilkie 35:36 taking ninth and tenth. Bringing home third was Anne-Marie Madden running 36:23. Behind her it was a flash flood of finishers as James Newby (36:25), Stephen Ptucha (36:26), and Ben Hanke (36:26) ran for their lives with Jen Moroz’s 36:27 a step behind them keeping pace.
..more races to follow…