Island MLA Michelle Stilwell sums up her world record at track meet: ‘Fantastic’ #Lyon2013

July 29, 2013

July 25, 2013 – By Cleve Dheensaw / Times Colonist 

Times Colonist – Most politicians would be happy just to win their race in an election. But Michelle Stilwell isn’t like most politicians.

The Parksville-Qualicum MLA and government caucus chairwoman set a world record of two minutes, 14.79 seconds in winning the gold medal in the women’s wheelchair T52 class 800 metres Thursday at the International Paralympic Committee world track and field championships in Lyon, France.

The former world record of two minutes, 16.71 seconds was established in 2005 by fellow Canadian Lisa Franks. Stilwell holds four world records in the T52 class — the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and now 800 metres.

Thursday’s achievement came with bumps and scrapes. The race was originally conducted Wednesday but a re-race was ordered for Thursday after Stilwell and Marieke Vervoort of Belgium collided hard with 200 metres remaining. Stilwell managed to remain upright, but Vervoort’s chair tipped and she hit the ground. The Belgian was ruled to have cut off Stilwell and disqualified for the re-race.

“Well, that did not go as planned,” Stilwell said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

“I am OK, only a little bruised on the arm.”

On Thursday, after winning the second race, she summed things up with one word: “Fantastic.”

“I would have liked to have Marieke in the race. I look forward to the day when we can re-race,” she said in an interview conducted by meet organizers. “I hope she is doing well and recovering.

“We definitely had a great race plan going in today. It was about controlling the race.”

And she took note of the weather. “It’s been very, very warm — very hot.”

Stilwell, who became a paraplegic at 17 while playing piggy-back with friends and falling down a flight of stairs, is the only female athlete to have won gold medals in two sports in the Summer Paralympics. She won gold in wheelchair basketball at Sydney 2000. Complications from her spinal cord injury forced Stilwell to retire from wheelchair basketball. She took up wheelchair track and won two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, and gold and silver at London 2012. Stilwell’s silver at London came when Vervoort edged the Islander for gold in the T52 100 metres.

Stilwell, 39, who won a seat as a Liberal MLA in the May election, acknowledged the support she has received from the Island and across the country. “It’s been wonderful getting all your emails and your posts. I’m looking forward to coming home and showing everyone my new bling.”

View full article and watch VIDEO:


Records fall at Summerfast 10K

July 20, 2013

The record books were completely rewritten at the Summerfast 10K, hosted by the Vancouver Falcons. The final race in the 2013 Timex BC Road Race Series and race #8 in the Lower Mainland Series attracted a competitive field. Warm, calm conditions, and a flat course produced fast times for many.

Leading the way was Kelly Wiebe. The former Vancouver Sun Run winner, recently relocated to Vancouver from Saskatchewan to train under Richard Lee, proved he was the class of the field, leading from gun to tape. Through the first mile he was 100m clear, and he continued to extend his lead all the way around the Stanley Park seawall, bettering the previous course record of 30:58 by a full minute. His winning time of 29:57 earned him a $100 bonus.

Behind Wiebe a three way battle developed, and was not settled until the final sprint to the finish. Theo Hunt edged out Kris Swanson by 3 seconds, 31:34 to 31:37, with Jim Finlayson a further 3 seconds back in 31:40. Finlayson’s time was a masters 40+ record, also by over a minute, and earned him a $50 bonus.

Natasha Fraser was next to claim a $100 record bonus, as she also led wire-to-wire, though her margin of victory was much less, winning in 35:01. The surprise of the day was in second place, as Kimberley Doerksen from Gibsons produced a huge PB, bettering her previous best by about 4 minutes. A recent switch to train under John Hill clearly paid dividends for her, as she beat many more fancied rivals in 35:22.

In the battle for third, Erin Burrett and Sabrina Wilkie repeated their tussle from the Longest Day 5K, with a similar outcome as Burrett out-sprinted Wilkie 35:39 to 35:41. Behind them Catherine Watkins made it a clean sweep of records, establishing a new masters 40+ mark of 35:55, to take the $50 bill.

At the other end of the spectrum, BJ McHugh added to her already lengthy list of world age best performances, setting a F8589 record of 1:06:49.

Complete results:

Garnett beats heat on 50-mile run to Whistler

July 7, 2013

By Vince Shuley, Whistler Question

The scorching temperatures of the Canada Day long weekend were not the most ideal for a trail running ultra, but organizers of the fourth annual Tenderfoot Boogie were prudent in getting the race started pre-dawn at 5 a.m.

“The guys coming in a few hours from now might have a different story, but for me (the temperature) was good,” said overall 50-mile winner Jonathon Garnett, who crossed the line with a personal best of seven hours, 41 minutes, 25 seconds — more than two hours ahead of Roy Kok, who came in second at 10:03:27.

“It started off nice and cool, about 16 degrees with a bit of rain. By the time the sun crested the ridge it was half over.”

Garnett, originally from Victoria, is no stranger to running in heat and humidity being based in Hong Kong.

“Training in Hong Kong has good crossover benefits, you come back from a run in thirty-degree heat and you’re soaked. For me, this is actually really nice.”

The 50-mile course started at the Squamish Adventure Centre and wound its way past Brackendale, Brohm Lake and the Paradise Valley before following the Sea to Sky Highway. Several more trail diversions at Lucille Lake and Brandywine Falls Provincial Park kept runners on their toes before the final stage through Whistler’s Westside to the finish at Meadow Park.

“The first half of this 50-miler is pretty flat, so it gives you the opportunity to really put the pedal to the metal and get some fast kilometres in,” said Garnett.

“Obviously that brings in the risk of overdoing it, you have to hold it back a little bit so you can keep some fuel in the tank for when the hills do start. It’s actually quite nice because you get a bit of ebb and flow with the hills. It undulates, it flows, it’s a good mix. It only goes on the road when it has to.”

Read more,

Kangogo, DuChene win Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon

June 24, 2013

SVHM start

By Michael Doyle, Canadian Running Magazine

If there is one word that best describes Kip Kangogo, it’s consistency.

The Kenyan born, Canadian resident won his fourth Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon on Sunday, beating some stiff competition in the process.

The weather was slightly overcast and perfect for running when the horn sounded at the UBC campus. Kangogo tucked in behind Rob Watson, Willy Kimosop, Paul Kimugal and Terence Attema for much of the first half.

Kimugal set the tone in the early going, but it was Watson that laid down the first salvo at the 12K marker, where there was a tough 300m climb. Kimugal fell off the pace, but Kangogo was able to cover the move. He then settled back in comfortably and bided his time until Kitsilano Beach. There, Kangogo quickly gapped Watson, and then used the long tough grind up the Burrard Bridge to cement his fourth victory in Vancouver. He would win in a convincing 1:03:33. Watson wound up losing nearly a minute on Kangogo in the last few kilometres, finishing with a 1:04:28.

The women’s race got off to a very hot start between two friends and rivals. Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene challenged each other to an edgy 33:00 first 10K, before Marchant fell off the pace. That left the door open for DuChene to continue her extraordinary 2013 campaign, winning in a jaw-dropping 1:10:52. Marchant would cruise in at a respectable 1:11:38, but admitted that she never quite settled down and found her stride after a rough beginning. “I got tripped up at the very start of the race and nearly did a face plant,” Marchant told Canadian Runningafter the race. “I tried to hang on the best I could, but my body and I decided we were at odds with each other, but I tried to keep a solid one going –I’m happy with my time and how it felt.”

Both Kimugul and Port Moody, B.C.’s Natasha Wodak would protect their positions in the race and take home respective third place finishes. It’s been a busy week for Wodak. On Thursday, she was on the other side of the country, where she won the 10,000m at the Canadian track and field championships in Moncton. “I’m happy I was still able to get under 1:15, all things considered,” she said after just squeezing by in 1:14:59.

Kimugul fought hard to keep up, but faded back to 1:04:58. He then found himself taking a brief trip to the hospital after becoming weak in the finishing chute. He later told Canadian Running that he was recently suffering from pneumonia, and would have to seek further treatment after he heads back to Kenya next week.

DuChene, Marchant and Watson all got to test out their fitness here in Vancouver with about seven weeks to go before the IAAF world championships in Moscow. Both women have long been committed to the race and expect to run fast times, with talk of perhaps even going after a sub-2:30, particularly after the feedback they received from Sunday’s race.

Watson is a late addition to the Canadian squad. He and Dylan Wykes are the only two men with qualifying times, but neither had planned to make the trip. Wykes is still recovering from injury, while Watson had initially opted to focus instead on a fast fall marathon. Last week, Watson changed his mind. “I came to the decision after talking to a lot of people that I really respect in the sport and putting things into perspective,” the 2:!3 marathoner told Canadian Running after his finish. “You never know what is around the corner and you have to take advantage of the experiences you are given. This is a great team and it’s going to be a great experience, I’m going to get world championship experience… It seemed right.”

Both Watson and Kangogo had extra motivation to run hard on Sunday.

Watson turned 30 on race day and was hoping to celebrate with a win in the city he now calls home. He would have to settle for second, but commended Kangogo on his solid effort. “Kip is just so good at the half-marathon,” exclaimed Watson. “He’s Mr. Consistency.”

Kangogo was inspired by the birth of his first child just three weeks ago. “This was my first race running as a daddy, and it was just wonderful,” Kangogo said with a smile. “Everything changes — there’s love in the house and love in running.”

This year’s event was their most successful yet, with a sell-out crowd of 7,000. The race also raised over $700,000 for 71 different charities.

Voth leads TWU Spartans at Coquitlam Cheetahs meet

June 13, 2013

Last weekend’s meet served as trials for the 2013 Canada Summer Games 

LANGLEY ADVANCE – JUNE 13, 2013 – Trinity Western University track athlete Chris Voth had the race of his life in the 5000m to lead the Spartans at the Coquitlam Cheetahs Annual Jesse Bent Memorial Meet.

The Abbotsford native finished first with a time of 14: 46.10 at Coquitlam’s Percy Perry Stadium on Sunday.

Voth led a Spartans contingent that was competing in its third meet in the Lower Mainland in just over a week as part of an effort to push for an outdoor aspect to the Canada West and CIS competition schedule.

The University of Alberta and the University of Victoria also competed in this week’s three-event series.

This past weekend’s meet was also the Canada Games trials for Team B.C.

It’s expected the team will officially be announced sometime this week.

While there were plenty of quality performances from current Spartans, it was future Spartan Regan Yee who made waves by winning the 2000m steeplechase, and beating the Spartans’ Fiona Benson with a time of 7: 00.20.

Benson finished second in 7: 01.91.

Also of note was the performance of Canadian Paralympian Dustin Walsh, who broke the T11 Canadian 400m record with a time of 53 seconds.

Walsh, who was also the previous record-holder, bettered his old mark of 53.05.

Spartans track athlete and Langley resident Dylan Williamson is Walsh’s guide runner.

Read more:

Jackson, Jones run to Whistler Half titles

June 6, 2013

By Eric MacKenzie, Whistler Question

David Jackson said he wanted to have a comfortable start to The North Face Whistler Half Marathon on Saturday (June 1). By the end, it was his huge lead over the rest of the field that looked pretty comfy.

The Abbotsford runner captured top spot in the third annual 21.1-kilometre race, crossing the Whistler Olympic Plaza finish line in one hour, 11 minutes, 24 seconds to take the victory.

Jackson led by a full minute when reaching the halfway point at Rainbow Park Saturday, and stretched the gap to more than three minutes by the time he reached the finish. Browne (1:14:39) took runner-up honours while McCarthy (1:15:23) placed third, reaching the podium for the third year in a row.

Catrin Jones similarly opened up a big lead over the rest of the field to capture the women’s half marathon, one year after she finished in second place. The Victoria resident clocked in at 1:20:21 to hold off Vancouver’s Anne-Marie Madden (1:23:46) and 2011 winner Care Nelson (1:24:47) for the title, recording the sixth-fastest time overall.

This year’s race featured a 10 K distance for the first time and Sea to Sky runners posted several impressive results, as the women’s 10 K was swept by locals. Tara Gorman battled with fellow Whistler resident Laura Bestow before taking top spot in a time of 41:40. Pemberton’s Emma Chadsey finished 13 seconds behind Bestow for third, and Whistler’s Karen Elliot was the fourth women’s finisher.

Full results are available at

Race director Dave Clark said this year’s race raised $20,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. Olympic Plaza buzzed with activity and excitement throughout the day as hundreds of supporters came out to cheer on runners taking on the two distances or the Little Rippers Kids Run through the Village.

Read the full article,

BC High School Championships Round-up

June 2, 2013

By Howard Tsumura, The Province

Epic comebacks, PB times highlight boys, girls 3,000m finals at Subway BC track finals

Georgia on everyone’s mind: Ellenwood finishes prep career with triple gold, silver at BC’s

Weir wins in pure-guts fashion, Asianna smashes B.C. prep discus mark, and all the rest


Aabye continues to dominate Interior road racing series

May 28, 2013

By Mark Hunter, Kamloops Daily News

The way Hans Aabye would tell it, he has had a “pretty solid” season in the Interior Running Association’s Canadian Tire Road Race Series.

Aabye, a 35-year-old Merritt man, ran away with Sunday’s Blackwell Dairy Run in Barnhartvale, finishing the 15-kilometre course in a remarkable 51 minutes 29 seconds. He was the best of the 155 runners who braved the hilly course, beating the runner-up by nearly five minutes.

Winning is nothing new to Aabye. In seven starts on the series in 2013, he has five first-place finishes, a second and a third.

It wasn’t as though Sunday’s field was full of slowpokes. Aabye had to deal with Cache Creek’s Ryan Day, who cruised to victory in the 2012 Kamloops Marathon, the ageless Richard Brewster of Kamloops.

As incredible as Aabye’s numbers have been in the past few months, Cindy Rhodes showed Sunday that age is only a number.

The 56-year-old Kelowna resident was the fastest female, crossing the line in 1:05:41 to win her fourth Blackwell run in five years (she didn’t run in 2012). She was the 10th overall finisher, and was in the mix with the elite runners.

Read more,

The Q’s Victoria Run Series – Featured the UVic Vikes and a Nanaimo-fa​mily affair

May 28, 2013

By Chris Kelsall

The second track meet of The Q’s Victoria Run Series took place Saturday, May 25th at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium, under partially cloudy skies with a light winds.

The number two ranked team in Canada, The University of Victoria Vikes, took in the 800m distance races. The men’s race saw Thomas Riva run 1:50.1 for the win, over team mates, Adam Gaudes and John Pratt, who finished in 1:51.1 and 1:52.8, respectively. “We are pretty happy with our performances, leading into Canada West Championships next week,” said Riva. Riva sat back and appeared to draft Gaudes for much of the race. After the front stretch, where they passed the stadium while running into strong headwind, Riva pulled the trigger into the final turn to take advantage of the prevailing tail wind, using a final sprint finish for the win.

The field was rounded out by Vikes Karl Robertson who finished in 1:53.6, Kyle Irvine with his1:53.7, Thomas Oxland’s 1:55.3, while Trevor Schiavone finished in 1:56.7. Chris Voth finished ahead of Nanaimo’s Peter Oxland in 1:57.7 to his time of 1:58.4. Jin Quan made the trip from Vancouver to finish in a respectable 2:09.3.

In the women’s 800m race Vike Kendra Pomfret accomplished a good, early-season win in 2:07.8. She said, “I am happy with the time, not a personal best, but a good performance for this time of season.” Second went to team mate Grace Annear who finished in 2:08.2, accomplishing a new personal best time. Trinity Western University’s Fiona Benson ran a season best 2:09.8 for third place overall. Fifth, sixth and seventh went to Vikes Shauna McInnis (2:12.9), Brittany Therrien (2:13.8) and Jenica Moore in 2:14.8. Nanaimo high school phenoms Miryam Bassett and Marita Deschiffart battled hard for a very close finish in 2:16.6 and 2:16.7, respectively.

The men’s 3000m race featured eventual winner Nathan Wadhwani, who finished in 8:42.3 to Trinity Western University’s Joel Deschiffart’s 8:44.80. The two battled for six of the 7.5 laps before Wadhwani prevailed. Third overall and first master went to Craig Odermatt. The former Vike, at the age of 41, continues to run better than he has in a decade finishing in 8:54.70. Second master was Laurence Coogan who finished in 9:51.2, while top-50-year-old finisher was Gary Duncan of the Prairie Inn Harriers.

In the 1500m race Isaac Wadhwani won over former Vike Nick Walker in 4:14.7 to Walker’s 4:25.9. Jim Barwise finished third overall and was the first master finisher in 4:47.4. Erica Deschiffart won the women’s race in 4:50.60, she said after the race, “yeah I started a little too fast.” When asked about her running with the men in the first lap. For the Deschiffart’s it was a family affair as brother Joel, who raced the 3000m event competes for Trinity Western University, while twin sister Marita took in the 800m and mom, Sue Deschiffart is a BC Athletics Officials who was busy trackside timing the events.

In fact it was a Nanaimo-family affair as accompanying the Deschiffarts, was the Bassetts, including Yosef Bassett, who won the 800m open race over Cody Schneider and Performance Running’s Julien Marceau. The top female was Michelle Bernardo in 2:36.5 Bassett made the trip down island with sisters Miryam and Rebecca. A third set of siblings from Nanaimo raced as well including Peter and Thomas Oxland as well as Vike-brother Doug Oxland.

The Q’s Victoria Run Series next event happens Saturday, June 1st at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium at 6:30 PM.

The series includes track, cross-country and road race opportunities for all abilities. Check for all the details at the series’ website:

Fast times at Oak Bay Kool Half-Marathon

May 28, 2013

By Travis Paterson, Victoria News

Victoria’s Jim Finlayson left a wake six minutes long as he finished first overall in Sunday’s rain-soaked Oak Bay Kool Half-Marathon with a time of one hour, nine minutes and 13 seconds.

Though Finlayson was three minutes off the course record, his time was six minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Brett Withers of Seattle.

“Finlayson killed it. He ran it really well,” said race organizer Dave Milne. “But the really impressive showing was Marilyn Arsenault breaking Cheryl Murphy’s women’s record.” Arsenault, a noted opera singer, is in the 45-49 category, and ran the half in a time of 1:17:33, an unofficial Canadian age record.

Read more,

Weekend Roundup

April 11, 2013

Looking back to last weekend (click on the links for full stories):

Browne coasts to victory, Brooking defends title at 36th Fool’s Run

Merritt’s Aabye wins 2nd OC Half Marathon

Runners tear it up in Merville 15K

UBC captures the 2013 Achilles Cup over SFU

Croft leads Clan at Achilles Cup

Nuttall breaks High Jump record at Achilles Cup

Records fall at the Province Gran Forsa V presented by Telus

And looking ahead to this weekend:

Saturday sees the inaugural Harriers Bob Reid Magical Mile in Victoria

And on Burnaby Mountain, the Emilie Mondor Spring Open

On Sunday, the Interior Road Race Series action continues with the Oliver “Wine Capital of Canada” 10K

The MEC Road Race Series gets underway in Victoria

The racing season kicks off in Prince Rupert with the Half Marathon and 8K

And Up The Creek offers 10K, 5K and a Kids 1K options in Port Coquitlam

Finally, Monday is the Boston Marathon.

Spring Run-Off 8K and Comox Valley RV Half Marathon Race Reports

March 25, 2013

By Alan Brookes: Kangogo and Van Buskirk get Canada Running Series 2013 off to a flying start with victories at Vancouver Spring Run Off 8K

By Chris Kelsall: Comox Valley RV Half Marathon Race Report


BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K, Penticton Lakeside 5K, and The River’s Spring Run-Off 10K Race Reports

March 22, 2013

Recent race reports…

By Chris Kelsall: Martinson Prevails at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K – On a New, Fast Course

By Rick Jenkner: Lakeside 5K Report

By Rick Jenkner: The River’s Spring Run-Off 10K Report


Martinson wins Synergy Health Bazan Bay 5K – Nine under 15:00

March 11, 2013

By Chris Kelsall, Athletics Illustrated

Nine men ran under 15 minutes in the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5k in Sidney, BC on Sunday, March 10th. The overall winner was former University of Victoria Vikes star athlete, Geoff Martinson of Victoria, BC who finished in a near dead-heat with Vancouver’s Ryan Brockerville – a Simon Fraser University grad and a current member of Point Grey Track and Field Club – in the time of 14:32. Third went to former University of Victoria Vike Clifford Childs who finished in 14:40. “I was hanging on. There was a much more competitive group this year,” said Martinson, who set the current course record in 2012 with his time of 14:20.

See Geoff Martinson’s post-race video interview here.

Childs led the race for the first two and a half kilomtres before giving away to Brockerville, who led until the final 150 metres, where Martinson and Brockerville dueled to the end. “I led early because I wanted to take it out at a strong pace, we had such a competitive field,” said Childs. Also in the race were Vike teammate Forrest Simpson who finished in 14:44, which was six seconds faster than three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medallist Simon Whitfield (triathlon) and Vike’s Patrick Psotka who finished in a virtual dead-heat at 14:50. They were followed closely by Matthew Sharpe in 14:52 and Kevin Friesen of Point Grey Track and Field Club who finished in 14:54.

Masters (40-plus) winner was Victoria’s Jim Finlayson, who finished in 14:55 however; the master’s story of the day came from Vancouver’s Kevin O’Connor (Point Grey) who demolished the provincial 45-plus age-group record of 15:32 with his time of 15:15. O’Connor was teh second master overall and first in his five-year age-group, he was followed by Craig Odermatt (40-44) in a time of 15:40 as well as two-time Olympian Bruce Deacon, he finished in 15:43 and second in the 45-49 age group.

Top female finisher was National Triathlon Centre’s (NTC) Ellen Pennock in 16:28. Sabrina Wilkie of Pont Grey Track Club finished second in a new personal best time of 16:41. Third went to NTC’s Alex Coates in 16:56. “I am very happy with my personal best today. It is a fast course and there was good competition in this event,” said Wilkie.

A total of nine athletes ran under 15 minutes while 27 finished under 16 minutes and 50 finished under 17:00. There were a total of 748 finishers. The Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5k is race number five of both the Vancouver Island Race Series and the BC Timex Road Race Series.



Martinson breaks course record at Cobble Hill 10K

January 28, 2013

A new course record was set in the Cobble Hill 10K by Geoff Martinson.  Five age-group records were also set in the race which was the second race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. Hosted by CEEVACS Road Runners, there were 532 finishers.

Martinson won in 30:46, beating Steve Osaduik’s 2008 time of 31:11. Second and third place was hotly contested with Sean Chester coming in at 31:54, and Andrew McCartney at 31:57. Top Master was Vince Brotherston in 35:25.

Martinson also won the Pioneer 8K two weeks ago “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to take the record down at Cobble Hill, but I thought the least I could do was give it a good hard effort,” he said. “With no watch and no clocks on the course, it wasn’t until the last 100-metres when I could see the finish line clock that I knew the record was within reach.”

There was just three seconds between the top two women with Catrin Jones winning in 35:57 and Lucy Smith second in 36:00. Smith was also the top master. Jen Millar was third in 36:13. “I was quite pleased with how my race went. I settled into a comfortable pace right away and managed to finish quite strong,” said Jones. “The competition was also great today. Having both Lucy Smith and Jen Miller by my side for most of the race was incredible. They are both amazing athletes and it’s always an honour to run with them.”

The race also saw five age-group records; Martinson in the M25-29, Jones in the F30-34, Smith in the F45-49, Gary Duncan in the M55-59, and Valerie Gonzales in the F65-69. In the sprint finish Eric Tremblay ran 12:76 to take the green jersey in the Open Men’s. Teenager Erica Deschiffart of the Bastion Running Club ran 16:27 to win the Open Women’s green jersey. Joshua Heath and Rachel Kimler took the jerseys for Masters Men & Women respectively.

“All in all a great day – we knew our course record was at risk, and were pleased to see such a fine performance by Geoff to take the record,” said Race Director Ian Milne.  “There were also some fine runs throughout the entire field – from young teenagers to our experienced octogenarians. And special thanks to our series sponsors for their support, and also to the more than 60 volunteers from CEEVACS for delivering a safe, successful event.”

Full race day results are available on:

Natasha Fraser wins the NACAC Cross Country Championships

January 26, 2013

Natasha Fraser (Prairie Inn Harriers) comfortably won the Senior Womens NACAC Cross Country Championship in Mandeville, Jamaica. Fraser completed the 6K race in 21:07, to finish 28 seconds clear of teammate Rachel Cliff (Vancouver Thunderbirds), to lead Canada to the team win over the USA.

In the Senior Men’s 8K Championship, Cam Levins (Comox Valley) helped Canada to second place behind the USA. Levins finished second overall, losing out in a sprint finish to Craig Forys of the USA. Two other BC athletes were part of the Canadian team. Chris Winter (Speed River) placed 8th (3rd Canadian), and Luc Bruchet (Point Grey) was 10th (5th Canadian).

Canada also won both Junior team competitions, with Christian Gravel (Vancouver Thunderbirds) scoring fourth Canadian, 10th overall.

Complete results:

All teams should now advance to the World Cross Country Championships in Poland on March 24.

Fraser Smashes Record, Martinson Wins Handily

January 13, 2013

Chris Kelsall reports on the Harriers Pioneer 8K for Athletics Illustrated:


Sechelt Holiday Hustle

December 10, 2012

Despite a cold wet morning, 85 people signed up for the inaugural Holiday Hustle 5k & 2k in Sechelt, a fundraiser for the Chatelech Band Hawaii Tour 2013 and the Elves Club Christmas Hampers. Many participants wore festive attire such as Santa hats and suits, Elf hats, jingle bells, and much red and white.

Close to $1300 was raised for the Chat Band Tour including $205 in additional donations by registrants. Two and a half large boxes of food and toys plus $195 in cash were donated to the Elves Club.

Thanks to the work of many volunteers, everyone had a great time and enjoyed a fabulous spread of post-race festive goodies and live music by the Chat Jazz Band. Dozens of valuable draw prizes were given away, donated by local businesses and individuals. Sue Joly of Gibsons was the lucky winner of the grand draw prize of a $200 gift certificate from The Spa at Painted Boat.

First around the 5k course was Sechelt’s John Atkinson in 19:08, followed by Kaden Walkey and Josh Romer, also from Sechelt. First woman to finish was Cathy McLeod of Sechelt, with Celia Clare of Roberts Creek and Sage Randle of Sechelt rounding out the top 3. For full results see the event website at

Though untimed, the fastest finisher in the 2k was 5-year-old Joffre Storey, who was awarded a special prize for his accomplishment. He was proud to announce that he had done a couple of other races before this one.

The next event hosted by Sunshine Coast Athletics will be the Resolution Run on January 1st, in Porpoise Bay Park. See the club website for information:, or call 604-885-8849. The organizers would also like to remind everyone that the entry fees for the BMO April Fool’s Run go up on January 1st, so register by December 31st to get the best deal:


UBC wins NAIA women’s cross country title, men finish sixth

November 18, 2012

The UBC Thunderbirds won the women’s and combined titles at the 2012 NAIA Cross Country National Championships held Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

The Thunderbirds recorded 98 team points and had four of its five runners finish in the top 20. They were paced by Maria Bernard and Jackie Regan, who took fifth and sixth place, respectively. Bernard crossed the five-kilometre finish line in 17:42 and Regan was eight seconds behind her. Sarah Reimer 18:25 mark earned her a 17th-place finish, followed by Amelie De Fenoyl in 18th (18:27). Rhiannon Evans finished 52nd with a time of 19:12.

By virtue of their top-30 performances, Bernard, Regan, Reimer and De Fenoyl also won All-American honours.

Micha Gutmanis was 56th after completing the race in 19:16 while Heather Slinn was just behind her in 62nd with a time of 19:24.

“We have been working around to get the team together to win,” British Columbia head cross country coach Marek Jedrzejek, who was named NAIA women’s cross country Coach of the Year.  “Finally we did it, the girls ran fantastic.”

On the men’s side, Luc Bruchet’s bronze-medal performance on Saturday paced UBC to a sixth-place standing.  The Thunderbirds finished with 201 points, 63 more than the winning school, St. Francis (Ill.).

Bruchet completed his race in 24:08 while Tim Huebsch was 20th after recording a time of 25:11.   The pair were named All-Americans.  Will Cliff came across the finish line in 49th (25:50).

Bilal Shamsi was not far behind Cliff in 57th (25:56) and Jack Williams was the last contributor to UBC’s team score as he wound up in 72nd place, finishing in 26:06.

Matt Galea (88th – 26:22) and Tim Smith (98th – 26:29) also competed for the Thunderbirds.  The performances, when added to those of the women’s team, was good enough to also give UBC the combined NAIA cross country title, capping off a great season for members of both squads.


Many of the athletes will finish their season at the Canadian Cross Country Championships at Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver on November 24.


UBC Okanagan Cross Country finish 4th at national championships

November 16, 2012

The Heat Cross Country teams toed the line at the biggest CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) championships event in history with a field of over 290 student-athletes from nearly 40 different colleges and universities from across the country.

The race, five kilometres for the women and eight kilometres for the men, was held at Parc Michel-Chartrand in Longueuil, Que, and the cloudless sunny Saturday (Nov. 10) and was a perfect setting for the championships hosted by Champlain College Saint-Lambert.

The Heat women had a tremendous performance, and were just seconds away from a national medal, finishing fourth in the team scoring, narrowly missing the podium by the slimmest of margins – just five points.

Read more,

Thompson Rivers University were BC’s other representative at the Championships.

Complete results,