The seventh race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series, the Merville 15K, took place last Sunday. Hosted by the River Runners of Campbell River, the race was won by Nick Walker. There were 345 finishers.
Walker (Frontrunners) of Victoria put in an impressive performance to win in 50:12.
Second was Derek Vinge (PT Performance Training) in 51:19 and third was Campbell River’s Mark Cryderman (River Runners) in 51:29. Cryderman was also the top male Master.
“The race went very well for me,” Walker said. “I wanted to hold a steady pace that I could keep my turn-over quick and not stress the body too much. I am training for my first marathon coming up on May 5 in Vancouver and wanted to get another strong effort in my last couple weeks of training. I was really happy with my time and how I felt, and am looking forward to Sooke 10K in two weeks.”
The women’s race was won by Cheryl Davies of Nanaimo (Bastion Running Club) in 1:02:43, second was Jayne Struch in 1:03:29, and third was Lindsey Chamberlain in 1:03:33. Top female Master was Yanna Debelic in 1:04:48. The men’s sprint race was won by Jerry Loeb in 11:46 with Allison Roberts winning the female sprint in 14:87.
“We were favoured by the weather and good race conditions,” said Linda Nagle, race director. “There were some great performances today including an age group record set by Diane Palmason in the F75-79 category. She broke a 10 year record and was faster by nine minutes, finishing in 1:42:19.”
After seven races Prairie Inn Harriers lead the Island Series club standings, with Bastion Running Club second and Comox Valley Road Runners third. With one race to go Geoff Martinson and Jen Millar lead the individual standings.
Eight races make up the Frontrunners Island Race Series. Merville 15K will be followed by the final race – Sooke River 10K on April 21. All races are sanctioned by BC Athletics. Registration is now online at www.vira.bc.ca.
Historical results from races dating back to 1980 from previous race series can be seen on www.pih.bc.ca