John Vanderveen from Campbell River and Erin Burrett from Nanaimo’s Bastion Run Club were crowned champions at the 18th annual running of the TriStars Sooke 10K on Sunday.
Vanderveen ran the first kilometre with Bastion runner Jonathan Behnke, but then managed to pull away to finish a minute ahead, finishing in 34:54.
Behnke came over the finish line in 35:25 and third was Charles Waters from Squamish in 36:01. Top master and fourth overall was Jerry Loeb, from Campbell River in 36:15.
“I had no idea of the competition but my goal was to go under 35 minutes and run strong, which I did,” Vanderveen said. As a triathlete, he uses the Island Series for training.
Burrett made it three in a row, after wins in the Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K and the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. She ran a 37:06 which she was pleased with having been injured early in the year.
“My game plan was to make myself hurt a little more, which you can gamble on over 10K,” she said.
Like Vanderveen she was on her own for most of the race. “It is nice to have people to run with at the front to push me, but I had the lead bike who helped keep me going.”
Vanderveen’s long-term plan is to stay fit and healthy and aim to set a new course record in the fall in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
Second in the women’s field was Julia Tschanz from the Victoria Flatliners in 38:03, and third was Heather Hillsburg in 39:52. Nancy Baxendale (Prairie Inn Harriers) was the top women’s master and fifth overall, finishing in 41:07. She also set an age division record in the F55-59.
A total of 270 runners took part in the race.
In the club championship Ceevacs Roadrunners has taken the lead with 2,634 points, second is Bastion Run Club with 2,615 points and third is Prairie Inn Harriers with 2,114, points.
The final race in the Island Series is Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K on April 8. The series awards will be presented after the race. To register for Bazan Bay go to www.islandseries.org.