Friday, September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

Island runners rise to meet challenging races


Salt Springers were busy in many places and running disciplines this past weekend. On Saturday, 274 runners gathered at Mount Tzouhalem near Duncan in the second of six events in the Vancouver Trail Running Series. This event sponsors three races: a 13-km race involving 750 metres of climbing, a seven-km race involving 360 metres of climbing and a kids’ event.

Two Salt Spring Sneakers entered the 13-km event. Janice Dickie finished in 1:57:10, finishing fifth of 20 in her women’s 50-59 age group, 24th of all 76 women and 70th of all runners enrolled. Jeanne Cameron Leeson, in what was likely her first official trail run, finished in 2:25:31, 19th of 21 in her 40-49 age group, 62nd woman and 123rd overall. After finishing, she was quoted as saying, “Woo, hoo! That was fun!” Her daughter subsequently ran in the children’s run.

Two other Salt Springers entered the seven-km short course. Stephen Craig finished that course in 50 minutes and 20 seconds for third place of 11 runners in his 40-49 age group, 10th of 40 males and 14th of 134 total racers. John-Philip Ritson crossed the finish line in 52:29, earning a second of six in his 50-59 age group, 15th of 40 men and 29th of 134 runners.

On Sunday, Salt Spring was represented by eight runners in the BMO Half Marathon in Vancouver. Although the course was predominantly downhill, which usually produces faster times, rising temperatures appeared to slow competitors.

Sneaker affiliate Janine Fernandes-Hayden was the first Salt Springer to cross the finish line in 1:45:42, earning a 13th place of 561 runners in her 45-49 age group, 227th of 5,173 women and 828 of 9,235 runners overall. She was one of three Salt Springers who managed to improve their pace as the race progressed.  Marcia Jansen was the second Sneaker to finish in a time of 1:50:59, earning a 26th place in the same age group, 422nd woman and 1,363rd finisher overall.

Sneaker affiliate Duncan Elsey was the third Sneaker to finish. His time of 1:52:04 was 25 seconds faster than his time in this race last year. This time earned him 83rd place of 482 in his 45-49 age group, 996th of 4,062 males and 1462nd place overall. The fourth Salt Springer to finish was Lynn Steiner in a time of 1:53:05, her second fastest of five previous performances in this event. This time earned her a 14th place of 281 in her 55-59 age group, 515th woman and 1,588th overall. She also managed to quicken her pace through the race, a sign of an experienced runner.

She was followed by Karen Madro, who finished in 1:57:53, having four previous faster finishes of six previous performances on this course. This time earned her a 22nd place in the same age group, 720th woman and 2,044th place overall.

The sixth Salt Springer to finish was Sneaker Marion Young. Her time of 1:58:07 was considerably off her best time for this event and other half marathons she has run. It did earn her a 23rd place (top 10 per cent) of 281 in her 60-64 age group, 732nd woman and 2,066th overall. 

Lara Coelho was the next Salt Springer to finish. Her time of 2:28:23 was seven minutes off her best time at this distance at Banff last year, but earned her a 637th place of 985 in her 25-29 age group, 2,805th woman and 5,591st overall.

Mandy Upshall finished in 2:46:27, earning a 451st of 985 in her 35-39 age group, 3,583rd woman and 6,712th overall. She managed to improve her pace over the course of the race despite her inexperience with the distance.


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