BC Cross Country Championships will showcase the province’s talent this weekend

October 21, 2015 0
BCChamps

Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Some of the best distance runners in British Columbia will be competing in the 2015 BC Cross Country Championships that will take place this Saturday in Nanaimo’s Beban Park.

This annual meet is BC Athletics’ provincial club championships. It is a great opportunity for athletes who are preparing for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships as well as Athletics Canada’s national championships that will be taking place in Kingston, Ontario this year and the following three years.

To date, there appears to be very competitive fields taking shape with the likes of Vancouver’s Lucas Bruchet competing. He is one of Canada’s stronger 5,000-metre runners and is a member of the high performance BC Endurance Project. Chris Winter also of Vancouver is a top cross-country competitor as well as one of Canada’s fastest 3,000-metre steeplechasers, with a new personal best time of 8:26.55, which he set in July this year. He has competed in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships three times, twice as a junior.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s race in Nanaimo. I’ve put in a couple of good weeks of training and I’m looking forward to toeing the line Saturday to see where my fitness is at,” said the 29-year-old Winter. “I hear Luc (Bruchet) is in great shape and I know the University guys are in the midst of their cross country season and so they’re likely a bit sharper than I am at the moment – it should be a good test! Ultimately, I look at this weekend’s race as either a confirmation that my fitness is tracking correctly, or it’ll serve as a good kick in the butt to take things up a notch in preparation for nationals next month.”

The 24-year-old Bruchet owns a 5,000-metre best of 13:29.79, which he set in Europe this year. He twice competed in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2010 and 2013.

One athlete who has a strong resume and is now coming into form is University of Victoria’s Olivier Collin. He is one of the University of Victoria Vikes top men. “This weekend is all about building on the last couple races, being competitive and getting ready for CIS’s. I am healthy, fit and having a blast this season so I’m working hard to maintain that,” shared Collin.

Many of the other athletes competing are top varsity athletes from various BC universities. Kristopher Swanson is also in the race, he competed this summer in the IAAF World Mountain Running Championships.

The Women’s race:

Hilary Stellingwerff of Victoria, BC will be racing. She is a 2012 London Olympian and one of Canada’s fastest all-time 1500-metre runners with her personal best of 4:05.08. When asked about her fitness she offered, “Training has been going great and I’m as fit as or fitter than this time in 2011 leading into London Olympic year so I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m excited to get in a cross-country race this year at BC’s, but that will be the only one for me this season. It’s basically to get a good training stimulus and remind my body to hurt in a competitive environment.”

If she is in good position at the end of the race to sprint and is as fit as she believes she will be a top finisher; she also owns a 2:01.22 800-metre personal best time, so she can move fast, which she may have to do to stay with the top women in this race. While the men race the eight kilometre distance, the women go just six; the shorter distance is run at a more intense effort.

BC_Womens_Flash

Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The University of Victoria, University of British Columbia and Trinity Western University have entered several of their athletes each, who will make for an exciting and fast race. Some of the top names are Sarah Inglis (TWU) Rachel Cliff, Maria Bernard (UBC), Rachel Francois (Vikes), Regan Yee (TWU) to name a few.

Master men (40-plus): 

Tinkham, Norman
Masters
GOLD
Dignum, Colin
Masters
PIHR
Duncan, Gary
Masters
PIHR
Henderson, Doug
Masters
NORW
Murphy, Mike
Masters
UNBC
Brown, Jeremy
Masters
UNBC
Phillips, Herb
Masters
PIHR
Stewart, Brad
Masters
NANA
Ptucha, Stephen
Masters
UNBC
Muller, Roly
Masters
KRCC
Bozek, Bertrand
Masters
PIHR
Loeb, Jerry
Masters
RIVE
Slack, Andrew
Masters
UNBC
Ness, Larry
Masters
RIVE
Odermatt, Craig
Masters
PIHR
Machuga, John
Masters
OKRC
Deacon, Bruce
Masters
PIHR
Hammond, Ed
Masters
NONE
Dargie, Barrie
Masters
PIHR

Master women:

Issel, Corinne
Masters
OATF
Christie, Juliette
Masters
UNBC
Montgomery, Darcie
Masters
HHAC
Gelinas, Susan
Masters
UNBC
Delane, Jill
Masters
VFAC
Baxendale, Nancy
Masters
PIHR
Davies, Wendy
Masters
PIHR
Smith, Lucy
Masters
PIHR
Kelsall, Binder
Masters
PIHR

View full list of registered athletes, click here.

Courtesy of BC Athletics

Location, Parking & Shuttle

The Championships will take place in Beban Park in Nanaimo. The park is located just north of downtown Nanaimo, close to the old and new Island Highways. Google Map

Shuttle between BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal and Beban Park

A shuttle, for a nominal fee, will be available to walk-ons arriving at Departure Bay Ferry Terminal on the 8:30am and 10:30am ferries from Horseshoe Bay (10:15am and 12:15pm arrivals). Please indicate when registering for the Championships if you plan to take the shuttle.

The shuttle will return to the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal for the 3:00pm and 5:00pm sailings.

No shuttle will be available from the Duke Point Ferry Terminal. Note the last departure from Duke to Tsawwassen is at 3:15pm.

Travel Advisory: Although the schedule of events allows for same day travel to and from the Mainland, windstorms and other weather conditions, and mechanical problems can cause ferry cancellations. Consider travelling Friday to avoid ferry delays.

BC Ferries Schedule

Directions to Beban Park from BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal (4km / 5 minutes):

  • Exiting the ferry terminal, take the 1st right onto Brechin Road
  • After 1km, turn slightly right onto Hwy 19A North / Island Highway
  • After 0.6km, turn left onto Northfield Road
  • After 1.5km, turn right onto Bowen Road
  • Beban Park Recreation Centre is on the right

Directions to Beban Park from Victoria (111km / 90 minutes):

  • Go north on Hwy 1 towards Nanaimo
  • South of Nanaimo, merge onto Hwy 19 North / Nanaimo Parkway
  • After 11.4km, take Exit 21 right onto Northfield Road
  • After 0.9km, turn left onto Bowen Road
  • Beban Park Recreation Centre is on the right

Directions to Beban Park from BC Ferries Duke Point Terminal (23km / 17 minutes):

  • Exiting the ferry terminal, take Hwy 19 / Duke Point Highway
  • After 7.5km, merge onto Hwy 1 North, towards Nanaimo
  • After 1.9km, merge onto Hwy 19 North / Nanaimo Parkway
  • After 11.4km, take Exit 21 right onto Northfield Road
  • After 0.9km, turn left onto Bowen Road
  • Beban Park Recreation Centre is on the right

Directions to Beban Park from North Vancouver Island

  • Go south on Hwy 19 towards Nanaimo
  • Take Exit 21 left onto Northfield Road
  • After 0.9km, turn left onto Bowen Road
  • Beban Park Recreation Centre is on the right

 

The 2015 BC Cross Country Championships take place in Nanaimo on Saturday, October 24, with senior fields worthy of a National Championship. Races are scheduled for all ages, from 9 to 99, with BC team places on the line in the Youth, Junior, Senior and Masters events. The Canadian Championships will take place in Kingston, ON on November 28.

Both Luc Bruchet and Chris Winter, the 2013 and 2014 Canadian Champions respectively, will start in the senior mens race. And they will be made to work by full squads from Trinity Western, UVic and UBC.

The senior womens race is equally compelling, featuring Canadian international represenatives from Alberta (Maria Bernard), Yukon (Lindsay Carson), and Ontario (Hilary Stellingwerff), as well as home grown talent (Rachel Cliff) and Scotland’s Sarah Inglis.

Down the age groups, last years inaugural Canadian Youth Cross Country Champion, Christina Sevsek will be one to watch, as well as Junior internationals Mirelle Martens and Regan Yee.

Entries are still open at http://www.trackie.com/online-registration/event.php?id=2442

Complete event information at http://www.bcathletics.org/Content/bc-x-country-champs/42/

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