It was a day of course records Sunday in the Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K, the fifth race of the eight-race Vancouver Island Race Series.
Setting a new overall course record was winner Richard Reid of Victoria finishing in the time of 50:08 over the hilly course.
“This was my first time running the Paper Chase and didn't really know what to expect — my only goal was to put in a solid effort,” said Reid. “I really enjoyed the rolling course and loved the section through the mill! I am quite surprised about the course record but I also have to say that it really helped having a close contender who pushed me the whole race.”
There were 12 age-group course records too. Victoria’s Catrin Jones, the women’s winner, set the 40-plus master’s record with a 58:34 performance. Jones took seven minutes off the old W40-44 course record, set in 2018 by Carolyn Coffin (1:05:05). Melissa Ross from the Bastion Run Club was second in 60:03 and third was Sofia Donnecke finishing in 1:04:05. Donnecke also set a W20-24 age group record.
Reid won the race by nine seconds over Dusty Spiller who held the previous course record of 52:04. Reid also set an M35-39 age group record. Spiller easily beat his 2018 time, finishing in the time of 50:17. In third place was Jordan Brietzke with a time of 55:40. Top master and fourth overall was Jerry Loeb (55:44).
This was Jones’s first Paper Chase 15K: “It’s certainly not a flat fast course, but the undulating course was great, including a small portion through the old mill grounds,” she said. “I was happy with how my race went, not a quick 15K time, but a great training race on tired legs. My only goal was to keep a steady pace throughout the race and attempt to push a bit harder the latter half of the race if my legs allowed. It felt controlled despite the fatigue from a fairly heavy training week. It’s always a pleasure to podium and also nice to get the masters record today.”
The other age group records were: Melanie Phillipp (W16-19 – 1:12:57); Andrea Wilson (W45-49 – 1:05:11); Pauline Nielson (W50-54 – 1:12:04); Holly Pirozzini (W55-59 – 1:07:25); Jill Davies (W75-70 – 1:39:05); Derek Brenchley (M60-64 – 65 minutes); Wayne Crowe (M65-69 – 1:03:40) and Frank Towler (M75-79 – 1:13:21).
The race, hosted by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, had 262 participants.
Leading the club standings is Ceevacs Roadrunners with 2026 points, followed by the Prairie Inn Harriers with 1805 and Bastion Run Club with 1501.
Next race is Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 22, followed by TriStars Sooke 10K on April 5 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 19.
Full results can be seen at: https://racedaytiming.ca/results/2020PortAlberni15K
To register for any of the races in the Island Series go to www.islandseries.org