© Copyright – 2020 – Athletics Illustrated

Jim Finlayson, focussing during the warm-up. He went on to win the Cobble Hill 10K in the time of 31:51 to set a course, age-group record for 45-59. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

Records are made to be broken. On Sunday, at the Cobble Hill 10K road race that takes place just a 20-minute drive north from Victoria, BC, several age-group event records fell.

Featuring a new start and finish area – hence a slightly new route – the race is approximately 10 seconds faster than in previous years, according to the competitors.

Not often do masters win races outright, however, Sunday it was 47-year-old Jim Finlayson and 41-year-old Jen Millar for the wins.

“Yeah – I am happy with the performance,” said Finlayson. “I thought I could go about that fast. The time 31:51 is three seconds off the provincial road record.”

Asked if he would have gone three seconds faster if he had competitors around him, he didn’t think so. “I put a pretty good effort in today. I am not sure I could have.”

The national record is 31:12, while the provincial 45-49 age-group record is 31:48. The performance does set a new event age-group record and set’s the new course up for a challenging go for any future athletes in that age-group. The overall men’s record was set by Geoff Martinson at 30:46.

Finlayson will be racing the 30th annual Lisbon Half Marathon on March 22nd and then two weeks later, he will take a run at the Rotterdam Marathon.

He owns the Canadian 45-49 age-group record at 2:25:29, set in Victoria in 2018 and feels he can go faster.

“I think I can run 68-minutes if all goes well in Lisbon and in the marathon – although two weeks later is not ideal – I feel I can go 2:22 or 2:23.”

Finlayson already owns the 45-49 half-marathon record from Copenhagen 2018 at 68:20.

Sunday, he was running on tired legs, as he is still training and ran 160K this week.

For Millar, she finished in the time of 36:37. It was her second masters win in a row during the 2020 Island Series which started two weeks prior in North Saanich at the provincial 8K road championships (Pioneer 8K). In that race, she finished in the time of 29:09, for the fifth female position in a more competitive field which included 2016 Rio Olympian Natasha Wodak.

To round out the top three men, Richard Reid finished in the time of 32:23 for second place, while Nick Walker was seven seconds back in 32:30.

Former UVic Vike Chloe Hegland finished second in 37:29, while 50-54-age athlete Marilyn Arsenault was third overall and second master clocking a 37:41 on loaded legs.

“I have run about 150K this week, so my legs are loaded. I also have a bit of a workout starting in a few minutes,” shared Arsenault, who owns provincial and national track masters records in the 3,000m and 5,000m events.

She will be heading to Phoenix for the ALTIS Coaching Apprentice Program and then she will take in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon on Saturday, Feb. 8.

For Hegland, after graduating in 2019, she is just getting fit again. She owns two world records for juggling soccer balls. “I started that up again, just for a fun way to add work the hip flexors and other parts of the leg.”

She will be seeking a sub-17-minute 5K this spring at the Bazan Bay 5K – a race held on an extremely fast course. No prize money is available otherwise, sub-14 in the men’s race is entirely possible. Martinson ran completely uncontested to finish in 14:12. At the time, asked if he would have run sub-14 if he was pushed, he said it may have been possible.

Cody Therrien is a former UVic Vike. He finished fourth overall in the time of 33:00. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

Several more UVic Vikes and Vikes alum took in the race including Cody Therrien who finished fourth overall. Jack Isnor was in the race too, representing the Nanaimo-based Bastion Running Club as was Jayden Watson who ran in the 16-19 age-group. He may be a future, university-level runner.

Keaton Heisterman who medalled at the national club cross-country championships will be competing in the NCAA for the 2020-2021 season. He won his age-group and was representing the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. He finished in the time of 34:39.

Craig Odermatt set the 50-54 event age-group record with a 12th overall 34:49 performance. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

“I hadn’t raced since nationals.”

An event record 504 finishers crossed the line, while an event record 609 had registered.

The Cobble Hill 10K is race #2 of the eight-race series. The next race is the Cedar 12K in Nanaimo on Feb. 9, Hatley Castle 8K on Feb. 23 Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K on March 8, Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 22, TriStars Sooke 10K on April 5 and the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K and Series Awards on April 19.

More on the series is available, here>>

Full results are available, here>>