© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon goes Sunday in Courtenay, BC and as usual a local competitive field is assembling.

Currently, the top runners are former University of Victoria Vike athletes Jackson Bocksnick (Frontrunners Athletic Club), and Matt Noseworthy, as well as one of Canada’s top Olympic distance triathletes in Brennen Smith (Speedfarm). For the women, former Canadian 50K champion and record holder Catrin Jones (Prairie Inn Harriers) is toeing the line as is Edmonton’s Yume Kobayashi, who is a former national level triathlete. Also, possibly in the field is Meg Lewis-Schneider (Esprit RC) who won the 2021 Cobble Hill 10K, another event in the Vancouver Island Race Series.

During the final days leading up to the event additional competitve athletes ante up. For 2022, Olympian Trevor Hofbauer took in the event in preparation for the Boston Marathon.

Preparing for Boston is exactly what Bocksnick is doing. He hopes to run his debut at the distance in approximately 2:20 and the half-marathon at either marathon pace or 67-minutes depending on weather and competition.

Race start. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

“I will be happy with marathon pace while still feeling comfortable,” shared Bocksnick.

The top three female athletes Lewis-Schneider, Jones and Kobayashi will make for a great three-way race.

The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon is the fifth of eight events in the 2023 series. It is followed by the McLean Mill 10K, Westcoast Sooke 10K and the Synergy Health Centre Bazan Bay 5K. All series information is available at www.islandseries.org.

The men’s course record is 63:57 set in 2005 by three-time Olympian Jon Brown. The women’s record is ripe for the picking at just 1:18:21 from 2007 by Cheryl Murphy.

Justin Kent of Surrey qualified for the Half Marathon World Championships in Poland, after posting a time of 1:04:20 in Sept. 2020 in a one-off version of the race. Rachel Cliff had run 1:15:24 on the day — both could be considered course records.

The Comox Valley race started as a 20K in 1986. The inaugural winners were Mike Creery with his 67:07 finish time and Sally Balchin with her 1:18:49 performance. The 20K course records are 63:25 by Kelvin Broad who won five consecutive Royal Victoria Marathons and eight consecutive Calgary Marathons. Stephanie Wood has the 20K course record at 1:18:42.

To register click through to: https://www.islandseries.org/product/comox-valley-half-marathon/