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“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”
— Socrates

What did Socrates know anyway? It is a rhetorical question. His most notable quotes were in fact, about him knowing nothing. For example, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

However, for the spectators at the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon, they also knew one thing and to quote Shakespeare, it was indeed a “thing of beauty.” And it was also short-lived at one hour, eight minutes and 50 seconds for men’s winner Jackson Bocksnick and 1:20:21 for women’s winner Kylie Acford, both of Victoria, BC.

Bocksnick is training for his debut in the marathon. He will be running the Boston Marathon on April 17.

Logan Roots leading Jackson Bocksnick in the early stages.

The men’s race started out with a pack of four that stayed together until about 6K, as they traversed a very gentle uphill roll. At 6K, the hills start in earnest toward the halfway point. The four were soon down to single file, with a gap growing as the kilometres rolled by. Pre-race favourites Logan Roots and Dusty Spiller faded a little.

Former winner (2019) and former University of Victoria Vike Matt Noseworthy knew going in that he wasn’t quite in the shape to challenge for the win. However, Bocksnick, also a former Vike, was a week removed from the longest training run of his career at just over 38K. It was also his first run over 36K. “It took me a while this week to get over that long run.”

He made the win look easy.

“I am happy with the time, double that, and add a little and that is my goal — weather dependent — for Boston.”

Bocksnick is hoping for “low-2:20s.” Pressed for a number, he went with 2:21:00, however, Boston and its weather can giveth and can taketh it away too.

During the second half of the race, which is net downhill, he could have used a pack to run with. The result would have been minutes faster.

For Acford, she is a veteran triathlete and has won a 70.3 or half-ironman event in North Carolina in 2021. She will be racing another one in June in the US. Comox was her standalone half-marathon personal best. The 32-year-old has run the distance seconds faster in a 70.3 competition.

“I think I run better off the bike,” she chuckled, — talk about tyranny.

Acford juggles a coaching career with club Mercury Rising, training and motherhood in Victoria.

Finishing in second place was ultramarathon 50K specialist and first master Catrin Jones (Prairie Inn Harriers) in the time of 1:23:30. Emily Bugoy (Mettle Heart Endurance) took third stopping the clock at 1:24:14.

Rounding out the top-three men were Spiller (Cowichan Valley Running) in 1:10:00 and Roots (Esprit RC) in 1:11:28. The men’s top master was Stuart White (Esprit RC) in the time of 1:16:37.

A national 70-74 age-group record was broken by Rozlyn Smith of the host club, the Comox Valley Road Runners. She is coached by Wayne Crowe, who happens to be the race director. “She is the one, I get to hang my hat on,” shared Crowe. Smith finished in 1:44:31. At age 74, she is the eldest in the age category. The post-race crowd cheered enough to bring her to tears. She holds dozens of age-group records.

“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness…”
— Aristotle.

The race had 548 finishers. The weather was near perfect with cloud and filtered sun, no wind and seasonal temperatures between 8 and 10C.