Wodak_Flash2016Pioneer© Copyright – 2016 – Athletics Illustrated

The 2016 Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series is set to begin the track racing season on May 14th at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. The schedule also includes May 28 and June 11 dates, which start at 6:00 PM sharp and take place on Saturdays.

The series hosts runners of all ages and abilities in their own events, from beginners to Olympic hopefuls. Over the past six years many high level athletes have raced in the series including Canadian 10,000-metre record holders Natasha Wodak of Vancouver and Cam Levins, who is a 2012 London Olympian. Fellow Olympians Hilary Stellingwerff and Geoff Harris have raced as well as Commonwealth Games and World track and field championships competitors Kate Van Buskirk and Fiona Benson, to name a few.

The University of Victoria Vikes, the 2015 CIS national champions in men’s cross country and the perpetually strong women’s team compete in the series, as have many top-level age-group runners including national record holders in the master division Marilyn Arsenault and Lucy Smith, who is a 19-time Canadian champion and 70-time national age-group record holder Maurice Tarrant.

Although the distances contested will include traditional events, such as 800m, 1500m, 3000m and 5,000m, there are opportunities to race over 1000m as well as 2000m. The schedule is set, but a date may be added to accomodate those wishing to achieve standards for the Rio Olympics and prepare for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

In September there are three more events, a one-lap race around Elk and Beaver Lakes (10K), a traditional cross-country race at Beaver Lake with three laps of an approximate two-kilometre loop as well as a handicapped race up Mount Doug’s road, which is approximately one mile in length, which is new for 2016. The end-of-summer schedule starts on Saturday, September 3rd.

Everyone will have an opportunity to accumulate points during the series to win shoes from Frontrunners and a weekend getaway to the BlackRock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet.

Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

“Runners can enter for as low as $6.50/ race with a Season Pass, which includes the year-end party and silent auction and a series shirt or $10 for a single race.

KidSport Greater Victoria will be the Victoria Run Series charity of choice for 2016.

The 2016 season will be the seventh year of the series.