April 9, 2017
Shane Ruljancich, Maree Kennell and John Woodall
Shane finished second to Campbell River's Mark Cryderman in the M40 division at the Cedar 12K today, the 8th and final race of the Vancouver Island Race Series. Shane placed 5th OA in 42:29 and Mark was third in 41:18. The top male in the race was Nick Walker, 40:24, to secure the Series title and the top female was Melissa Ross, 21st OA in 48:09, also capturing the Series title on the women's side. Meanwhile, Harriers' Maree and John had brilliant performances all year long by setting course records in the F75 and M85 age categories in virtually every single event they ran. This was evident at Cedar today where Maree sliced 8 minutes off Briggete Killat's course record by finishing in 1:16:35 and John chopped 7 minutes off Maurice Tarrant's course record by finishing in 1:15:47. The race was hosted by Bastion Running Club and featured 262 finishers which was 111 fewer than last year's total of 373. Prairie Inn Harriers once again won the top club title of 66 registered teams for the 32nd time in the 35 years since the Series began in 1982.
April 8, 2017
Andrew Pape-Salmon, Finn Battersby, Kelly Campo and Bertrand Bozek
Andrew, winner of the Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year in 2016, was the top master and placed 6th overall of 85 finishers while Finn, winner of the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award in 2016, placed 10th overall to capture the M19 age category on the 21.1K long course of the Cobble Hill Gutbuster today, Race No. 1 of 6 in the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series. Their times were 2:04:02 and 2:17:17. Both Kelly and Bertrand took silver medals in the F40 and M40 divisions on the Cobble Hill short course with Bertrand finishing 4th overall of 147 finishers in 1:14:14 and Kelly finishing 14th OA and she was the 3rd female to the line in 1:21:47. There were 11 Harriers in both races with Brent Scott winning the M50 age category and Valerie Bell winning the F50 age category on the long course. The race champions were Nanaimo's Travis Pirozzini, 1:44:47, and Jolien Verdegem, 8th OA in 2:14:15 on the long course and Richard Birks, 1:08:56, and Alison Bishop, 6th OA in 1:15:34 on the short course. The total of 232 finishers today was a complete event sell-out and boasted 21 more finishers than last year's mark of 211 which was the highest total of finishers in the 16 year history of the Gutbuster Series.
April 8, 2017
Jordan Cheung and Gary Duncan
Jordan, a member of the Harriers Youth Team, led 360 finishers from the start until being caught at the line by race winner Greg Garner as both runners hit the finish in 18 minutes, 43 seconds at the LifeMark Health Esquimalt 5K today. Gary worked up to 3rd overall mid-race before sliding back to 6th OA finishing in 19:10 and topping the M50-59 age category, 20 seconds ahead of 2nd M50 Bruce Schlatter who was 7th OA in 19:30. Harriers' Roy Styffe took third in the M50 division in 21:27. The top female in the race was Mel Russell, 13th OA in 21:15.
April 8, 2017
Harriers' Olympian Natasha, also the Canadian 10,000m record holder and 8K road race Canadian record holder of 25:28 set at the Harriers Pioneer 8K three years ago, was back in action after battling injury for the better part of the past seven months. The Race Roster Spring Run-Off, which is more notable for its 8K event even though there is also a 5K event, was her first race since September, 2016. The Vancouver resident who traveled to Toronto for the race won the 8K in 27:53, almost a minute ahead of masters' star Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 28:43, and Madeline Yungblut placed third in 29:25. Natasha was 23rd overall of 1,859 finishers including 963 women and 896 men. Tristan Woodfine, of the Speed River Team in Guelph, took the race out hard but was forced to stop to retie his shoelace. The pit stop meant Woodfine was a considerable distance back at the one mile mark though he was leading by the halfway point of the race and cruised to a 24:14 clocking to claim the overall victory. The Spring Run-Off is Toronto’s oldest continuously-held road race and celebrated its 40th edition today.
April 2, 2017
Shane Ruljancich and Charlene Waldner
The Port Alberni Paper Chase 10K returned to the Vancouver Island Race Series today after a 15 year absence and was held under sunny skies. The Paper Chase was staged for 20 consecutive years from 1983 to 2002 and always produced stunning results even though the race course was quite hilly and challenging. Paul McCloy and Ulla Hansen (Marquette) set the respectable course records of 29:44 and 33:40 established in 1987 and 1988. Yours truly also ran two of his best 10K road times of 33:07 and 33:15 at Port Alberni in those two years. Today's race champions were Dusty Spiller, of Duncan, in 33:17, and Yanna Debelic, of Nanaimo, in 41:43. Shane and Charlene were the first male and female Harriers, both masters, as Shane finished 5th overall in 35:11 while Charlene was 39th overall of 243 finishers in 44:36. There were 12 Harriers in the race with Gary Duncan, M60, Brian Connon, M70, and Maree Kennell, F75, all winning their age categories while Shane, M40, Charlene, F45, and Marcia Stromsmoe, F65, finished second in their respective age division. The top masters in the race were Mark Cryderman, from Campbell River, he was third overall in 34:08, and Nanaimo's Yanna Debelic, F45, she was 20th overall.
March 19, 2017
Gary Duncan, Dawn Wilson and Leigh Sunderland
MEC Race No. 2, The Pace Setter, was held in Thetis Lake Park today and featured a total of 523 finishers including 249 in the 10K race and 274 in the 5K race. There were 13 Prairie Inn Harriers competing with Gary emerging as the top club member by finishing 15th overall in the 10K in 50:45 and winning the M55 division while Dawn and Leigh were 1-2 in the F55 division on the 5K course. Other Harriers gold medalists included Chris Callendar, M30, and Marcia Stromsmoe, F65, in the 5K, and Wendy Davies, F55, in the 10K. The long course race champions were Andrew McCartney, 42:38, and Adele Lay, 50:41. There were 8 Edmonton Harriers youth team members visiting Victoria and all of them ran extremely well with Brandon Vail, 18 years old, winning the 5K event in 20:19 and team mate, Sadie Sigfstead, 13, topping the women's field by finishing 8th overall in 21:53. Edmonton Harrier Derek Usbko, 16, was 3rd overall in the 5K in 21:31.
March 19, 2017
Michael Angrove and Nancy Baxendale
For the second consecutive Island Series race, Michael was the top male Harrier by placing 12th overall of 347 finishers including 12 Harriers at the Comox Valley Half Marathon today held under bright, sunny skies. Michael was second M30 finishing in 1:22:14. Nancy was the top female Harrier and set a new F55 course record of 1:32:59 to place 40th overall. The race champions were Dusty Spiller, Duncan, in 1:15:23, and Melissa Ross, Nanaimo, 19th overall in 1:24:52. Of the 12 Harriers, quality prevailed in all age categories, as 10 club members reached the podium. First place went to Gary Duncan (M60), Brian Connon (M70), Meghan Stothers (F50), Nancy Baxendale (F55) and Maree Kennell (F75). Second place was awarded to Michael Angrove (M30), Marcia Stromsmoe (F65), Charlene Waldner (F45) and Diane Dennis (F55) while Mark Shier took third inthe M60 division. It should be noted that both Gary and race winner, Melissa Ross, were running back-to-back races after performing very well at the St. Patrick's Day 5K yesterday in Vancouver.
March 18, 2017
Geoff Martinson, Craig Odermatt and Gary Duncan
Geoff was third overall in a photo finish where the top three men finished less than one second apart with times of 14:00, 14:00 and 14:01, Craig was 32nd overall to place second to Kevin O'Connor in the M45 age category in 16:32 and Gary was also second in his M55 division to Mark Bennett in 19:03 at the St. Patrick's Day 5K held on a cool, chilly morning today in Stanley Park, Vancouver. Ross Proudfoot, Guelph, ON, and Vancouver's Dayna Pidhoresky were the race winners in 14:00 and 16:28. There were 1,206 finishers including 510 men and 696 women. Pioneer's 8K race champion, Lucas Bruchet, from Burnaby, took second by a fraction of a second place as the photo finish, when enlarged several times, revealed that he had lost to Proudfoot by a mere 10 centimetres while Geoff was 2 strides back. The second female overall was Trinity Western's Regan Yee in 16:34 and Rebecca Bassett, from SMU, was third in 16:49. Victoria's Hilary Stellingwerff was fourth female overall in 17:01.
March 12, 2017
Michael Angrove and Leona Wade
When an Island Series race has to be postponed for any reason, it usually leads to a reduced participation at the event. Such was the case when the Sooke River 10K was cancelled due to snow on February 5 and rescheduled five weeks later to March 12, the Sunday between Bazan Bay 5K and the Comox Valley Half Marathon. Although Sooke River Road was flooded, the Victoria Marathon Society staged a successful 17th annual 10K event today with Nick Walker, 33:51, and Julia Tschanz, 20th overall in 39:37, emerging as race champions. It was Nick's second consecutive victory at Sooke River. Participation fell 94 runners from 356 finishers last year to today's total of 262 due to the postponement. Eleven Harriers finished with medals including Michael Angrove, 8th overall in 37:55, and Leona Wade, 37th overall in 45:00, who were our top club members. Gold medals went to Maree Kennell (F75), Gary Duncan (M60), Brian Connon (M70) and John Woodall (M85) with both Maree and John setting new course records. Silver medals were achieved by Leona Wade (F35), Marcia Stromsmoe (F65), Kyle Weagant (M35), John Catterall (M55) and Rob Grant (M70) while bronze medals went to Michael Angrove (M30) and Will Boothman (M50). The excellent performances by 23 Harriers at the race propelled the club's lead in the team competition to 2,342 points over second place Comox Valley Road Runners with 1,292 points and third place CeeVacs Road Runners with 1,274 points. To date there are 63 teams registered for the Vancouver Island Race Series. Look for the VMS to establish a new venue and race course for 2018 in a different municipality.
March 5, 2017
Shane Ruljancich, Lucy Smith and Danielle Liepholdt
Shane was the top Harrier and the top master today finishing 10th overall of 524 finishers with a time of 16:17 at the Bazan Bay 5K, race no. 4 of 8 in the Island Series. Lucy won the F50 age category and set a new course record of 18:24. Danielle won the F15 age category in 20:43 and was the top female Harrier on the Youth Team. The boys Youth Team had a close and exciting finish in the M16 division with Michael Barber, Cooper Langard and Jack Boden finishing 28th, 29th and 30th overall 17:19, 17:19 and 17:29. There were 40 PIH members in the race and 8 won gold medals in their age categories, 2 took silver and 4 collected a bronze. First place Harriers were Shane Ruljancich (M40), Craig Odermatt (M45), Gary Duncan (M60), Brian Connon (M70), John Woodall (M85), Danielle Liepholdt (F15), Lucy Smith (F50 and Maree Kennell (F75). Second in their division were Rob Grant (M70) and Marcia Stromsmoe (F65) while third place performances were achieved by Chris Callendar (M35), Kate Brooks (F15), Sonja Yli-Kahila (F35) and Binder Kelsall (F45). The race winners were Joshua Kozelj, of the Vikes, in 15:17, and Alison Hooper, she was 20th overall in 17:01. The 524 finishers was 28 fewer than last year's total of 552.
February 24, 2017
37 Award Winners for 2016
The Prairie Inn Harriers held their annual Awards Ceremony tonight at the Cedar Hill Golf Club banquet room and the following list shows the 37 award winners for 2016:
Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner – Jim Finlayson and Natasha Wodak
Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner – Paul Birney
Alex Marshall Master of the Year (40+) – Shane Ruljancich, Craig Odermatt and Nancy Baxendale
Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood Veterans of the Year (60+) – John Woodall, Mark Shier, Maree Kennell and Marcia Stromsmoe
Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award – Gary Duncan, Shane Ruljancich and Heather Afford
John Thipthorpe Durability Award – Gary Duncan and Katie Clegg
Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier – Jeff Beddoes and Peggy Sherwood
Stewart Fall Under-20 Junior of the Year – Liam Stanley and Justine Stecko
Bruce Deacon Under-16 Junior of the Year – Liam Dwyer and Alisa Lyesina
Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award (Rookie of the Year) – Finn Battersby and Edith Price
Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year – Andrew Pape-Salmon and Lisa Cantwell
Sandy Auburn High Achievement Award – Susan Norrington
Harriers Cyclist of the Year – Garth Campbell and Claire Morgan
Island Race Series Runner of the Year - Kyle Weagant and Nancy Baxendale
Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year - Kathleen Kane
Molly Reid Top Dog of the Year – Abby Nylen
Harriers Fittest Couple – Brett Carter and Magdalena Bazalova-Carter
Excellence in Club Leadership – Elaine Galbraith
Excellence in Volunteering – Mike Emerson and Leigh Sunderland
Detailed descriptions of each winner's achievements and highlights for 2016 are available by clicking on "About", then click on "Harriers Annual Awards", then scroll down to find the individual's name for their description.
February 22, 2017
Tyler was selected as the top Youth cross country runner in the province as BC Athletics announced their winners today for all age categories. The runners will receive their awards at the BC Athletics Track & Field Jamboree in Coquitlam on the weekend of July 14 - 16, 2017. The following is a list of athletes' names, clubs and coaches.
Youth Girls - Hannah Bennison, Okanagan Athletics, Malindi Elmore, Youth Boys - Tyler Dozzi, Prairie Inn Harriers, Bruce Deacon, Junior Girls - Veronika Fagan, UBC Okanagan, Colin Wallace, Junior Boys - Nickolas Colyn, Langley Mustangs, Mark Bomba, Rachel Cliff, Vancouver Thunderbirds, Richard Lee, Lucas Bruchet, Vancouver Thunderbirds, Richard Lee (both Rachel and Lucas are the 2017 Pioneer 8K champions), Master Women - Nicki Haugan and Masters Men - Jerry Ziak.
February 19, 2017
Chris Callendar and Brittany Therrien
Chris and Brittany were the top male and female Harriers at the Hatley Castle 8K held at Royal Roads today, Race No. 3 of 8 in the Vancouver Island Race Series. They finished 17th and 23rd overall of 369 finishers with times of 30:17 and 31:13. Chris was 3rd of 18 in the M35 age category and Brittany was 1st of 9 in the F25 age category and was third female overall of 187 women in the event. The race champions were Nick Walker, breaking the tape in 27:45, and Gina Slaby, 14th overall in 29:48. Nick is the Hatley Castle Race Director and Gina, from Seabeck, WA, is the current world record holder for 100 Miles on the track with a time of 13:45:49. There were 30 Harriers in the race and eleven of them reached the podium including first place finishes for Amy Perry (F15), Brittany Therrien (F25), Maree Kennell (F75), Gary Duncan (M60), John Woodall (M85), second place finishes for Catherine Davies (F50) and Rob Grant (M70) and third place finishes for Binder Kelsall (F45), Marcia Stromsmoe (F65), Chris Callendar (M35) and Shell Harvey (M65). PIH extended their points lead in the club standings with a total of 1,585 points compared to CVRR's total of 877 points in second place while CeeVacs is third with 787 points.. The 369 finishers today was 24 fewer than last year's mark of 393.
February 10, 2017
Ulla Hansen (Marquette)
Ulla was inducted into the University of Victoria Sports Hall of Fame yesterday, a well deserved honour for a tremendous athlete. She is an 8-time champion of the Harriers Pioneer 8K and has won both the Times Colonist 10K and the Royal Victoria 8K Road Race 4 times each. She still holds the RV8K overall course record of 26:24 set 26 years ago in 1991. Ulla won the Canadian 10K Road Race championship 3 times. Currently, she is the High Performance Athlete Director for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Victoria International Track Classic and TC10K and she does an excellent job of managing elite athletes in all three major Victoria events. Since joining the Harriers as a master, Ulla has won several races in the Vancouver Island Race Series where she still holds many age class records in various divisions on a number of race courses. A full list of her amazing accomplishments while at UVic can be viewed at this link: http://victoriasportsnews.com/ulla-hansen-included-in-uvic/
February 4, 2017
Cordel Tromp, Alisa Lyesina and Matthew Thibodeau
Led by Coach Bruce Deacon with several parents accompanying their children, 18 members of the PIH Youth Team traveled to Seattle today to compete at the University of Washington High School Invitational Track and Field Meet at Dempsey Indoor Stadium. Cordel, Alisa and Matt came away with gold medals while three other Harriers won silver medals and two more claimed bronze. There were literally hundreds of top calibre athletes competing from a wide range of schools and clubs from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. The results alone generated 35 pages of data with events ranging from 60 metres to 3,000 metres on the track, relays and a host of field events. Several sections here held in many of the popular distances such as 400m, 800m, 3,000m and One Mile and the athletes were seeded in each section based on their current personal best times. Cordel won her 400m race in 1:04, Alisa won her 800m race in 2:22 and Matthew won his 800m race in 1:59. Chrissa Tromp was second in the One Mile race in 5:51, Tyler Dozzi took silvers in both the 800m race in 1:59 and the One Mile race in 4:18 and Robbie Deacon was second in the One Mile race in 4:39. Completing the podium performances were Kalum Delaney, third in the 3,000m in 9:04 and Evan Wills, third in his section of the 3,000m in 9:39. Other PIH Youth Team members also ran well with Justine Stecko, 6th in the 3,000m, while Jack Cooper, Robbie Deacon and Malcolm Harrison finishing 6th, 7th and 9th in the 800m race. Cooper Langard, Vlad Lyesin and Jack Cooper finished 5th, 9th and 11th in the One Mile event. Besides Kalum Delaney and Evan Wills third place finishes, there were five other team mates in the 3,000m sections including Liam Dwyer, 7th, Jack Amos, 8th, Findlay Day, 10th, Joe Robertson, 12th and Jack Boden, 13th.
January 22, 2017
Craig Odermatt, Shane Ruljancich, Maree Kennell and John Woodall
Craig and Shane finished 3rd and 4th overall, both winning their age categories while Maree and John completely destroyed the course record for their respective age divisions at the Cobble Hill 10K today, Race No. 2 of the Island Series. The race champions were Jevin Monds, from Edmonton, in 33:31, and Nanaimo's Erin Burrett, 7th overall in 34:59. Craig ran 34:08 to top the M45 division and Shane ran 34:27 to top the M40 division. Maree finished in 1:01:43 to break the F75 age category record by 13 minutes and John ran 1:02:34 to lower the M85 record by 10 minutes. Besides Craig, Shane, Maree and John claiming gold medals in their age classes, 7 other Harriers topped their divisions including Maddie Perry (F15), Erin Burrett (F35), Binder Kelsall (F45), Jacob Unger (M15), Liam Stanley (M20), Gary Duncan (M60) and Brian Connon (M70). There were 424 finishers including 27 Harriers at Cobble Hill today compared to 488 finishers last year.
January 15, 2017
After his fine performance at the Harriers Pioneer 8K last Sunday, Craig decided to take some time off with a holiday in Maui. While relaxing in Lahaina today he noticed a race called the Maui Oceanfront Marathon was about to be held. Although the distance was only 15K, Americans consider any race over 10 kilometres to be a "marathon". Quickly he registered and blew away the field by finishing first overall in 53:24. Second place went to Ludlow North, of Lapointe, Wisconsin, thirteen minutes back in 1:06:20, while Winnipeg's Keith Mozdzen finished third in 1:11:25, nearly 18 minutes behind Craig. The top female was Kathleen Kenney, of Kehei, Hawaii; she placed 7th overall in 1:15:12. There were 102 finishers including 34 Canadians at the Maui Oceanfront "Mini" Marathon 15K.
January 15, 2017
Chris Callendar, Patricia Roney, Sean Conway and Gary Duncan
Chris and Patricia were the top male and female Harriers in the 5K race while Sean and Gary were the top Harriers in the 10K race at the MEC #1 Rust Buster starting and finishing at Lochside School today. Chris placed second overall of 285 finishers in 18:10 and Patricia was the first female and placed 5th overall in 19:12. The 5K race champion was Matthew Winkler in 17:09 and the 10K race champions were Andrew McCartney, 35:07, and Julia Tschanz, 7th overall of 220 finishers in 38:45. Sean placed 5th overall and won the M30 age category in 38:26 and Gary finished first in the M55 age category and 11th overall in 39:30. A couple of old-time Harriers returned to racing after many years off and finished 1-2 in the M60-99 division. Brian Connon, 70-years-old and a Harriers member for 32 years returned to racing after a 3.5 year absence to win the M60 age category in 44:51 while Rob Grant, 71-years-old and a Harriers member for 26 years was second M60 in 47:22 after an absence from racing for 7 and 1/2 years. Today's total of 505 finishers was 22 more than last year's record of 483.
January 8, 2017
Geoff Martinson, Bruce Deacon and Gary Duncan
Two-time winner, Geoff was the top Harrier finisher while Bruce and Gary entered new age categories and topped their divisions today at the 38th annual Harriers Pioneer 8K run under cool, but favourable racing conditions. Immediately after the last runner finished at 12:30 pm, it started to snow but the roads were clear and dry for the popular event which kicks off the 2017 Island Race Series and the British Columbia Super Series. The BC Endurance Project Team, coached by former Pioneer winner Richard Lee, showcased their superior running talents by claiming the top 5 positions overall on the men's side and boasted the top female on the women's side. The Pioneer race champions were Lucas Bruchet, Vancouver, in 23:34, and Rachel Cliff, Vancouver, 11th overall in 26:51. Second place went to Justin Kent, of Burnaby, in 24:04, and Geoff Martinson, from Vancouver, placed third in 24:38. The second and third females were both from Victoria with Hilary Stellingwerff finishing second in 27:51 and Jen Millar taking third in 29:21. Bruce was the top master in 27:09 and Gary was first in the M60 age category in 31:33. Bruce turned 50 on December 5, 2016 and Gary will turn 60 on October 23, 2017. As the Series eligibility date for all age categories is December 31, 2017, Gary will have the benefit of running the entire Series as a 59-year-old while in the M60 division. There were a total of 492 finishers today evenly split with 246 men and 246 women. Of the 492 finishers, 62 were Harriers including 18 Youth Team members and all of them ran very well. Twelve Harriers won their age divisions including Aimee Perry (F15), Trevor Neil (M15), Geoff Martinson (M30), Chris Callendar (M35), Shane Ruljancich (M40),Craig Odermatt (M45), Bruce Deacon (M50), Gary Duncan (M60), Joseph Camilleri (M65), Rob Grant (M70), Maree Kennell (F75) and John Woodall (M85). Ten Harriers placed second in their respective age categories while 5 others were third. The second race in the Island Series is the Cobble Hill 10K on January 22. Congratulations to Race Director, Kathleen Birney, and her team of more than 40 race volunteers, for staging a very successful event.
January 1, 2017
John McManus and Sandy Auburn
John finished with only 10 seconds on the clock to win the 21st annual Harriers Memorial 10K Predicted Time Run at Beaver Lake Park today among 75 other club members. For his efforts John was awarded a box of Belgian Biscuits which he shared with his PIH team mates before retiring to eat more cookies and drink hot chocolate at the Beaver Lake Picnic Shelter. Event Director, Bob Reid, announced that a new Sandy Auburn Bursary will be established at Camosun College to honour a 30-year Harrier, Sandy, who had participated and volunteered at the Gunner Shaw Classic race for 30 consecutive years, at the Thetis Lake Relay for 20 years and at the Stewart Mountain Challenge for 10 years. She passed away in August from pancreatic cancer but will never be forgotten. Sandy was an active member of the Prairie Inn Hellions team which was formed in 1986 to participate in the inaugural Vancouver Island Road Relay from Courtenay to Victoria. Her name, along with ultramarathoner Al Howie who we also lost in 2016, were both added to the Memorial Bench plaque of 23 Harriers and the participants today donated $3,750.00 to start the new Sandy Auburn Bursary with a goal of raising $10,000.00 to be given to Camosun College on January 1, 2018. Donations from next year's New Year's Day Run will be topped up by proceeds from the Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay and Stewart Mountain events to assure that the club will meet its target. We sincerely thank all Harriers for their generosity and support of PIH's eighth scholarship and bursary at UVic or Camosun where we have contributed $150,000.00 to these two educational institutes since 1984. Several students will benefit from the club initiatives. Thank you, Harriers!