The Victoria International Cross Country Association (VICCA) was formed in March 2019 with the mandate of promoting international, national, provincial and regional cross country running events in Victoria and to encourage the growth of cross country running in Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Canada.
VICCA will bid on future cross country events including the 2023 or 2025 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
The society’s board of directors boasts a wealth of experience from representatives of running clubs and sports events to the best of Victoria’s running alumni. Under the direction of the board VICCA successfully hosted the 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Championships in February 2020 at the Bear Mountain Resort in Langford, BC.
Ulla Hansen President
As a 27-time Canadian National Championship medallist in Track, Cross Country and Road and 12-year national team member, Ulla Hansen brings a wealth of running event knowledge to the Board of Directors. Ulla has represented Canada seven times at the World Cross Country Championships and knows how important cross country is to the development of middle and long distance runners on the international scene.
After a career as a high school teacher in Victoria, Ulla currently supervises teacher candidates for the University of Victoria. She is also elite athlete coordinator for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and the TC10K. Her deep roots in Victoria’s running community and a commitment to promoting running participation and excellence in our beautiful city align perfectly with VICCA’s philosophy.
Gary Duncan Vice-President
Gary Duncan brings experience as a board member of the Victoria Marathon Society, and technical advisor on many race committees, including the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, TC10K, and Goddess Run.
Gary is much in demand as a course measurer, having measured most road races over the last 15 years on Vancouver Island to Athletics Canada / World Athletics certification standards. He designs race courses including the Pan Am XC championship course at Bear Mountain.
A member of the Prairie Inn Harriers he runs upwards of 50 events a year and is often seen running several on the same weekend or even the same day. He has won numerous provincial age group championships and held Athletics Canada #1 road age group rankings at several distances for a few years.
Paul Siluch Treasurer
Paul Siluch is a Portfolio Manager for Raymond James Ltd. in Victoria and has been in the investment management business for 33 years. He has been an active runner since the 1980s and is still able to place 1st or 2nd in his age group in local road races. He is married, has one son, and also enjoys writing and farming.
Julien Marceau Secretary
Julien Marceau is a Chartered Professional Accountant working for the provincial government. From Quebec City, he started running races in 2009 and has since completed four marathons, and has participated in the TC10K for the last nine years.
Bruce Deacon Director
Bruce Deacon brings to VICCA over 30 years of international race experience as an athlete and coach. A Pan Am Games silver-medalist, two-time Olympian and competitor at four IAAF World Track and Field Championships, he is now a national team coach working with world class and junior-age athletes. He created and continues to operate and coach the successful Prairie Inn Harriers Youth Team, and is the official online coach for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
Bruce owns a sport consulting business with clients such as Athletics Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Sport for Life. He was the General Manager of the 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Championships.
Louise Hodgson Jones Director
Louise Hodgson Jones is a communications professional who works with several organizations in the Greater Victoria area including Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), Greater Victoria Sports Half of Fame, GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, and Pacific Cycling Centre. She is also the general manager of the Vancouver Island Race Series and event director of the Oak Bay Half Marathon.
A former editor of Calgary’s Impact Magazine, she has run many marathons including London, Boston and New York. She also gives back to the running community by being a marathon clinic leader with Frontrunners.
Christopher Kelsall Director
Christopher Kelsall is the managing editor of Athletics Illustrated. He is a former contributing editor to Canadian Running Magazine and past contributor to Flotrack.org and Milesplit. He has directed approximately 36 races on the track, roads, and cross-country, primarily during the nine-year run of the Victoria Race Series. A lifelong runner, he has coached others and continues to be involved in the running community including spearheading the formation of the committee and the bid to host the 2020 Pan Am XC Cup.
He is the communications director and technology ambassador at Smart Dolphins IT Solutions, a world-ranked IT managed service provider.
Michael Kennedy Director
Mike Kennedy has devoted much of his adult life to volunteering, in terms of time, leadership, fundraising and saving lives. He has never won any races, and in fact, as a husband and father of four daughters, he’s usually last. However, Mike is eager to help VICCA wherever he can. After volunteering at the 2020 Pan Ams he joined the board in May 2020.
Tom Michell Director
Tom Michell has had a successful athletic career on track and road. In 1974 he was the BC High-school Provincial Champion in 200m and 400m. He competed in three Vancouver Marathons from 1981-1983 – recording a fifth-place finish in 1982 (2:25.08). He went on to become a successful masters athlete and in 1996 he was the Canadian Masters Track Champion in 800m and 1500m. The same year he was BC Masters cross country champion and the Canadian 10K Road Champion (31:38).
He has since exchanged his running shoes for a tractor as owner of Michell Farms in Victoria.
Bob Reid Director
Bob Reid’s lists of achievements as an athlete and sport builder is immense. From 1976 to 2019 he participated in over 400 races locally and nationally including setting a BC Masters Record in the 1987 Victoria Half Marathon (1:11:47). For over 40 years he has steered the province’s largest running club, the Prairie Inn Harriers to become a leader in the community – from its youth programs and club events to harnessing fundraising for community projects. (In 2003 Bob received the Land Conservancy Community Award).
His list of awards (over 25) include Prairie Inn Harriers Excellence in Leadership (2018) Sport BC President’s Award (2013) and CFAX Sports Leader of the Year (2011 and 2004). However in 2019 he received the ultimate accolade by being awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteering by the Governor General of Canada.