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 World Athletics 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 Cup in February 2020 at the Bear Mountain Resort in Langford, BC.
Ulla Hansen President
As a 27-time Canadian National Championship and medallist in track, cross Country and road running 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 Royal Victoria 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 Royal 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 Cup 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 first or second 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 Ministry of Finance in the provincial government. Originally 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. Julien has led the ministry’s TC10K training groups over the 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-medallist, two-time Olympian and competitor at four IAAF World Track and Field Championships (World Athletics), he is now a national team coach working with world class, junior-age athletes. Bruce created and continues to operate and coach the successful Prairie Inn Harriers Youth Team, and is the official online coach for the Royal 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 Cup, which VICCA hosted at Bear Mountain in Greater Victoria.
Christopher Kelsall Director, communications
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 covered other sports for the former Victoria Sports News and Black Press. Christopher has directed approximately 36 races on the track, roads, and in 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 that formed VICCA 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.
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 the 200m and 400m events. He competed in three Vancouver Marathons from 1981-1983 – recording a fifth-place finish in 1982 (2:25.08). Michell went on to become a successful masters athlete and in 1996 he was the Canadian Masters Track Champion in the 800m and 1500m distances. The same year he was BC Masters cross country champion and the Canadian 10K road champion (31:38).
Tom has since exchanged his running shoes for a tractor as owner of Michell Farms in Victoria.
Nick Walker Director
Born and raised in Victoria, Nick has been running since elementary school. He got his start by completing the most laps of Lochside Elementary School as part of the annual Terry Fox Run. From then on his passion for running grew. He competed locally and progressed to represent the University of Victoria Vikes as well as the Province of BC and Canada. Nick raced nationally and internationally in a mix of track, cross country and road. The father, store owner and race director has been competing at a high level for the past 20-plus years and continues to race (albeit not quite as competitively these days). Nick currently co-owns Frontrunners Footwear and continues to support local events and is race director for the Oak Bay Half Marathon, Vancouver Island Trail Running Series and Bear Mountain 10k.
Hilary Stellingwerff Director
Hilary Stellingwerff, originally from Sarnia, Ontario, makes her home in Victoria, BC with her husband Trent and their two boys Theo and Willem. Hilary competed in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games specializing in the 1500m distance event.
She is the head coach of the University of Victoria Vikes. Hilary has organized a number of track and cross country meets. She is currently coaching 2016 and 2020 Olympian and 3000m steeplechase national record holder Geneviéve Lalonde. Geneviéve won the 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup that VICCA hosted.