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2021 BC Cross Country Championships

Men’s race start. Photo by Joseph Camilleri


Article courtesy Athletics Illustrated

The 2021 British Columbia Cross Country Championships took place Saturday at Beaver Lake Park in Victoria. Five hundred and 15 athletes aged nine to 72 took in the meet hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers running club.

The men’s senior race was won by the newly married UBC Alumni, John Gay, who went to the front early and continued to build on the lead. He opened up a big gap on the field after the second of four laps. The chasers included Thomas Nobbs, Cameron Proceviat, and Tyler Dozzi. Proceviat sat in fourth position most of the race until he passed Dozzi over the final 200m.

Dozzi, however, looked stronger than he had a few weeks earlier at the University of Victoria Vikes invitational, where Nobbs surged ahead early and kept the lead throughout the race.

Gay was representing the Vancouver Thunderbirds Club, while Nobbs and Dozzi are current UBC Thunderbirds teammates. Proceviat is with Simon Fraser University.

Gay’s finish time over the windy, rolling course was 23:26, 11 seconds ahead of Nobbs. Nobbs and Proveviat clocked finish times of 23:37 and 23:39, respectively. The Vancouver Thunderbirds placed five finishers in the top-31, while the UBC Thunderbirds placed five in the top 14.

I’m really pleased with how today went. Getting back into a race environment, especially cross country after nearly two years away, was a welcome breakup of the training block I’ve been in,” shared Gay. “Coach CJ (Chris Johnson) and I wanted to test the fitness today by making it an honest pace from the gun, which is likely what I’ll face in Ottawa. I’d say mission accomplished and I’m excited to be setting my sights on ACXC in five weeks’ time!”

John Gay hitting the tape. Photo by Joseph Camilleri

Gay and other top finishers in each age category will represent BC at the national cross country championships taking place in Ottawa on November 27 at Wesley Clover Parks.

Like the men’s race, the women’s race didn’t offer much drama up front, just a commanding display of fitness by the leaders, the excitement was in the chase packs and athletes exchanging leads and jostling for position.

Sarah Inglis was expected to compete for the win with Canadian 3000m steeplechase record holder and two-time Olympian Genevieve Lalonde. Inglis has had a great three weeks of racing while Lalonde has been busy training and won’t be backing off the mileage until the week of the nationals. Lalonde finished second.

Inglis, known for going out hard from the gun, didn’t make a move until at least halfway into the race. She sat in a pack that had a varying parade of leaders for the first two laps. Lisa Brooking had the early lead and looked strong throughout.

“I am really happy with the race,” shared Inglis. “I sat in with girls and then pushed the last lap.”

Sarah Inglis wins the women’s race. Photo by Joseph Camilleri

Rebecca Bassett back from three years of injury, niggles and the pandemic is excited to be back racing and she competed well. While Inglis improved her own Royal Victoria 8K course record two weeks prior clocking a 25:35 finish time and then a 31:59 in Toronto the following week in the 10K, won again Saturday.

Bassett finished sixth, within a minute of Inglis. It was another strong comeback performance for the Nanaimo native.

“I am just so grateful to be back to regular running and getting a chance to race again,” said Bassett. “Most of us work full time now, so it is a great distraction to get out and train. So, I am now enjoying running and racing, but not taking it so seriously.”

She is now in the lower mainland training with the Langley Mustangs Endurance Group under coach Mark Bomba and with Inglis and several other competitors who were also in the race.

Inglis is teaching full-time and coaching students. Once her race was over, she was busy managing the team. It’s a hectic life but someone has to live it.

Alycia Butterworth finished third, the three top finishers clocked times of 27:13, 27:31, and 27:58, respectively. Brooking hung on and took fourth in the time of 28:00.

Angelina Shandro won the U20 women’s race. She moved to middle distances after trying her hand at sprinting. It was a surprise win for the University of Toronto student who was formerly and again being coached by Bruce Deacon.

“I really like running longer. I also enjoy cross country and trail running. Building the aerobic base and then using the sprint ability I think helped, as the plan was to sit and kick, which I did.”

Abby Yliplakhala finished in second place while Sandra Cockburn took third. The three went 21:42, 22:58, and 23:17, respectively over the three-lap, 6K course.

In the men’s U18 5K race Caiden Lee with Ocean Athletics and Tion McLeish with Victoria Speed Project ran the first 3K of the 5K race exchanging leads, then Lee dropped the pace and gapped McLeish. Yemane Mulugeta also with Ocean caught McLeish who faded late, taking third.

Lee clocked a 15:16 finish time, while Mulugeta and McLeish finished in 15:35 and 15:43, respectively.

In the men’s U20 race, which was mixed with the senior’s race, surprise BC champion Dylan Uhrich with the UBC Thunderbirds was quite pleased with the title. He will also be donning the BC singlet for the team portion of the National Cross Country Championships.

Meanwhile, Ruby Broadbent of the Victoria Speed Project — a training group led by Dacre Bowen — was turning heads. New to distance running the soccer player went straight to the lead kept and built it throughout the race. Jaune Klaus and Christina Peet Williams duked it out for most of the 4K race before a gap emerged during the final 700 metres. Klaus took second in the time of 13:40, while Peet Williams finished four seconds back. Broadbent, looking relaxed clocked a finish time of 13:05.

Broadbent is in new territory and is enjoying the discovery of her natural talent. Meanwhile, Peet Williams like most high school athletes at this level is considering which university to attend.

“We are getting a lot of calls from within Canada and the US, and it is a difficult decision,” shared Peet Williams. She plans to study Environmental Sciences. Lucky for the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, they are potential frontrunners.

With Olympians Malindi Elmore in Kelowna and Hilary Stellingwerff in Victoria, she can’t go wrong.

Post race interviews 

2021 BC XC Championships Announced

BC Athletics has announced that the 2021 BC Cross Country Championships will be held in person on Saturday, October 23 at Beaver Lake in Victoria.  The event is hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers and BC Athletics.

Tentative Schedule

Race Time Category Distance
#1 11:15 am 2010 Boys & Girls (age 9) 1.5 km
#2 11:30 am 2009 Boys & Girls (age 10) 2.0 km
#3 11:45 pm 2008 Boys & Girls (age 11) 2.0km
#4 12:00 pm Senior & Masters Women
U20* & 70+ Women
8.0 km
6.0 km
#5 12:55 pm U20*, Senior & Masters Men
70+ Men
8.0 km
6.0 km
1:00 pm Age 9, 10, 11 Awards
#6 1:55 pm 2007 & 2006 Boys & Girls (age 12 & 13) 3.0 km
#7 2:20 pm U16 Girls (age 14 & 15) 3.0 km
#8 2:40 pm U16 Boys (age 14 & 15) 3.0 km
2:45 pm U20, Senior, Masters Awards
#9 3:00 pm U18 Girls 4.0 km
#10 3:15 pm U18 Boys 5.0 km
3:45 pm Age 12, 13, U16 & U18 Awards

Notes:

* U18 may run up in the U20 event to qualify for the BC Team — must indicate race # when entering.

To register go to: http://www.trackiereg.com/BCXC2021 

2020 BC XC Championships Postponed

Photo courtesy BC Athletics

BC Athletics has announced that the 2020 BC Cross Country Championships will now be held on November 28 on the Lower Mainland. The original date was October 24 with the event happening in Victoria. The Cross Country Committee said the move was to mitigate some travel requirements.

The Vancouver Thunderbirds have agreed to host and together with BC Athletics are working to secure a venue.

BC Athletics further said it is not a given that the event will go ahead yet, there are a huge number of hurdles to jump for permissions and safety protocols. Event modifications to fit with current mass gathering restrictions have not been decided as this time. More information will be posted as confirmed.

The Prairie Inn Harriers, will serve as a back up location for 2020 and the Championship will return to Vancouver Island for 2021.

Events

Stewart Mountain Cross Country Challenge

A fall challenge on character trails. Often muddy, wet and slippery. Two distances to choose from, with a classic climb to the summit of Stewart Mountain on the long course.

Online Registration will be open soon.

 

Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic

Race on the secondary trails of Thetis Lake Park at the 37th annual Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic.  Bring your trail shoes and expect lots of mud and lots of fun!  This is the second race and is the oldest Harriers-hosted event of the Thetis Lake Cross Country Adventure Series.  It’s a classic and a must-do autumn trail experience at Thetis Lake Park.  Just run it!

Register

 

Thetis Lake Cross Country Relay

It is easier to complete the race with team mates but you can run it solo if you choose. Teams of 4 each participants run one 5K lap of the main trails looping Thetis Lake. This popular relay, always held on Remembrance Day, is the first race in the Harriers Thetis Lake Cross Country Adventure Series including the Harriers Stewart Mountain 10 Mile/5 Mile Challenge on December 5, 2021 and the Harriers Gunner Shaw 10K Classic on November 27, 2021.

Register