Jim Finlayson - Our first recipient continues to rip up the competition, finishing as top master in the very competitive Bazan Bay 5K, Vancouver Sun Run, and Times Colonist 10K races, while winning both the Cobble Hill and Bear Mountain 10Ks outright. At the Half Marathon distance he was the top master at the First Half, BMO Vancouver, Vancouver Scotiabank and Victoria, and he totally destroyed the field at the Whistler Half finishing first overall by almost 10 minutes. He holds Athletics Canada #1 master rankings for 2016 at 5K, 10K and half marathon. Running isn't his only fast talent though as he set a new 2-mile world record on the track in Oak Bay that involved guzzling a bottle before each of 8 laps.
Natasha Wodak - Our second recipient had another stellar year, including being named BC 2016 Senior Female Road Runner of the Year. She was top female at our Pioneer 8K and at the Squamish 8K where she almost beat the top male. She finished very well against deep international female competition in various other races, including an essential 3-way tie in a 10K and a clear win 12 hours later in a half marathon in Barbados. On the track she set new indoor 1 mile and 3000m personal bests in the same meet. Outdoors saw a new 1500m PB a week after besting the Canadian Olympic standard at 5000m and booking her ticket to Rio. On this highest stage she set a seasonal 10,000m PB at the Summer Olympic Games. She holds Athletics Canada #1 open rankings for 2016 at 8K and 10,000m and still owns the Canadian record at the distance.
Craig Odermatt - The Alex Marshall Master of the Year Award is presented to the top 40+ male and female master runners of the year. This year we have two male winners and one female winner in this category. Our first male winner experienced another strong year of racing and had a number of racing achievements in 2016. Some of the highlights include: he repeated as the Masters champ for the Island Race Series, he set a new course record for the 45-49 age category at the Cedar 12 km race, and was the first Master in both the Modo 8K Canada series race and the Longest Day 5K race. He also excelled in Cross-country, qualifying for Team BC for the 7th year in a row.
Shane Ruljancich - Our second male winner of this award raced in a combination of trail and road races, demonstrating impressive results. He won his category of 40-44 in the Island Race Series overall standings, and came in first overall in both the Bear Mountain half-marathon and the Mount Doug Hill climb. On the trails he improved his time by more than 5½ minutes in the Finlayson Arm 28 K trail race over his results in 2015 and 2014.
Nancy Baxendale - Our female winner had an impressive year as a Master racer. She was the first in her category in each of the four Island Race Series events in which she competed, also winning her category for the Series. In the competitive TC10K road race, she came out on top again, coming in first in her category. In addition, she was the first woman overall in the Cobble Hill Short course in the Vancouver Island Trail Racing Series.
Paul Birney.- Paul ventured into running at the youthful age of 62. In his second year in the sport, he competed in 4 tough trail races. In his first ever race, Mount Tzouhalem 7K, Paul won a silver medal. He followed that up with a gold medal and set an unofficial course record by division at the Burgoyne Bay 8.5K race on Saltspring Island, placing 27th overall. He narrowly missing a podium finish at the Ladysmith Transfer Beach and Gunner Shaw races. Paul has established himself as ‘one to watch’ in 2017.
Mark Shier- The first of our two winners had a remarkable year. He was second in his division in the Cowichan Autumn Classic Half Marathon and had podium finishes in MEC, Island Race Series races and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon. He placed in the top 6 in 11 races in his division, achieving P.B.s four times and placing second in his category in the Westshore Triathlon Sprint Race and seventh in the Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon.
John Woodall - It was an outstanding year for our second winner, with first place finishes in his M 80-84 division in six of the Island Race Series races and a second place in his division in the TC10K. In January, at age 83, he broke the single age world record for the 8K distance during the Pioneer with a time of 48:40, in his own club’s race, on home turf.
Marcia Stromsmoe - At the Victoria Run Series, Marcia won the F60-64 division in the 800m., 1,500m. and 3,000m. races with times of 3:37, 7:07 and 15:19. She came first in her division in the MEC Tape Buster Half Marathon in a time of 2:01:28, and collected three more gold medals in her F60-64 age category, and placed very well overall in three consecutive track races at Meet #2 of the Christie Phoenix Victoria Run Series. Marcia was second female in the 3,000m in 14:59, first female in the 1,500m in 7:07 and placed 13th overall in the 800m race. 2016 was a terrific year for Marcia.
Edith Price - Edith won gold medals in her F65-69 division in the Island Series races. She placed second in her division in the Sooke River 10K (in defiance of her age and gender) and took third place in the Oak Bay Half Marathon. In most of her races she P.B.’d. The highest point-getters for the Harriers in 2016 were John Woodall and Edith Price as they won their age category six times in six races to each achieve 120 points.
The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person or persons who have contributed much more than running to our club. It is a pleasure to recognize three very important members who unselfishly give their time to the Harriers at significant events hosted by our club. This included training, coaching, volunteering, racing, organizing social events and leading club runs.
Gary Duncan and Shane Ruljancich - When Bob retired last year from leading the Tuesday Night Workouts for 15 years, Gary and Shane joined forces to develop the 2016 TNW Schedule and directed the sessions by alternating each week as team leader. Countless club members have benefited from these workouts at various locations and they also improved from the Saturday morning trail runs at Thetis Lake Park. Besides organizing and leading the training sessions, Gary and Shane continued to race at the highest level of competition in their respective age categories with Shane winning the M40 division and Gary winning the M55 division at the majority of their events throughout the year. They had an amazing year by performing well at the Island Road Race Series, Vancouver Island Trail Running Series, Times Colonist 10K, Sun Run and GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon and 8K Road Race, Thetis Lake Relay, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain and the 5-event MEC Race Series.
Heather Afford - Our female Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award winner is being honoured for the first time for several contributions in 2016. Her most significant duty was to step in as Alternate Race Director for the Harriers Pioneer 8K when our regular Race Director, Kathleen Birney, enjoyed a well-deserved winter holiday in Hawaii. Heather came away with flying colours by organizing a large team of registration volunteers, course marshals, kitchen staff, finish line crew and awards presenters before, during and after the event. She also joined the three Stewart Mountain Co-Directors in December to organize the highly successful Awards After Party at the Six Mile House and she currently shares the duties as Social Coordinator of the club including making the arrangements for the annual Awards Celebration. She found time to enter a number of races in 2016 and always placed well in the women’s field and in her age category. She enjoys leading the Saturday morning trail runs at Thetis Lake Park with the Harriers accompanied by her canine pal, Kali.
The three Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance candidates are dependable, reliable and carry out their duties efficiently and effectively. We thank them for their continuous and valuable contributions to the club.
This next award is going to two members who are renowned for their ability to race extensively throughout the year. They both compete at various distances from short 5K road races to long 50K+ ultramarathons. Gary Duncan and Katie Clegg are receiving this award tonight for their durability both in training and racing. Gary is well known for his weekends full of races and Katie has been known to run most races on tired legs! In 2016 they participated in a combined total of 56 races with Gary completing 45 races in total and Katie competing in 11 races with 3 of these at a distance of over 50 kilometres. What an accomplishment.
Gary Duncan - Gary had a great year of racing with a total of 45 races; from road, to track, to trail, this guy excels at them all. To start his year, Gary competed in the MEC 10K Rust Buster event held in January. He managed to secure 12th place overall in a time of 40:17. Unfortunately, Gary then suffered from an injury which took him out of racing for a month. Springing back in true "Gary fashion" he pulled off a 10th place overall finish in the MEC Pace Setter with a time of 25:38. Onto another 5K race, Gary squeaked out an M50 age class victory in a time of 20:07. Gary then went on to place well in the TC10K and the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster. He then turned his attention to the track and collected three gold medals in Meet No. 1 and Meet No. 2 of the Victoria Run Series. He continued his year with more successful races on the trail and the track. Finishing off his race season, Gary notched another back-to-back M55 gold medal performance at the BC Cross Country Championships in Nanaimo and the MEC Grand Banana 10K. All-in-all, Gary had an impressive 2016 season and is a very deserving candidate for the John Thipthorpe Durability Award, a trophy which he has won an unprecedented 11 times.
Katie Clegg - Katie leans towards running longer distance races and 2016 was no exception. She ran 6 of the 8 Island Series Races, as training runs on tired legs. She then took on the Kusam Klimb in Sayward, the Whistler 50K, the Knee Knacker 30 Miler, the Nimble Bear 25K, and Diez Vista 50K. All combined this led to an impressive streak of long-distance races across British Columbia.
Justine Stecko - Justine excelled on the track, road and on the trails. She ran a solid 10:22 for 3000m and 4:48 for 1500m in the spring before launching an amazing fall season. She raced to an stunning 36:45 at the Eastside 10K and was second women overall in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K. She then went on to qualify for the BC team for the Nationals Cross Country Championships in Kingston, ON, and she placed 6th in the historically deep BC High School Cross Country Championships.
Liam Stanley - Liam was coaxed away from his national para-soccer team long enough to set the athletics world on fire. With the prospect of competing at the Rio Paralympics, he trained hard through the winter and continued to break the National records for T37 800m and 1500m throughout the spring. He placed second in the open Para-class at the Olympic Trials over 1500m and won the 800m. Racing the legendary Michael McKillop from Ireland (4 time Paralympic Gold medalist) in the Rio Games, Liam hung on gamely through a withering surge in 35C heat. He dug deep to finish an amazing second place, returning home a silver medalist from the Para-Olympic Games.
Alisa Lyesina - Alisa joined the Harriers in the summer as a sprint hurdler. She qualified to run the sprint hurdles at the BC Summer Games and raced tough despite being injured. Few could have predicted that her transition from 80m hurdles to cross country would be so successful. She was a regular winner at the local high school league races and captured gold at the Vancouver Island High School Cross Country Championships at Beaver Lake. She also placed a very competitive 8th place at the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships in Nanaimo.
Liam Dwyer - Liam had an outstanding year. He started the year by setting a new age group record at the Pioneer 8K with a masterful time of 29:24. In the spring he focused his efforts on the steeplechase, capturing bronze at both the Vancouver Island High School Championships and the BC Games. He battled hard to claim a silver medal at the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships losing only to Jack Amos from the Yukon. His rivalry with club mate, Findlay Day, was legendary and the two fought it out race after race. They both leave the midget age class having won more than their fair share of provincial and Island honours.
The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented annually to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. This year we are honouring two members.
Jeff Beddoes - Jeff is a regular at Tuesday Night Workouts and Saturday mornings at Thetis Lake and often runs extra distance before showing up at breakfast as many other Harriers are finishing. He always has a smile, is incredibly positive and and sees the funny in most things. He happily volunteers at several PIH races, including leading course setup at Pioneer, just as long as he can also run the races. In 2016 he competed in the Island Race Series, the TC10K, the Gutbuster and MEC races, including an age group second place finish, and perhaps for the first time, he competed in all three of our Fall trail races at Thetis Lake Park and the Boxing Day Handicap.
Peggy Sherwood - Peggy has been club member for a dozen years and continues to have an inspiring appetite for races both on and off road, short or long, easy or challenging. She often finishes ahead of her husband, and when not competing, volunteers as a course marshal in all weather. In 2016 she ran all but one of the Island Race Series, all the MEC races, including an age group second place, Esquimalt 5K, Stewart Mountain and was the only Harrier to finish the Victoria Marathon.
The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year. The award for 2016 is being presented to two new athletes spanning a wide range of age categories with the male being an up-and-coming junior running in the Under-16 division and the female being an experienced veteran running in the F65 division.
Finn Battersby - Our male Bright Shining Light excelled in difficult mountain races including Gutbuster events by placing first in the Under-19 category even though he was only 16. He won his division at the 9th annual Fletcher’s Challenge in Nanaimo and also finished first at two Vancouver Island Trail Running Series races at Western Speedway where he was 8th overall of 55 finishers in 43:54 and at Mount Washington where he finished 9th overall of 76 finishers in 1:35:17. The highlight of the year had to be his sprint to the line on Mount Benson at Fletcher’s Challenge to snatch a one second margin of victory over 19-year-old Sebastion Patton of Vancouver. Their times were 1:33:31 and 1:33:32 to place 37th and 38th of 191 finishers. He strong finish pleased the spectators on a very difficult course consisting of mountain trails.
Edith Price - Our female Bright Shining Light was a model of consistency performing in her first-ever Vancouver Island Road Race Series by winning her age category in six consecutive races. She achieved a high average of 609 points with victories at the Pioneer 8K in 39:55 – 609 points, Cobble Hill 10K in 50:16 – 611 points, Cedar 12K in 101:16 – 606 points, Bazan Bay 5K in 24:24 – 612 points, Sooke River 10K in 50:17 – 610 points and Hatley Castle 8K on a difficult, hilly course in 41:46 – 582 points. Her highlight of the year was finishing third of 25 females in the F60 age category at the Oak Bay Half Marathon in May with the two women ahead of her being five years younger. Her time of 1:53:10 placed her 189th of 563 finishers and, more impressively, 25th of 335 females comprising of all of the age groups in the race where women outnumbered the men by 128 runners.
Lisa Cantwell - We have two winners for Trail Runner of the Year award. They are both excellent runners, have a passion for the outdoors, and demonstrate dedicated training. Our female winner of the award took on a number of new challenges in 2016, competing in three 50K trail races. These included the Sun Mountain 50K in May, the Broken Goat 50K in July, and in September the Whistler Alpine Meadows 50K race, which had 11,000 feet of elevation gain. In addition she competed well at Mount Tzouhalem, Stewart Mountain and Gunner Shaw.
Andrew Pape-Salmon - Our male winner of the Trail Runner of the Year award is an accomplished trail runner and competes in trail races throughout the year. A few highlights from 2016 include coming in as the first Master at the Gunner Shaw 10K race, in treacherous conditions, he was first Master and second overall at the Mount Tzouhalem long course, and third Master and fourth overall in the Saltspring Island Burgoyne Bay long course of the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series.
Susan Norrington - This is our only members’ choice award and was renamed this year in honour of long-time high-achiever Sandy Auburn. Our winner joined the Harriers in 1999 and quickly made herself indispensable. She coordinated registration for the trio of Fall cross country races at Thetis Lake as well as the Harriers Pioneer 8K Road Race, and served as our Club’s President for 15 consecutive years. Susan is currently enjoying a well-deserved break in South America but will be presented with her award as well as a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine upon her return.
Our Cyclists of the Year are both long-term Harriers and are repeat winners of this award. Both have been high-achieving runners for many years recording impressive results in their age groups. In 2015, they took up cycling with a passion when injuries prevented them from running as before.
Garth Campbell - Garth transitioned to cycling quickly racking up many miles on his bike, in fact he rode for a remarkable 20,700 kilometres in 2016, almost twice the distance most of us drive in our cars. His first highlight was completing the “Big Loop”, a 298 kilometre ride from Victoria to Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan to Duncan then over the Malahat and back to Victoria. This ride took 9 hours and the group averaged 31 kilometres per hour for almost 300K. His second highlight was Tour de Victoria, a 140 kilometre race where he finished first in his age group in 4 hours and 5 minutes averaging 33.7 kilometres per hour on a tough course. Finally, he completed the Rapha Festival 500 Challenge where riders were required to complete a minimum of 500 kilometres from December 24 to December 31 and he rode 667K in inclement snowy Victoria weather placing him 12th overall in Canada. He also participated in the Victoria 70.3 Ironman Relay in June with Shane Ruljancich running and Heather Sinnott swimming. His cycling portion was 90K and he finished in 2 hours, 28 minutes averaging 35.6 kilometres per hour which helped to secure a first place finish of all of the relay teams in the event.
Claire Morgan - Claire has over 10 years of impressive running results including many overall race victories. Her year in cycling was both high mileage and successful highlighted by her second place female performance at the 140K Tour de Victoria where she was the top master and tied the race winner, Megan Rathwell, for Queen of the Mountain honours on the Munn Road Hill Climb. Their time was 9 minutes, 57 seconds to place 35th and 36th of 1,031 riders on the tough Munn Road hill climb. She finished the 140K race in 4:04:54 to place 25th overall of 608 riders. Her second highlight was at the Tripleshot Cross Fondo, a 45K hilly, rough mountain bike course where she rode a borrowed bicycle and finished as fifth female overall with very little experience on a cyclocross bike. Like Garth, our male Cyclist of the Year, Claire rode an incredible volume covering over 25,400 kilometres in 2016 which she attributes to “commuting to my job at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and to being obsessed by riding my bike as much as possible.”
Nancy Baxendale - Our two winners of the Island Race Series award both had impressive results in 2016. Nancy won her category in each of the Island Race Series that she ran, came out on top in her division for the overall Series prize and was the top female Master.
Kyle Weagant - Kyle had exceptional results in the Island Race Series. He also came in first in his category for each of the Island Race Series that he ran, and won his Division in the overall Series results. He also improved his time in each of his races over his results for 2015. Most impressively, in the Comox Valley Half Marathon, he improved his time in 2016 by almost 2 minutes over his result in 2015.
Abby Nylen - The Molly Reid Top Dog of the Year Award goes to the canine member who has shown dedication to his master and is the champion of the annual Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint held at Thetis Lake Park on October 15. In 2016, three dogs ran in the ninth annual event with all three recording very fast times. Last year's champion, Abby Nylen, repeated as the race winner as she sprinted to the finish line in 4.84 seconds. Second place went to two-time champion, Bebe Reid, in 4.55 seconds, and first-timer, Indy Weagant, finished third in 5.29 seconds. It was a classic battle with Black Labradors finishing 1-2 and a German Sheppard taking third. Last year Abby and Bebe finished 1-2 again with Abby setting a new course record of 3.44 seconds and Bebe finishing 3/10th of a second back in 3.79 seconds. It was a race with youth prevailing as Abby is 3 years old while Bebe is the senior canine at 10 years old and she was running her 10th consecutive Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint. Look for Maisie Proulx and Katie Hamilton to be in the mix for next year’s champion as they will be one year old and full of piss and vinegar attempting to dethrone Abby.
Kathleen Kane - Kathleen led the Club’s team in the TC10K with a first place finish. Among her 14 other outstanding performances are gold medals in four different events in the BC 55+ Summer Games, silver medal performances in the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series and the America’s Masters Games 5000m event.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in Club Leadership - Elaine Galbraith - Elaine has dedicated many hours to planning, organizing, mapping, and flagging routes for some of the club's annual runs. This member has been an active Harrier for over a decade and has dedicated her time to the club in various ways throughout the years. In 2016 she once again dedicated herself to ensuring that the Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain race courses were the best flagged races out there. She enlisted multiple volunteers to help in the days leading up to the two big fall races, as well as individuals to marshal day-of. She was not deterred by the weather at the second of these races and made last-minute course changes due to snow coverage and icy conditions. Her and her trusty volunteers spent the entire day out navigating snow covered trails in order to get the flags, and snowmarshals, in place. She does not hesitate to go the extra mile for the volunteers that come out to support these races and, during the Stewart Mountain weather “freeze”, she provided hand warmers for all marshals heading out on the snowy trails. Her tireless effort has ensured that these races run smoothly and are enjoyable for all racers. We look forward to seeing what her enthusiasm for running and races brings for the club's future.
Excellence in Volunteering - Leigh Sunderland and Mike Emerson - Leigh has been volunteering year after year at club races. She spends much of her precious weekend time to stand around on muddy trails in foul weather as a course marshal, not to mention the countless other tasks on which the success of our races is dependent. Year after year, Mike and his trusty pickup truck, have hauled equipment to and from our club races. Mike often puts in a full day of work helping to set up the finish line, tents and cooking equipment, feed masses of hungry runners and then take down all the equipment when the race is over. He never complains, and no matter how much is asked of him, Mike’s common response is to ask whether there is something more that needs to be done.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Brett Carter and Magdalena Bazalova-Carter - Brett and Magdalena have shown a level of fitness that we all strive to accomplish. Not only do they participate in the Harriers weekly runs on a regular basis, but they are also involved in various other athletic pursuits including, but not limited to, orienteering, road and mountain biking, alpine trekking and mountaineering. Although the female member of this duo prefers to avoid racing, her counterpart is actively pursuing some big goals in this area. Some of his highlights from 2016 include finishing fourth overall in a strong 10 Mile field in 58:36 at Stewart Mountain, finishing as second in the M30 age category at the Gunner Shaw Classic in 37:07 and, at the BC Road Race Championship - BMO St. Patrick's Day 5K, he was fifth of 100 in the M30 age category and 48th overall of 1,405 finishers. His time was 16:59. Magdalena cycles to and from work at the University of Victoria where she also happens to run her own Medical Physics Lab! She participates in the weekly Saturday runs at Thetis Lake as well as most Orienteering events which can run 2 to 3 hours in length and require both mental and physical fitness. In her sole racing event of 2016, she manged an impressive third place finish at the BC Orienteering Championships in Whistler BC. Although in the fall she announced her pregnancy, this did not slow her pursuit of fitness. She continued to run consistently on Saturday mornings as well as maintaining her regular cycle commute. She ran to the top of Mount Albert Edward with a group of Harriers and climbed into the Black Tusk trail network. We wish Brett and Magdalena all the best as they add a new member to their family; she is sure to be out there enjoying.
Geoff Martinson: Our final perpetual award for the evening is our highest performance award. The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. This year we are honouring two very talented athletes. Our male winner eased into the year in Vancouver with a third place finish at the St Patrick’s Day 5K and a second place finish at the Modo 8K the following week. At two highly competitive meets in California he took bronze in the 5000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational just 2 seconds off the winner in 13:56, and repeated that time 6 months later at the Silicon Valley 5K Turkey Trot to place 2nd just 1 second back. Between these he dominated races in BC with an upset victory by 41 seconds at the BC Athletics Championship 5000m in 13:52, a 51 second win at the inaugural Vancouver Spirit Run 8K cross country in 26:07, a 52 second win in the pounding rain at the Vancouver Eastside 10K BC Championship in 29:32, and a 1:49 victory at the Rock 'N Roll James Cunningham Seawall 10K in 29:50. He earned 9 PIH Runner of the Week citations and was again named Senior Male Road Runner of the Year by BC Athletics.
Natasha Wodak: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is our highest performance award and is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. This year we are honouring two very talented athletes. Our female winner started the year by handily winning our own Pioneer 8K BC Championship and a week later set a new BC record at the Arizona Half Marathon with a 1:12:23 clocking, which she lowered by over a minute to 1:11:20in New York 2 months later. She set a new 10K PB of 32:35 at the Sun Run, and lowered it a month later to 31:58 at the Ottawa 10K Canadian Championships. She handily won several races including the Longest Day 5K BC Championships in 16:16, the 5000m BC Championship with a new P.B. of 15:44, the Yorkville 5K Canadian Championships in 15:57, the Vancouver Eastside 10K BC Championships in 33:04, and the Vancouver Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon. At 10,000m on the track she set a new Canadian record of 31:42 at the Payton Jordan Invitational and represented Canada at both the Pan American Games and the IAAF World Championships. In cross country she won the Canadian Championships in Kingston and also represented Canada at both the Pan American Cup and the IAAF World Championships. She earned 17 PIH Runner of the Week citations and was named Senior Runner of Year by BC Athletics in Track & Field, Cross Country and Road Running, the first time any athlete has won all three running categories.
Jim Finlayson: The Alex Marshall Master of the Year Award is presented to the top 40+ male and female master runners of the year. This year we have two male winners and one female winner in this category. Our first male winner, a prolific racer and consistent high-performer, continued his winning ways in 2015 when he focused on high profile 10 kilometre and half marathons race. He was the top master runner at the Harriers Pioneer 8K, TC 10K, Summerfast 10K, which served as the BC 10K championships, and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon. In addition to being crowned the BC 10K masters champion, he also became the BC masters half marathon champion by winning that category at the “First Half” Half Marathon in Vancouver. In Vancouver, he was the second master in the highly competitive Sun Run and was the overall winner of both the Oak Bay Kool and Whistler Half Marathons.
Craig Odermatt: The Alex Marshall Master of the Year Award is presented to the top 40+ male and female master runners of the year. This year we have two male winners and one female winner in this category. For our second male, 2015 was the best so far of this Harrier’s masters running career. In addition to winning the overall Island Series race title, he also posted impressive results in farther-flung locations and on the cross-country circuit. In May, at the Canadian Road Race Championships in Ottawa, he finished second in his age division. In October, he was second overall in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K. In the Fall, he truly shone in his favourite discipline, cross-country. He was the top master at the BC championships in Nanaimo, then went on to Nationals as a member of team BC and earned the national cross-country master’s title too. To cap it off, he received an esteemed BC Athletics’ recognition in November for Master Male Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Lucy Smith: The Alex Marshall Master of the Year Award is presented to the top 40+ male and female master runners of the year. This year we have two male winners and one female winner in this category. The Harriers female master of the year is also a seasoned master and a consistent presence in the running community and at the top of the podium. She had outright female wins at the Esquimalt 5K, and the MEC Half Marathon. She was the top female master at the prestigious Vancouver Sun Run 10K, and at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon. She was the second master at the TC 10K and second female overall at the 10,000-strong Lulu Lemon-sponsored Seawheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver.
Colleen Auringer: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Our female winner joined the club in 2011. She is a regular at the Thetis Lake Saturday Morning runs and has shown a steady and noticeable improvement over the past three years. She is confident and an integral part of the group. She has had great improvement during 2015, winning first place in the F50 category of the Ladysmith Holland Creek Gutbuster on July 11 and claimed a gold medal at the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster on June 12 with a time of 48:30, an almost 10 minute improvement from her 2014 finishing time of 58:16. She completed the Olympic Adventure Trail Race 12K in Port Angeles on April 11 where she won the F50-59 sliver medal in 1:04:38 showing a 3:21 improvement from her time in 2014. She also entered her first 25K run in May at Sun Mountain Ultras in Winthrop, Washington where she finished 72nd among the female participants and was 137th overall with a time of 2:45:33.
Roy Styffe: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Our male winner for this award has shown a huge increase of 652 in points from 2014 to 2015 in the Island Race Series. He competed in six of the races, finished in the top ten winners in his division for all the races and bettered his time in the Bazan Bay 5K and the Cedar 12K over 2014. In the Merville 15K in April, he was 5th in the M50 division in 1:02:40, good for 33rd overall and he was just 2 points off his personal best performance from Bazan Bay. He placed 4th in the highly competitive M50-54 category for the entire Race Series. He bettered his time for TC10K by 19 seconds and took a silver medal home in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in 1:19:53. He did the Ottawa Half Marathon in May in 1:28:12, finishing in the top 2% of his age group and 11th out of 689 participants in his M50 age division. In an article he wrote for the PIH webpage he said, “Most of all, I like to race! This is like having a gig for a musician. Everything has to fall into place or else you can easily play the part of the fool. I really dig the 15K. Three groups of five. Not too long, not too short, just perfect.” And from my point of view, I can say that his man is a perfect choice for the Male Most Improved Runner for 2015.
John Woodall: Our top male veteran of the year had a major achievement in 2015 by running the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8 K in 45:41 and his finishing time was declared a Single-Age World Record for 83 year-olds. In his own words, “At least it will stand until someone faster comes along!” He won his M80 age category in eight races, including all of the Island Series races on the southern and central parts of the Island, the TC10K and the previously mentioned Victoria Marathon Festival 8K. His three highest point performances in the Vancouver Island Series races were established at the Bazan Bay 5K, Cedar 12K and Sooke River 10K.
Maree Kennell: Our top female veteran athlete is 73 years old and competed in many races in 2015. In the Island Series, she finished second in her age division, running seven races and finished first in the Hatley Castle 8K and Comox Half Marathon and second in the other five races. She finished first in her F70 category in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K. She competed in five events in the BC Summer Games in August, winning three gold medals and two silvers. She remains an active runner with the Thursday Morning Group where she enjoys the companionship and camaraderie of her running pals.
Garfield Saunders and Mike Emerson: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person or persons who have contributed much more than running to our club. It is a pleasure to recognize two very important members who, not only give their time to the Harriers, but also give their time unselfishly to the Greater Victoria running community by assisting at other significant events in our area. They both have assisted at the seven races that the club hosts annually in areas such as registration, awards presentations, finish line management, food, refreshments, course lay-out, marshaling, parking, volunteer briefing, race clean-up and running as a sweep to accommodate the final runner. They help with any job it takes to make the race successful at each of the Harriers events and are invaluable volunteers by taking key roles at races such as Pioneer, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay, Stewart Mountain and the Elk/Beaver Ultras. They are usually the first to arrive to set up for Harriers social events such as the Summer Club Picnic and our annual Awards Night.
Beyond helping with Harriers events our two Dedicated Performance Award winners give considerable time by volunteering at major races in the community such as the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, the Times Colonist 10K, the Victoria Goddess Run, the Island Race Series and the Twilight Shuffle. They are dependable, reliable and carry out their duties efficiently. Volunteers are the reason for success at the many Harriers-hosted events and our winners tonight are always the first ones to step forward willing to help. Collectively the two of them have won this award six times and they have also won the Harriers Volunteer of the Year Award eight times. We thank them for their continuous and valuable contributions to the club.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours. This year's winner consistently performs at a high level at all distances, on all surfaces and in all disciplines. In 2015 he raced 52 events, which included winning 33 gold medals and 7 silver medals in his M55 age category. 2015 started off cautiously, however, at the Pioneer 8K with our winner feeling grateful to simply be running again six weeks after sustaining a broken arm which required surgery and a metal plate. Our winner quickly regained speed though and was back in the medals by the third Island Series race, having his best ever Merville 15K age graded performance of 86.1% and moved into the series age group lead. He again raced all eight of the Island Race Series events. Our winner also had stellar performances at other road races. Particularly notable performances included age group wins at the St Patrick's Day 5K and Sun Run 10K both in Vancouver and the TC 10K in Victoria where he recorded his best age-graded performance in 24 consecutive years with 86.4%. In addition he raced three half marathons in 2015: the Comox Valley, Cowichan Autumn Classic, and the Elk Lake Half taking first place in his age category every time. He regularly attends the BC Cross Country Championships where in 2015 he won his category in the 8K.
He is known to run back-to-back races on the same weekend or even the same day. March 28th and 29th saw a triple weekend including the Esquimalt 5K with a win in his category in 18:58, and the 18K “Spaghetti Trees” race on the Saturday, followed by the MEC Thetis Lake 5K on Sunday where he also took first in his category. He runs multiple Victoria Track Series races on the same weekend as well as on May 16th, he ran four track races on the same day, ranging from 400M to 5000M, winning his category in every event. Besides road, track, and cross-country he also excels on the trails. He raced the Fletcher’s Challenge, all four Gutbusters, winning his category each time, and did all three PIH fall trail races at Thetis Lake. This year's winner is also a committed leader at club runs, an extraordinary course measurer, a loyal training partner, and an avid contributor to club activities, social events, and races. He consistently performs at a high level at all distances, on all surfaces and in all disciplines.
Taylor Lyman: A mere month into 2015 our winner shocked the country with two blazing 800 metre wins in 1:52. His times were the second fastest among North American high school runners, and were faster than the Canadian Youth Record. His success continued into the spring with wins at the Oregon Relays and at the BC High School Championships. A nation-leading 1:51.73 was sufficient to qualify him to represent Canada at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia. Taylor has started 2016 with a 600 metre time that ranked him 4th among North American high school athletes and 6th on the Canadian junior all-time list. He will chase the World Junior Championships qualifier this spring, and head to University of Guelph in the fall.
Kalum Delaney: Our award recipient joined the Harriers in 2014 from a strong soccer background. He was hungry to race and within only a couple of months with the group, he traveled to Kamloops for the BC Provincials. Racing as a Midget he struggled against the early developers and finished close to last. While some kids may have found this to be too demoralizing to continue, he dug in for the long haul and set himself up for a truly outstanding 2015. His year started slowly due to injury, but he soon settled into a steady string of solid races. His blazing kick over the last 80 metres of the race helped him claim third place at the BC Championships and later fourth at the National Legion Championships at the steeplechase. But it was at cross country that his talents truly emerged. He sprinted madly for gold at both the BC Club Championships and the BC High School Championships settling for silver in both races. In both instances, he took his competitors to the line and demonstrated a gritty tenacity that impressed athletes and coaches alike. He is departing in a couple of weeks for a 5 month trip to Argentina. He will return in July fit and ready for the BC Championships.
Chris Callendar: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented annually to members who represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. This year we are honouring two athletes who raced several disciplines always with a positive smile. Our male winner regularly contests many of the same races each year, often with consistent results. The previous 3 years of Pioneer 8K have been within 11 seconds and the previous 3 years of Bazan Bay 5K within just 2 seconds. He always puts in a strong performance at the TC10K, regularly places high overall at the Esquimalt 5K, MEC Vic West 5K, Stewart Mountain short course, Run Through Time 5K, and consistently wins the Terry Fox 5K, this year in West Vancouver. He is a consistent enthusiast of the shorter distances on the track at the Victoria Run Series, winning 3 races outright at one meet, and regularly setting a new PB or two each season. At the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K he ran 4 seconds faster than the previous year to tie his PB. Consistently inconsistent, or is that inconsistently consistent, he races and places high in a different destination race or two each year - 2015 saw a 4th overall at the BMO Vancouver 8K and the overall win at the San Francisco Aloha 8K. He is a regular at Tuesday Night Workouts and collected 4 Runner of the Week citations and 3 other mentions.
Maree Kennell: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented annually to members who represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. This year we are honouring two athletes who raced several disciplines always with a positive smile. Our female winner consistently performed well at the Island Series and was the top points earner for our club with 135 in 7 races from 5 silver medals and 2 golds which came at the tough Hatley Castle 8K, where she ran almost a minute quicker than Pioneer, and at Comox Half Marathon with an even faster pace en route to a new 3-minute Half Marathon PB. She competed in all 6 Victoria Run Series meets, contesting 6 track races, including a 5000m, and both 6K cross country races, winning her age group each time. These were obviously great training for the BC Senior Games where she won 3 gold medals and 2 silver medals on the track. At the GoodLife FitnessVictoria 8K she shaved another 4 minutes off Hatley Castle time for another gold medal. She is a regular of the Thursday Morning Group and collected 2 Runner of the Week citations and 8 other mentions.
Kyle Weagant: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year and the award for 2015 is being presented to two new male athletes and one new female, all show great promise racing on the roads and trails. Our first male winner joined the Tuesday Night Workouts and Saturday Morning Trail Runs and soon was challenging long-time leader and multiple Harriers award-winner, Shane Ruljancich. He ran12 races in 2015 and won his M35 age category at Bazan Bay, Sooke River and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K, and he finished second at the TC10K, Hatley Castle 8K and Comox Half Marathon. His strong Island Series performances led to a gold medal in the M35 age category at the Series awards ceremony in Sooke. The highlight of his year, besides finishing second overall to Nick Walker at Sooke River of 303 finishers, was definitely his overall victory in December at the Deception Pass 25K, a rugged trail race in Oak Harbour, Washington. He topped the entire field of 227 finishers with an outstanding time of 2:12:56 for a two minute margin of victory over Seattle’s Adam Hewey.
Matt Priestly: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year and the award for 2015 is being presented to two new male athletes and one new female, all show great promise racing on the roads and trails Our second male winner also excelled on difficult trail races with excellent performances in Rossland, Sayward and on Salt Spring Island. He recorded overall championship titles in May at the Ruckle Park 11K, where he posted a one minute margin of victory over Darren Tannis in 56:09, and notched another win in July at the Broken Goat 12K Trail Race where he recorded a five minute margin of victory over Canmore’s Michael Fitzpatrick in 1:07:56. On the roads, he traveled to participate at the prestigious and legendary 119th Boston Marathon where he ran 3:04:33 under difficult weather conditions. The highlight of his running year has to be his fourth place finish out of 529 finishers at the 13.8 Mile extreme mountain race, the Kusam Klimb, which boasts an elevation climb of over 5,000 feet. It is billed as one of the most difficult trail races on Vancouver Island, and his time of 2:47:05 was simply outstanding. He took a silver medal in the M30 age category.
Aoibhe Glynn: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year and the award for 2015 is being presented to two new male athletes and one new female, all show great promise racing on the roads and trails. Our female Bright Shining Light, along with her partner David Kuitunen, joined the Harriers on February 2 last year and she immediately made an impression at the Tuesday Night Workouts where she surged to the front of the female group of Harriers and has remained there for over a year. She also joined the Saturday Morning runs at Thetis Lake and enjoys trail running as evidenced by her two excellent trail race performances. At the Thetis Lake Relay she captained the winning team of Kelly Campo, David O’Regan, John Arndt and herself in the Senior Mixed category, the most competitive division with 24 teams finishing of the 103 total teams compromising nearly 400 runners. The highlight of her year was finishing as second female overall at the demanding Finlayson Arm 25K Trail Race which went over the summit of Mount Finlayson twice, as the course wound its way through Goldstream and Gowlland Tod Parks. She ended up ninth overall of 67 finishers with an outstanding time of 3 hours, 51minutes and 12 seconds. She was also instrumental by helping at the Harriers Elk/Beaver Ultras in May by spotting finishing runners for several hours throughout the day.
Heather Bretschneider: We have two Trail Runners of the Year with outstanding performances in 2015. They share a passion and appreciation for focused training, running friendships and the outdoors. They seek out the physical challenges that trail running offers, try a variety of events and know how to push themselves to reach new limits. Our female award winner was the second female at Trail Factor 50K in Portland and then went on to complete the Run for Water 55K six days later. She participated in the inaugural Finlayson Arm 50K in September, the toughest 50K in BC, and finished as the fifth female overall, despite falling and breaking her arm at kilometre 13! She finished third in her age category in the Fletcher’s Challenge race. In addition to numerous adventures on Vancouver’s north shore on a weekly basis, she has many other awesome adventures with friends on the Sunshine Coast Trail, Flores Island, and Mount Frosty. She finds inspiration from others and gets the greatest joy out of seeing others succeed.
Shane Ruljancich: We have two trail runners of the year with outstanding performances in 2015. They share a passion and appreciation for focused training, running friendships and the outdoors. They seek out the physical challenges that trail running offers, try a variety of events and know how to push themselves to reach new limits. Our male winner wins a lot of trail races and leads a weekly training and coaching program for several club members. He was the first finisher in both Gutbuster long course trail races at Mount Tzouhalem and Ladysmith's Holland Creek. In fact, he is the poster boy on the webpage for the 2016 Gutbuster Series, now called the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series. He was the top finisher in the grueling Finlayson Arm 28K. He won the 25K Broken Goat event in 2:12, nearly 4 min ahead of the second place finisher. He had a cameo running up Mount Finlayson in Project Talaria’s film which we are showing tonight. He was second overall and first is his age category in the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler in December. He was Runner of the Week eight times in 2015 with a few more honourable mentions. He “gives back” to the running community with fantastic, but tough, interval and hill workouts every Thursday night through Perseverance Running.
Bob Reid: This award recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership. The award is given to a Harrier who has accomplished high achievements or contributions, or something new, unusual or spectacular over the year. Our recipient of this award for 2015 has been a high achiever and contributor to the Prairie Inn Harriers for 38 years. He joined the club in 1978 and has held positions on the PIH Executive for over 20 years including five terms as President. Most of his time on the executive has been spent as Treasurer and he is fastidious in his detail when it comes to our finances.
He is the mainstay of our club. He, along with John McKay, are the longest standing members of our club. He has supported and promoted growth in the club. He has been the catalyst to help our club to excel in encouraging and supporting runners at all levels who are interested in participating in the sport, whether they are competitive or social athletes. He had the vision to change what was a masters running club to a diverse organization which has members of all ages competing in local races. He has also won numerous local and provincial awards for his dedication to the sport of running. I could go on all evening singing his praises, but for this award, it is traditional to use the members’ nominations as the script for this award.
Our winner this year received three nominations and here are some of the reasons given by our members:
- I nominate this Harrier for all of his tireless support of the club. He has been instrumental in contributing to the club for decades. Just to name a few of these many contributions: directing races, organizing trips to other races and running events, recruiting new members, leading runs, announcing at races, and advocating for financial support for members to race abroad. He has also led Tuesday night workouts for 15 years until the end of 2015 so it seems fitting that he receive the award.
- He has contributed to a new and spectacular achievement this year as being the underlying support for the Harriers Youth team. He has invested countless hours behind the scenes to help the coach grow the team to 25 athletes. Most importantly, providing financial management, as the youth team has attended several competitions across Canada and the United States. This is vital for the future of our club, evidenced by the growing Harriers presence at local, regional and national races - and a pipeline for future club members.
I am honoured to present the Harriers Members' Choice for High Achievement Award to my dear friend Bob Reid.
Garth Campbell: This year’s Cyclists of the Year are both long-term Harriers and first-time winners of this award. Both have been high-achieving runners for many years – achieving impressive results in their age groups and outright strong performers. In 2015, both took up cycling with a passion when injuries prevented them from running as before. Our male Cyclist of the Year sustained a running injury in 2014 and transitioned to cycling that year, quickly racking up many miles and gaining newfound cycling fitness in a new sport for him. He soon found his groove in the local cycling club Tripleshot, and entered his first race last summer – the Tour de Victoria. He had a strong showing there, finishing the 140K route around most of Victoria’s toughest hills in a time of just over four hours. This gave him a placing of 48th overall (among 634 riders) and second in his age category. He has continued to build on his fitness and performance, with strong showings at many of the unofficially-competitive Tripleshot group rides. Watch for more from this runner-turned-cyclist as he gets more and more ensconced in the local scene. We’re not even sure if we’ll see him lace up his runners again!
Claire Morgan: This year’s Cyclists of the Year are both long-term Harriers and first-time winners of this award. Both have been high-achieving runners for many years – achieving impressive results in their age groups and outright strong performers. In 2015, both took up cycling with a passion when injuries prevented them from running as before. Our female Cyclist of the Year has been a long-time high-achieving Harrier, with an impressive array of trophies, medals and overall wins in many of the local running races over the past 10+ years. After securing the overall win in the 2015 Island Race Series at the Comox Half Marathon, she sustained her first-ever serious running injury and also turned to cycling as an outlet for her athletic pursuits. This was a return of sorts since, 15 years ago, she was a full-time cyclist competing at the national and international levels in mountain biking. She also joined Tripleshot Cycling Club in 2015 and quickly gained a name for herself as one of the strongest female riders in the club. She tried cyclo-cross racing – a sort of road racing/mountain biking hybrid event – in the fall, entering two of the Cross on the Rock series races and improving from mid-pack to top-10 in the intermediate category. She continues to improve her cycling fitness and take the local cycling scene by storm.
Craig Odermatt: In 2015, for the first time in the history of the Island Race Series, the overall male and female series winners were both masters. These two club members have been very active in the local racing scene for many years, and their achievements are consistent and consistently impressive. Our male winner has completed 75 Island Series races over his career with four overall victories, two of them coming in 2015 – 20 years after winning his first Island Series race in 1995. In 2015, he competed in five of the eight Island Series races, winning his age category in every one and winning the race outright at one – the Comox Half Marathon. In the other series races he competed in, he also had high overall placings: two second place finishes, a 5th and a 7th. Competing in his sixth year as a master, this club member continues to post fast times and shows no signs of slowing down.
Claire Morgan: In 2015, for the first time in the history of the Island Race Series, the overall male and female series winners were both masters. These two club members have been very active in the local racing scene for many years, and their achievements are consistent and consistently impressive. For our female Island Series Runner of the Year, this was her first year competing as a master, having celebrated her 40th birthday two days after a solid performance at the Hatley Castle 8K. She competed in five of the Island Series events, also winning the Comox Half Marathon outright and finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th overall in the other events she completed. This string of results was enough to earn her the overall series trophy for the second time.
Abby Nylen: The Molly Reid Top Dog of the Year Award goes to the canine member who has shown dedication to his or her master and is the champion of the annual Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint held at Thetis Lake Park in October. In 2015, eight dogs ran in the eighth annual event with all recording very fast race times to the enjoyment of 12 spectators watching in near-perfect, mild conditions. Runner-up in last year's race, Abby Nylen, was not to be denied this year. She claimed the gold medal and championship Top Dog trophy as she sprinted to a new course record of 3.44 seconds. Second place went to 2010 and 2011 champion, Bebe Reid, in 3.79 seconds, while last year's champion, and former course record holder, Roo Kersen, finished third in 3.97 seconds. In a classic battle of the blazing black labs, Abby, 2 years old, and Bebe, 9 years old, both broke the course record set by Roo in 2014.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Harriers Photographs of the Year - Walter Cantwell, John McKay, Doug Bakewell, Chris Hamilton: Walter took first prize with his two photos from a training run in the Grand Canyon, John took second prize for his shot of Thetis Lake on a misty morning, Chris won third prize with his picture of Larry and Abby Nylen atop Dog Mountain in the snow and Doug was awarded fourth prize with his action shot of Kristy Petovello charging down Stewart Mountain in the 10 Mile race. The four winners received gift cards to the Prairie Inn Neighbourhood Pub, Lifestyles Markets, Black's Photography and the Six Mile Pub.
Excellence in Club Leadership - Andrew Pape-Salmon: With this award, we salute a club member for service to the club. Tonight’s winner has been an active member of the Prairie Inn Harriers for over a decade, and for the past 9 years has served as Sponsorship Director. Club directors, including the sponsorship director, dedicate numerous hours quietly behind the scenes providing crucial support to the club. The work of the sponsorship director directly benefits the club and its members through work with local businesses and individuals who provide cash donations, merchandise, services, and draw prizes for club events and races. Over several years, this award winner has built and nurtured many relationships with community sponsors who now provide yearly sponsorship. Some of the sponsors this fellow has helped secure are: Level Ground Coffee, Driftwood Beer, Lifestyle Markets and the Six Mile Pub. He has also recently been involved in developing sponsorship relationships with Wonderdogs and Activa Sports Therapy. Our winner also gave countless hours and much creative energy to directing and co-organizing the highly successful PIH Fundraising Night in May 2015, with speakers and an auction to raise funds for the Harriers Youth Team and the club at large. The sponsorship director dedicates volunteer time on a weekly basis and also adds his creative ideas regarding event organization and sponsorship opportunities. His work helps increase broader awareness about the club and its activities in the community and with our sponsors.
Excellence in Volunteering - Kristy Petovello: This Harrier has dedicated significant volunteer support to club races and is active in training runs and races. She is always smiling and cheery, and is an exceptional ambassador for our club in her dealings with racers, sponsors, partners and volunteers. Her volunteer work is year round, but really gets busy in the fall, as she is one of the race co-directors for the Stewart Mountain 10-Mile trail race. She has been instrumental in helping to revitalize this event with new and creative ideas. She initiated and organized the race’s after-party at the Six Mile Pub for the past two years, which has also opened the door to more sponsorship for the club. She works tirelessly to help in many aspects of the race, including flagging, registration, set-up and she also managed to compete in the 5-mile event, too. To top it off, she played a major role for the club's largest event, the Harriers Pioneer 8K, serving as the primary volunteer for post-race food, a major feat for an event with 524 finishers.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Larry Nylen and Valerie Bell: This couple is extremely active in club activities on a weekly basis, an inspiration for us all, and have had some major race accomplishments in 2015. This couple loves to climb as they run up mountains, down canyons and over hills! They competed in numerous races separately or together, but it is notable that only a week after they both ran the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster with 2,100 feet of elevation gain, she completed the Kusam Klimb in Sayward with about 5,000 ft of vertical gain, finishing second in her age category. In July, they joined a large contingent of Harriers to participate in the Broken Goat mountain running race in Rossland. A big highlight for both of them was running Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon with friends. They had a little bit of training a couple months earlier on a Harriers wilderness run to Circlet Lake and Mount Albert Edward. They both competed in the local Finlayson Arm races last September. Based on commentary from several racers, there is reason to believe that this is BC’s toughest 50K trail race, climbing nearly 10,000 ft over two mountains. She was the 9th finisher in her category and was featured in the race video which we are showing tonight. He finished first in his age category in the 28K, climbing 4,400 feet. He wore a kilt for the Thetis Relays and ran the Gunner Shaw 10K Cross Country Classic to finish off his season.
Top Age-Graded Runner of the Year - Nancy Baxendale: Age-grading is a way to compare performances of runners of different ages and genders at different distances. It is based on tables of world age standards at various distances, and is expressed as the percentage of those times against an individual’s time. 70% is generally considered a regional level performance, 80% national level, and over 90% a world class performance. Our award winner ran 5 Island Series races with an average age-graded performance of almost 91%. The lowest at the tough Hatley Castle 8K was 89.2%, equivalent to a young man’s time of 23:47, almost 3 minutes ahead of the race winner. Her highest at Bazan Bay 5K of 93.2% is equivalent to a young female’s time of 15:53 and a young male’s time of 13:50. These are 33 seconds ahead of the women's race winner Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff and 78 seconds ahead of the men's winner. Performances at the large Vancouver St Patrick's Day 5K and the Victoria TC10K also age-graded ahead of the winners. Other exceptional performances came at the Bear Mountain 10K and at the BC Cross Country Championships. Not only does our winner usually win her age division handily, she often beats those in the next few younger divisions and sometimes the men, too. She is a Tuesday Night Workout regular and earned 5 Runner of the Week citations and 7 other mentions.
Canadian Lifetime Achievement Award - Maurice Tarrant: We are fortunate to have a member who has had a remarkable 34 years of racing with his Harriers uniform since he joined the club in 1983 at the young age of 52. He has completed over 150 Island Series races in his 34 active years and has finished FIRST in his age category and incredible 300 consecutive times while competing on Vancouver Island. He has never been beaten. Along the way, he has set 65 Canadian age class records in every distance from 400 metres on the track to a full marathon on the roads. Currently his name is in the book for nine Canadian Road Records including distances of one mile, 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K and 20K and two Canadian Track Records of 3,000 metres and 5,000 metres. Within the last decade, between the age of 76 and 85, he has also established eight single age WORLD Records including setting the 5K mark at the age of 76, 78, 79 and 81 years old, setting the 8K mark at the age of 79, 81 and 84 years old and he set a 10K world mark at the age of 79. When he turned 85 last year, he broke the Canadian records for 5K, 8K and 10K at Bazan Bay, Pioneer and Cobble Hill. He is a Lifetime member of the Harriers and we are honoured to present him with a tribute to recognize his phenomenal performances on the local, provincial, national and world stage. Please join me in congratulating an amazing athlete receiving a new award this year – The Canadian Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a true gentleman and an inspiration to all runners, past and present, young and old.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Mike Emerson: To complete the awards program, it gives me great pleasure to honour a long-time club member with a Lifetime Membership Award. Currently, eighteen Harriers have been acknowledged as Lifetime Members and tonight’s inductee joins Harriers founding members, Gunner Shaw and Alex Marshall, long term race coordinators, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid and Marg Melvin, long term executive member, Susan Norrington, long term master athletes, Gary Duncan, Dan Harlow, Garth Ball and Wendy Davies, and long term super veteran athletes, Maurice Tarrant and Garfield Saunders, just to name some other Harriers Lifers. Tonight’s new Lifetime Member joined the club in 2000 and has been an active participant for 17 years. He is a regular with the Thursday Morning Group and at the Monday Track Sessions.
Over his Harriers career he has been an invaluable volunteer for the three Thetis Lake races by assisting with equipment, course lay-out and race logistics and, at the Pioneer 8K, he coordinates parking, runs as race sweep and assists with tear-down and clean up tasks. For the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon he gives two solid weeks of his time by making several trips to the storage facilities in the week preceding the event to deliver signage, supplies and equipment and several trips following the race to return equipment. He has been selected as our Volunteer of the Year eight times and has won the Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award four times including tonight. The inscription on his plaque reads as follows: “Lifetime Membership Award presented to Mike Emerson in recognition of many years of exceptional volunteer service to support the Prairie Inn Harriers Association and the Victoria Marathon Society in annually hosting several major races in the Greater Victoria area.”
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Harriers Off-Course King - Andrew Pape-Salmon: On a chilly, rainy morning, a group of Harriers struck out on the trails at Cobble Hill to make their way to the Kinsol Trestle and back. Despite this group having very little knowledge of the maze of trails at Cobble Hill, this was going to be NO PROBLEM! One of their other running comrades kindly sent them a GPS route for their run, which another Harrier proceeded to load on to his trusty GPS watch, AND his hand-held GPS (note, he had two GPS devices with him). The group headed out, with satellites located, and happily ran along without incident for 20 minutes or so, at which point our man with the GPS consulted his watch and noticed they were “100 metres off the trail”. To get back on track, in true Harrier style, they decide to “bush-wack” the 100 metres to the correct trail..…through stinging nettles. After pushing through the stinging nettles and with another quick glance at the route, they were happily off again.
The group eventually made it to the Trestle, explored the area for a while, then turned around to follow their route back…..or so they thought. Soon after they started to navigate their way back, another wrong turn was made, and another, and another. While their man with the GPS consulted his devices, finding that they were again coincidentally only “100 metres off the trail”, another Harrier consulted his smart phone and made declarations of being “200% sure” where they needed to go, and others used visual cues stating “I recognize that fallen tree” (haven’t we all heard that one before), they managed to run around in circles and re-create a GPS route which at points resembled multiple laps of a track workout. Drenched, shivering violently (our man with the GPS), and barely escaping hypothermia, the group eventually made it back to their vehicles. Our man with the GPS claims that he “pulled out his GPS and got them back”. Thankfully, our man with the GPS is good company along the way, but when running with him be prepared for the scenic route, and bring survival gear. One can see how getting lost is possible – it can even happen to experienced hikers. Suddenly, you don’t know where you are, you feel confused, and start to run around wildly. However, our winner, the man with the GPS, has even managed to go off-course at the Thetis Lake Relay, on a trail he has been regularly running for the last 13 years. We are happy to present him with a miniature survival kit for his next adventure run.
Harriers "Back-up Bang" Award - Roy Styffe: We’ll start the program off with a few amusing gifts. The first comical award tonight is called the “Back-up Bang” Award and is presented to a relatively new bumper-banger in the club. In response to an email request for Pioneer 8K volunteers, our man said he would like to help with equipment delivery to the start/finish line. Having never done this task before, he was given a map on how to get to the equipment buildings at Bob’s house on McKenzie Lake. Not knowing that the storage buildings were at the top of the driveway, he drove down to the bottom and knocked on the door. Bob answered and told our keen equipment delivery volunteer to turn his car around and drive back up the driveway to the storage buildings. While putting on his boots to help, Bob heard a loud bang outside the house but was unable to determine the exact cause. After loading the equipment in the vehicle, Bob sent the volunteer on his way and headed back down to the house to discover part of a bumper from a small foreign car wedged in his rock wall. Apparently our new volunteer didn’t notice the impact nor hear the loud bang when he smashed into the rocks and ripped the end off his bumper. Tonight we are pleased to return the item to him as part of a Harriers Custom Rear Bumper Repair Kit.
Claire Morgan: We'll conclude the evening with our highest performance award. The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. This year we are honouring two very talented and determined athletes. Our female most valuable runner continued her ascendency with another brilliant year. She raced on the road from 5K to Half Marathon, on the trails and mountains, on grass and on the track. She raced more than 30 times and was top female in over half of these events, often finishing amongst the top men, including second overall performances (including the men!) at the inaugural Cowichan Classic Half Marathon and the Boxing Day 10 Miler, as well a first overall victory at the Salmon Run Run 5K at Goldstream Park. Her best performance was at the Comox Half Marathon where she started strong, with a pack of fast men, and then sped up after the turnaround, dropping those men and winning the women’s race by over 3 minutes, finishing 8th among the men and setting a new personal best time of 1:19:52. She also set a new PB at Merville 15K then crowned it all with a 36-minute-flat (36:00) 10K P.B. at the Sun Run where she placed 12th among women in a highly competitive, international field. At the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster, she was the top female by over 16 minutes. At the Kusam Klimb, she set a new course record in her first appearance since winning the inaugural one 10 years earlier. At the Thetis Lake Relay, her solo effort over 4 laps bested all of the 4-person women's teams. As well as her overall Island Series win that even beat all of the men, she was 6th female in the BC Timex Race Series, organized a successful fluff bowling tournament and co-directed the Stewart Mountain and Boxing Day races. Dedicated big mileage training weeks continue to pay big dividends for this busy lady.
Geoff Martinson: We’ll conclude the evening with our highest performance award. The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is presented annually to club members who have consistently raced at a high level at various events throughout the year. This year we are honouring two very talented and determined athletes. Our male winner ran two Island Series races in early 2014, improving his personal best times at both, and extending his perfect race champion streak to 8, handily winning the Pioneer 8K BC Championship and utterly dominating the field at Bazan Bay 5K with a 36 second margin of victory. He obtained his best ever Island Series points of 916 points at Bazan Bay where he ran 14:12 at a pace of 2:50 per kilometre! He has run this race three times and now owns the three best ever times at any 5K race in the 33 year history of the Island Race Series. A week later was another impressive 5K win and a course record at the St. Patrick's Day race in Vancouver, where he was delivered to the start line in high style in a Maserati sports car. He set a 28-second personal best at the Sun Run 10K in Vancouver and won the Longest Day 5K BC Championship in Vancouver. His performance at these 5 races, all part of the BC Timex Series, combined for a score of 4,527 points was the best ever in that series’ 22 year history. He narrowly missed setting a new course record in winning the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K and finished the year with a 1:05:46 clocking at the inaugural Rock 'n Roll Vancouver Half Marathon. In December, he was named Senior Male Road Runner of the Year by BC Athletics.
Jim Finlayson: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we again recognize that tradition by honouring one male and two female master runners. Our male Harrier started his third year as a master by winning the Provincial 8K Master's title at the Pioneer 8K (in a time of 25:17), finishing sixth overall. He then went on to top the masters’ category in many other races including five half marathons that took place in Victoria and Vancouver. His highest placing was a 2nd overall at the Oak Bay Kool Half, and his fastest half of the year was a 1:08, attained at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half. He also won the masters title at the TC 10K in April. On the track, he won the masters title at the BC 10,000 Metre Championships, setting a new provincial master’s record of 31:03.64. In cross-country action, he was the top 40+ runner at the Canadian Cross Country Championships at Jericho Park in Vancouver. And finally, at the first ever Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas, in December, he set a new masters world record of 5:21 and is ranked fifth fastest in the world in this challenging event. His time of 5:09 from 2007 currently stands as the sixth fastest beer mile on record. (For anyone unfamiliar with this event, it involves drinking a can of beer then running a lap on the track – repeated four times.)
Lucy Smith: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we again recognize that tradition by honouring one male and two female master runners. Our first female Master of the Year has been a dominant force in masters racing for many years. She consistently places very high in any field, regularly finishing as the top master and frequently topping the women’s field outright – at the age of 47. In Island Series racing: • She won the BC Master's Title for 8K at Pioneer, and was the 4th female overall in 28:27. • She won Cobble Hill 10K outright, in a super-speedy time of 36:08. She celebrated her 47th birthday on the day she ran the TC10K, where she finished in 35:39 – good enough for third female and first master. She ran three half marathons in 2014: • The first annual Sea Wheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver, where she topped the women’s field outright (with a time of 1:20:18). • At the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half, she was the third female and second master (in 1:19:48). • At the Vancouver Rock ‘n Roll Half, she was 7th female and second master (in 1:20:31). She was the first female in all three Victoria Run Series cross country races at Beaver Lake Park. Finally, at the Thetis Lake Relay, she ran the fastest women’s lap time in 16:59 for the 5K circuit.
Nancy Baxendale: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we again recognize that tradition by honouring one male and two female master runners. The second female Master of the Year is another decorated PIH runner who has enjoyed an excellent year of training and racing, and is on a mean improvement streak. She earned top honours in the F50 age category at: Cobble Hill, Hatley Castle, Bazan Bay, Merville and Sooke River, and handily won her age group overall for the Island Series. She also won her age group at the Times Colonist 10K. Some of her other highlights included: • Finishing as second female at the Goddess 10K. • Winning the women’s 5000 Metre track race at the Victoria Run Series. • Finishing as second female and first master at the Chemainus Twilight Shuffle. • Winning her age category at all three Beaver Lake cross country events. • Posting a new F50 course record at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K of 30:49. • Winning the masters division outright at Gunner Shaw – outrunning all women ages 40 and up.
Erin Burrett: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Our female winner was the winner of the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award as the Rookie of the Year in 2013. She has had an incredible year of racing not just in British Columbia, but in National and International events by traveling as far afield as Mount Irvine, Tobago to represent Canada in the 2014 North American, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championships. She began her year being crowned as female BC 8K Road Running Champion at the Pioneer 8K where she ran the race of her life in 27:13 and beat her team mate and course record holder, Natasha Wodak, by 8 seconds. She was top female at the Bazan Bay 5K where she ran a personal best of 16:35. Then in April, she won a silver medal at the Canadian Championship Road Race at the Scotiabank Half Marathon in Montreal with a personal best time of 1:15:02 to place 25th overall of 2,662 finishers. In December she was honoured by BC Athletics when she was chosen as runner-up in the Female Road Runner of the Year category.
Garth Campbell: Our male winner was honoured last year at the Prairie Inn Harrier awards night by sharing the Alex Marshall Master of the Year with Jim Finlayson. This year he started his improvement at the Cobble Hill 10K by winning the M55 division. He went on to take gold medals in his division at the Cedar 12K with a new P.B. of 44:43, also finished first in his division at Bazan Bay 5K and the Sooke River 10K. In March, he placed fourth in the M50 division at the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K, another BC Championship event. At the TC10K, he was first in the M50 division with a time of 36:56 and then, along with a few other crazy Harriers, went on to run the first-ever TC Half Marathon directly after the 10K, and he took bronze in his division in that race. But perhaps his greatest improvement this year was in his long distance racing. In May, he ran the Sun Mountain 50K and placed third in his age category and 11th overall. Then in August at the Squamish 50, an unforgettable trail ultra-experience which includes more than 11,000 of climbing and decent, he tackled the course with the joy he always feels when he is challenged by the outdoors and completed the 50K race in 5:55:56 placing 12th overall.
Kathleen Birney and Randy Jones: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person or persons who have contributed much more than running to our club. It is a pleasure to recognize two very important members who, not only give their time to the Harriers, but also give their time unselfishly to the Greater Victoria running community by assisting at other significant events in our area. They both have played key roles by being Race Director for the Harriers Pioneer 8K for four years each and have assisted at the eight races that the club hosts annually in areas such as registration, awards presentations, finish line management, financial management, food, refreshments, marshaling and volunteer briefing and coordination. They basically help with any job it takes to make the race successful at each of our Harriers events and are invaluable volunteers by taking lead roles at races such as Pioneer, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay, Stewart Mountain and the Elk/Beaver Ultras. Our female winner provides leadership, friendship and a strong sense of togetherness and her pride and attention to detail is a valuable asset along with her level-headedness. She frequently is a group leader at our Thetis Lake Saturday morning runs and is on the Board of Directors at Royal Roads University. When Ken Smythe passed away in 2011, it left a huge void in Bob’s volunteer crews for the three Thetis Lake races as Ken had coordinated the refreshments team for 27 consecutive years at Gunner Shaw, 15 consecutive years at the Thetis Lake Relay and 8 consecutive years at Stewart Mountain. Bob was very close to Ken and his first phone call in 2012 was to tonight’s Dedicated Performance winner and he simply asked, “Will you be my next Ken Smythe?” The answer was “yes” and the two have formed a strong bond seeing the popular Gunner Shaw race through its 30th year in 2014. Our male winner also founded the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler and directed it for the first three years. He volunteers for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and Times Colonist 10K where he has served as the course layout venue coordinator for a number of years. He won this award in 2007 and went on to be the Pioneer 8K Race Director in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is the first time that tonight’s female candidate has won this award and, ironically, she was the Pioneer 8K Race Director in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 so the two winners have directed the Pioneer race for the past 8 years.
Garfield Saunders: Our next perpetual award honours the top male and female, 60 years and older, and is named after two legendary veteran club runners, Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood. As mentioned earlier, Rosamund was inducted into the BC Athletics Hall of Fame last year. Our top male veteran athlete is 76 years old and remains very active running in races, training and social runs throughout the year. At the Island Race Series he finished second in the M75 age division, running 5 races and winning 2 silver medals and 2 bronze medals. At the Thetis Lake Relay in November, he ran on the Harriers Super Veterans team which had a total age of over 300 years as every member was over 75 years old. He is a regular participant at Tuesday Night Workouts as well as the Saturday morning trail runs at Thetis Lake Park. On other days, you can find him running the trails at Royal Roads - often accompanied by his 4-legged training partners.
Maree Kennell: Our next perpetual award honours the top male and female, 60 years and older, and is named after two legendary veteran club runners, Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood. As mentioned earlier, Rosamund was inducted into the BC Athletics Hall of Fame last year. Our top female veteran athlete is 72 years old and competed in many races in 2014. In the Island Series, she finished second in her age division, running 6 races and achieving 2 gold medals and 4 silver medals. In the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon, she placed third in her age category amongst a large field of 15 women. Her time of 2:16:32 placed her well up in the field of 3,795 finishers. She remains an active runner with the Thursday Morning Group where she enjoys the companionship and camaraderie of her running pals.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours. This year's winner consistently performs at a high level at all distances, on all surfaces and in all disciplines. In 2014 he won 28 gold medals and 14 silver medals, and achieved excellent age-graded performances. During the Island Race Series he collected 4 age category gold medals and 4 silver medals finishing second overall in the M55 Series awards. Of particular note, he completed the Cobble Hill 10K in 37:24 achieving an impressive 86% age-graded performance and broke his own M55 course record by 31 seconds. He is also known to run back-to-back races on the same day. How else could someone run in 50 events in a calendar year! At Victoria’s Times Colonist Race he completed the 10K, winning his category with a stellar performance of 37:32, and achieving an impressive age-graded performance of 86%. Twenty-three minutes after completing the 10K, he rushed to UVic with three other Harriers and raced the Half Marathon distance in 1:29:28, taking second place in his age category. In addition to the Times Colonist Half, he raced the Sooke Potholes, Comox Valley, and Oak Bay Half Marathons taking first place in his age category at every race. Our winner competed in multiple Victoria Track Series events, placing first in 6 races. On one evening of racing, he raced in 4 separate events, taking first place in two and second place in the other two other races. Besides road, track, and cross-country he excels on the trails, too. He raced all four Gutbusters, winning his category in each race, and raced the grueling Kusam Klimb better than expected, taking gold again in his age category. He participated in the Provincial Cross Country 8K Championship race in Abbotsford, taking silver in 30:36 and followed it up with a bronze medal at the Canadian Cross Country 8K Championship race in Vancouver in 32:49. Our Durability Award winner was not planning on stopping at 50 races in 2014! His racing plans got derailed due to a fall and fractured arm sustained while he was gutting-it out at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Race in Vancouver on December 6th. His racing highlights were finishing first overall at the MEC Lochside 10K, finishing second overall at the Mount Washington Gutbuster and finishing third overall at the Finlayson Arm 25K Climb, all his highest-ever positions. Throughout the year, and despite his fractured arm, he is a committed leader at club runs, a loyal training partner, and an avid contributor to club activities, social events, races, and is an extraordinary course measurer. The John Thipthorpe Durability Award for 2014 is presented to Gary Duncan, who is winning this award for the 9th time in the past 11 years since he first won it in 2004. He continues to be our indefatigable running machine!
Bridget Cameron and Jack Stanley: Some runners only dream of having the kind of year that our female Junior of the Year had in 2014. She consistently placed in the top three in all of her key spring road races, posting impressive times along the way. At the age of 13, she opened the Island Series with a 34:21 at the Pioneer 8K, ran a similar time at the much tougher Hatley Castle 8K, posted an awesome 19:49 5K at Bazan Bay and won a gold medal at the Cedar 12K. She topped off a great spring with an excellent 40:30 at the Times Colonist 10K. In the summer she destroyed the field at the Chemainus Twilight Shuffle 5K by winning her age class by over 8 minutes and setting a new F13 course record and, in September, she finished first at the Victoria Run Series Cross Country races at Beaver Lake Park. She continued her success into the fall with a strong fourth place finish in the girls age 14 category at the BC Cross Country Championships in Abbottsford and with an 11th place finish at the BC High School Cross Country Championships in Victoria. 2015 also looks promising as she set a new F14 course record at the Pioneer 8K and also won her age division. This was a breakthrough year for the male Junior of the year. The grade 9 Oak Bay student smashed all expectations with a gritty run at the BC High School Track and Field Championships to win a bronze medal at 3,000 Metres. He crushed both his own PB and the hopes of many older runners gunning for a spot on the podium. He took the gold medal over 16 runners in the M15 division at Bazan Bay with an excellent time of 16:53 to finish 32nd overall of 632 runners. He won gold medals in the 1,200 Metres and at 2,000 Metres races at the Dogwood Track Meet in Victoria and followed this up with a strong silver medal placing at the BC Summer Games in Nanaimo over 2,000 Metres. Proving his prowess over the trails, he took three silver medals, first at the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships at Abbotsford and then at both the Vancouver Island and BC High School Championships at Juan de Fuca. 2015 has already started well and looks to be another banner year for him, too, with another age category victory at Pioneer.
Valerie Bell and Jane McDonald: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to a member that represents the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be win all their races, but they are out there competing, helping and supporting the Harriers in many different ways. This year, this award goes to two women who have consistently participated in the club's signature Tuesday Night Workout sessions. They take part in club meetings and attend nearly all the social events such as dinners out, group runs, the Christmas Lights Run and the Summer Barbecue. Our first award winner is frequently seen arriving on her bike to Saturday Thetis runs, early enough to greet the whole gang as others arrive. She attended numerous races and won her age category in the majority of the 12 races that she completed, notably the Sun Mountain 50K, the Stewart Mountain Cross Country Challenge, three grueling Gutbusters and the Harriers Pioneer 8K. Our second award winner attended the two wilderness runs in Cumberland and Cowichan River but, perhaps more significantly, 2014 was a year where her strength and determination shone through, as she overcame a hamstring injury and completed a long fight back to fitness. She finished second in her age group in the Victoria Track Series and had a strong GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon.
Lisa Fehr: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year. The Bright Shining Light award for 2014 is being presented to a male and female who both joined the club coming from distinctly different areas. Our female Bright Shining Light recipient joined the Harriers in the late spring, after attending a Running Room Clinic. She has been a regular every week at both the Thetis Lake runs and at Tuesday Night Workouts. She had run 5 races before joining the club, including the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon twice and the TC 10K twice. After joining the club, she increased her training mileage and her speed, and her next four races as a Harrier showed a big improvement at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, her first marathon, and at other fall events including the Bear Mountain Half Marathon, Gunner Shaw 10K and Stewart Mountain 10 Mile trail race. Her best race of the year was the Bear Mountain Half where she finished fourth in her age category. With her increased speed and her increased confidence, she continues to shine into 2015.
Thomas Holm: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award is given to a first-year Harrier to recognize our Rookie of the Year. For 2014, this award is being presented to a male and female who both came to the club from distinctly different directions. Our male winner moved to Victoria from Norway to attend UVic and instantly made an impact at the Tuesday night workouts. At his first race of the year, the Pioneer 8k, he sprinted to the finish line against Shane Ruljancich, to finish one second behind him. He went on to be very impressive in the balance of the Island Series by finishing first overall at Hatley Castle, second overall at the Cedar 12K and the Comox Valley Half Marathon and third overall at both 10Ks in Cobble Hill and Sooke River. He was the race champion at the MEC Victoria 10K and was second overall at the Ladysmith Gutbuster. Over 12 races in 2014, he won his age category 8 times, including three outright victories.
Heather Bretschneider, Lisa Cantwell and Shane Ruljancich: We have three trail runners of the year for 2014 and all of them had outstanding performances in 2014. They share a passion and appreciation for hard work, friendship and the outdoors. They seek out the physical challenges that trail running offers and know how to push themselves and each other to reach new limits. Our first award winner was truly in her element when she participated in the combination Spine Trail Run and PIH Wilderness Run on the Cumberland trails near Comox Lake in June. The event included runners, hikers and bikers - all out celebrating an awesome trail network. Her proudest accomplishments in 2014 were: • A top 5 finish at the Dirty Duo 25K in North Vancouver in March, on a tough course among some great local trail runners in torrential rain. • Her first 50K race at Sun Mountain near Winthrop, Washington, in May, where the placed 11th among the female participants. • Competing in one of Canada’s toughest 50K races, the Knee Knacker 50K in North Vancouver in July. She was overjoyed to cross the finish line in what turned out to be a record temperature of 30 degrees. Heather Bretschneider finds inspiration from others and gets the greatest joy out of seeing others succeed. Our second award winner also loves trails, whether she’s competing or running for the joy of being outdoors doing what she loves. Her proudest accomplishments in 2014 were: • Running a 50K at Sun Mountain, Washington for her 50th Birthday which, as she says, “takes the cake.” • Qualifying for Boston with a huge P.B. of 23 minutes and a finishing time of 3:51 at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in October. We wonder if she’ll organize a trip to Boston in 2016? • Placing first in her age group at the Ladysmith Gutbuster and second in her age group at the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster in Duncan. It should be mentioned that this Harrier also excels at organizing trips with fellow runners to enjoy new and exciting trails in beautiful parts of the world. Lisa Cantwell’s motivation and skill at assembling motley crews of sweaty runners is unparalleled. Our third award winner is a loyal and passionate attendee at the club’s Tuesday Night Workouts. This is a key weekly training session for many club members, and his presence inspires and motivates everyone who manages to catch a glimpse of him. His proudest accomplishments in 2014 were: • Running the double TC10K and Half Marathon in April. His 10K time was 33:39, and his half marathon was done in 1:23:41, earning him 8th and 12th overall placings, in two events separated by mere minutes. • He set a new record of 16 summits in 12 hours at the Finlayson Mountain Madness in Goldstream Park in July. Despite 30 degree temperatures, he was able to reclaim the course record which he also held in 2012. He drank more than 15 liters of water and Gatorade throughout the day and suffered from terrible blisters on his feet for days following the race. • Finally, he had an overall victory at the Bear Mountain 10K in November.
Maurice Tarrant: This award recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership as someone who has accomplished something special in the previous year. This year’s Members’ Choice award winner has amassed a truly amazing record of achievements over the years, and refuses to slow down even as he enters his mid-80s. Tonight’s award was voted upon by his peers and it reflects the great admiration and respect the club has for him both as a person and as a phenomenal runner. Here are a few of the words sent in by members in nomination of him: As you know, on Sunday at Pioneer, he set yet another Canadian age-class record in the M85 category, and he already holds a number of age class records for younger ages. His is truly an amazing record of achievement and it’s most unlikely that anyone will ever match his running records. One could see the enthusiasm of the crowd at the awards ceremony, all standing and applauding enthusiastically, something we've seen for him many times before. These comments came from his daughter, Claire: I would like to nominate my Dad for the Members’ Choice Award. He has set many records over the years, and just set his first one of the new year at the Pioneer 8K, in his new age category, and it is another Canadian record! However, this has been the toughest year of Dad's life, as he has lost the 'love of his life' of over 65 years, his loving wife, and my beautiful Mum, Phyllis. It would have been easy for him to give up his running and lose his motivation, but luckily for me, and for all of us, he has continued with his passion, and pushes on with hard work and determination. Now I am able to try and keep up with him, as we both are running the Island Race Series together in honour of our brave and amazing angel, Mum! Bob Reid adds the following tribute: There has never been a finer gentleman and such a remarkable master athlete to grace the ranks of our club. He has completed over 150 Island Series races over the past 30 years and has finished FIRST in his age category and incredible 300 consecutive times in Relays, TC10Ks, GoodLife Fitness 8Ks and Half Marathons and many other events on and off the Island. He has set 70 National age class records in every distance from 400 metres on the track to a full marathon on the road. Many of these records still stand today and the only one capable of breaking them is himself. He has been a friend, a leader and an inspiration to all of us and there is no doubt that he is one of the finest master runners in Canada.
Claire Morgan: Next is the third presentation of a perpetual award which was initiated in 2012, the Island Race Series Runner of the Year. This award is presented to the Harrier who had strong showings at the 8-event Island Race Series, run between January and April each year. This award winner is female and topped all the women and the men in the overall 2014 Series Standings. Her average points for the series was 827, and she posted four female victories at: Hatley Castle 8K, Cedar 12K, Comox Valley Half Marathon and Merville 15K. This was by far her best year since she competed in her first Series race in 1999 – the Mill Bay 10K. Since then, she has competed in 62 Series races totaling over 500 kilometres and she has improved in every race over the past four years.
Roo Kersen: The Molly Reid Top Dog of the Year Award goes to the canine member who has shown dedication to his or her master and is the champion of the annual Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint held at Thetis Lake Park in October. In 2014, ten dogs came to the seventh annual event with seven starting and finishing the sprint while the other three dogs and 15 spectators watched in near-perfect, mild conditions. Roo Kersen joined Bebe Reid and Java Wear as a two-time champion by blitzing to a new course record of 3.93 seconds and carrying off the prestigious trophy with a first-ever sub-four-second racing time. Abby Nylen was the silver medalist in 4.57 seconds and Bebe Reid collected the bronze in 4.72 seconds. Professional Dog Trainer and "Is Your Dog Driving You Crazy?" van owner, Ben Kersen, arrived one hour early to run Roo and Joey through a series of time trials prior to the big race. His professional dog handling skills paid handsome dividends as Roo ran off with a new course record. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Joey Kersen finished dead last and collected the "Most Easily Distracted Dog" medal, almost 5 seconds behind 6th place finisher Scout Bakewell and a full 7 seconds behind the race champion.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in Club Leadership - Carlos Castillo: Next we will salute a club member for unparalleled service to the club. Our deserving individual is being recognized for Excellence in Club Leadership. The Prairie Inn Harriers are known for organizing excellent races and many of our members are key individuals because of their experience and drive to produce first-class events. Our recipient has been a member of the Prairie Inn Harriers for many years, and devotes a great deal of time to what he calls “over-distance” club activities. He assumed the Race Director’s role for the Harriers Elk/Beaver Ultras in 2007 and successfully managed the event for the past 8 years before handing over the role. In his time as Race Director, he has implemented many new features for the event such as the “First-Timer’s” marathon distance, live online timing and moving the start/finish area to the north end of the lake where parking, timing and aid station location is far better. He has done an excellent job with the Elk/Beaver Ultras and we will miss his dedication and enthusiasm at the race which celebrates its 28th anniversary in 2015.
Excellence in Coaching Award - Bruce Deacon: Our next individual is being acknowledged for service to the club for Excellence in Coaching. The Harriers have been fortunate with many high performance athletes who, having had successful competitive careers, have turned their attention to coaching. To name a few: Kelvin Broad, Paul O’Callaghan, Gary Barber, Richard Lee, Ron Bowker and Jon Brown. Tonight we are honouring another National top-level athlete for sharing his experience and knowledge in coaching to make many of our young local runners excel to their highest level. He initiated the PIH Youth Program in 2014 and attracted 24 boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18, including his two sons. Today, the Team has grown to 30 keen young runners and they are thriving under his leadership. He offers three group training sessions per week and the athletes are winning many races and establishing personal best times at all distances on the track, on the road and at cross country events. Two of these athletes are winning a major award tonight as a result of this excellent coaching and mentoring. Earlier this month, seven team members went to a high performance indoor track meet in Seattle and all but one ran P.B.’s. with one Youth Team member setting a Provincial Record for 800 metres. On the same day, seven other Youth Team members ran in Richmond at the Harry Jerome Indoor Meet and all of them finished in the top four in their races over 600 metres, 1,000 metres, 1, 200 metres and 1,500 metres. These young Harriers are the future of our club.
Excellence in Track and Short Distances - Chris Callendar: This Harrier has had to manage his time more diligently since the birth of his first child in 2014, so wisely he focused on a few select races over shorter distances. This paid off for him as he still managed to post some excellent performances. In May, he won the BMO Vancouver 8K outright in 28:43. He also set personal bests at 800 metres, 5K and 8K: • He won the 800 metre Victoria Run Series race with a new personal best time of 2:11. • At the Bazan Bay 5K he set a new P.B. of 17:00 (36th overall) • At the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K, he finished in 28:24 which was also a new P.B. (19th overall)
Excellence in Volunteering - Steve Mandy and Mike Emerson: Our next service award is going to two individuals who are being acknowledged for Excellence in Volunteering. Volunteers are the reason for that the eight Harriers-hosted events run smoothly – or actually, run at all – each year. Our first recipient has helped out substantially at several large Victoria races of all descriptions. His attention to detail and meticulous inventorying of signs and race equipment for events such as the Victoria Goddess Run, TC 10K and GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon was unparalleled. He made countless visits to the Harriers storage buildings to pick-up, return, re-stock, wash and dry signs and race equipment. He supplied his own trailer and vehicle for delivery and return of equipment for these larger events, sometimes making several trips back and forth to the storage facilities throughout the week leading up to the race and more trips following it. He cleaned, sorted and stocked items so they were easy to find and ready for use in subsequent events. This year, he also volunteered and was part of the team that marked the Gunner Shaw race course before the event. Our second winner tonight is always the first to show up willing to help. He played a major role in staging of the 2014 Pioneer 8K, Thetis Lake Relay, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain, Chemainus Twilight Shuffle and Zoot 10K races. He also helped with the TC10K, Goddess Run and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. He provided excellent service with equipment pick-up and delivery, course marking, set-up and take-down of the finish line equipment, and signage. He is dependable, reliable and carries out his duties efficiently and with a smile.
Harriers Citizen of the Year - Sara Pape-Salmon, Hayden Earle, Alan Cook, Dan Jacklin, Brent Chan: At a Tuesday Night Workout on February 3, 2015, five Harriers and a resident of the Quadra neighbourhood quickly mobilized to respond to a very serious medical emergency with a club member, Larry Nylen. These six people played a vital role that contributed toward saving Larry’s life. It is acknowledged that others also supported this heroic crew. In recognition of the brave and immediate response of these Harriers, we have arranged for a special award and the plaque reads, “Harriers Citizen of the Year, In appreciation for your efforts toward saving a Harrier’s life, February, 2015”. It is with honour and with extreme gratitude that we acknowledge six individuals with the Harriers Citizen of the Year Award, Sara Pape-Salmon, Hayden Earle, Alan Cook, Dan Jacklin, Brent Chan and Jeff Sampson (Resident and Medical Doctor).
Harriers Courage to Come Back Award - Louise Proulx: On December 14, 2013 one of our Stewart Mountain course marshals mountain biked to the summit to assume her position as one of five mountain bike marshals. Following the event, she cycled back down the mountain with riding partner, Chris Hamilton, and was heading for home when she hit an obstacle in the park and was thrown over the handlebars at high speed, landing on her head. Chris took her to the hospital and she was diagnosed with two fractured vertebrae in her neck. After a two-week stay in hospital, she was sent home with a rigid plastic neck brace that she was required to wear for four months. During that period she could only manage liquid meals with a straw as she couldn’t chew solid food. Sleeping and sitting were also very difficult. Countless trips were made to a physiotherapist and to a massage therapist for treatments and rehabilitation. Once the summer came, after 6 months in a neck cast, she started hiking again at Gowlland Tod and her club mates could hardly keep up with her. She began cycling in August, weight training in September and running again in October. On December 13, 2014, one year later, she once again mountain biked to the Stewart Mountain summit to take her position as a course marshal. After a careful ride down the mountain and home, her recovery was complete and she has resumed her active lifestyle. She is an inspiration to all of us by bouncing back after a very serious injury.
Harriers Fittest Couple Award - Andrew and Elaine Galbraith: This couple logs many hours and kilometers together on road and trail in their love of running and companionship. 2014 was a full year of running and racing, with both of them getting an early jump on the racing season starting with the Pioneer 8K in January. Impressively, both of them completed all 8 races of the Island Series, and both achieved significant P.B.s in a number of the races. SHE actually had her best year ever in the Series with not only several P.B.s but she also received her first-ever age group medal for a third place finish at Hatley Castle. Both our male and female Fittest Couple award winners also received top-10 overall results for the entire Series, placing ninth and seventh respectively in their age categories. In May, they participated in the Sun Mountain Trail Ultras near Winthrop, Washington. SHE ran the 50K event in just under 6 hours and had a strong finish. Although our male winner did not race, he spent 6 hours running the trails, taking photos, and providing moral support to the 18 Harriers who were racing the 50K and other distances. Four weeks later, they went on to more impressive finishes at the Kusam Klimb, a notoriously grueling 23K trail race in Sayward. Both of them P.B.’ed yet again; he taking 57 minutes and she taking 46 minutes off their previous times! In October, our male winner ran the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K and completed the race one minute faster than his time at Pioneer. With all this P.B.’ing going on, you might ask, how does this couple do it? Apparently our male winner firmly believes it is his dedicated ingestion of strong coffee and dark chocolate (training is not actually required). We know that “if he’d actually train though, he’d be dangerous” (to quote his female counterpart - who actually does train).
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Dan Harlow: A Lifetime Membership Award was presented to Dan Harlow at the 2014 Summer Club Barbecue at McKenzie Lake. The inscription on the plaque reads as follows: "In recognition of over 30 years of leadership and outstanding running accomplishments, particularly in team events, where the Harriers made their mark as one of the most successful running clubs in Canada."
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Garth Ball: A Lifetime Membership Award was presented to Garth Ball at the 2014 Summer Club Barbecue at McKenzie Lake. The inscription on the plaque reads as follows: "In recognition of longevity in competition, encompassing 37 years of high performance, outstanding running accomplishments for the club including being the top master athlete in British Columbia for over a decade."
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Gary Duncan: It gives me great pleasure to honour a long-time club member with a Lifetime Membership Award. Currently, sixteen Harriers have been inducted as Lifetime members including Gunner Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid, John McKay, Ken Bonner, Maurice Tarrant, Garfield Saunders, Marg Melvin, Susan Norrington, Brian Turner, Anita Carter, Wendy Davies, Dan Harlow, Merell Harlow and Garth Ball. Tonight’s inductee joined the club in 2002 and has been an active member for 14 years. Bob discovered him at a Hatley Castle race while he was running for a team called the “Slugs” and invited him to join the PIH bus full of Harriers at the final 2002 Island Series race, the Port Alberni Paper Chase. He finished third in the M45 division, proving that he was no Slug indeed, and he joined the Harriers to run over 100 more Series races and well over 500 races as a club member during the past 14 years. Throughout his running career he has performed as a gold medalist in many road races, cross country, relay and track events and has won numerous provincial and national championship medals. As a Harrier, he has won the following phenomenal list of awards: Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner, Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner, Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award, Susan Reid Most Consistent Runner, Harriers Excellence in Running and Club Leadership Award, Alex Marshall Master of the Year twice, Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement three times and the John Thipthorpe Durability Award a remarkable nine times. Tonight he is receiving his 20th major award since joining the club and it is my pleasure to induct a 17th member and reward him with a Harriers Lifetime Membership plaque. The inscription on his award reads: “In recognition of many years of leadership, service to the club, incredible durability and outstanding running accomplishments at the highest level, particularly at Vancouver Island events of all types and at all distances of races.”
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Merell Harlow: A Lifetime Membership Award was presented to Merell Harlow at the 2014 Summer Club Barbecue at McKenzie Lake. The inscription on the plaque reads as follows: "In recognition of leadership by serving as Club President in the early years and providing direction towards the development of one of the finest running clubs in British Columbia. Many other clubs model themselves after the success forged by the Harriers."
Harriers Photographs of the Year Award - Andrew Pape-Salmon, Joseph Camilleri and Lisa Cantwell: Running Scenery – Winner is Andrew Pape-Salmon, Runner-up is Brent Chan. Running Motion and Speed – Winner is Joseph Camilleri, Runner-up is Andrew Pape-Salmon. Running Community – Winner is Lisa Cantwell, Runner-up is Heather Bretschneider.
Most Consistent Participant at Tuesday Training Sessions - Garrett Therrien: Many Harriers show up consistently week after week at our Tuesday Night Workout sessions, and while they may or may not be concerned about racing and making the podium, they still take the training seriously, striving to improve their personal fitness and performance. Such inspiring dedication does not escape notice of the leaders and other Harriers and warrants recognition here tonight. Among the multitude of worthy candidates, we are pleased to select one who enthusiastically approaches each session that he can make, often squeezing it into an ever-changing school and work schedule and a supported by an efficient familial transport system. He is regular, consistent and works hard every Tuesday night at our workouts.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Best Bonking During Training Award - Chris Elliott: This award goes to the Harrier with the best bonk during training. Our winner has impressed us with his seemingly boundless energy: he is often seen running fast, bounding and bouncing off stumps or road signs, and generally appearing to have more energy than most other mere humans. At the Tuesday Night Workout, for instance, he can often be found holding his own at the front of the pack chasing down the leader…that is until the dreaded bonk, when he “hits the wall”, or should we say “hits the pavement”. At the end of an interval, when the legs get heavy, the body drained, and the mind spent, the cold hard pavement looks really good for a little lie-down to this Harrier. More than once, he has been found on his back, on the road – arms and legs splayed. Someone needs to replace this Harrier’s chia seeds and coconut oil with some good old fashioned carbohydrates. But wait, perhaps there is something to this runner’s “bonk training,” as he had several excellent results in 2014, and attained some running goals that he had set. He had a number of stellar 10K results, including the MEC 10K in 35:05, the TC10K in 34:42 and the Cobble Hill 10K in 36:12. He also completed several long grueling trail races including the Sun Mountain 50K, the Baker Lake 50K and the Squamish 23K.
Flying by the Seat of His Pants Award - John Catterall: Our award recipient is the Captain of “Flying by the Seat of his Pants”, which he does with precise navigation. He is known to spontaneously enter road races, or even ultras on the trails, with little time to train. It’s okay though, as he has a formula: he just has to run a couple laps around Elk/Beaver once, exactly two weeks before an upcoming race, and he’s ready for take-off. At the Sun Mountain 50K in Washington, he took off from the gate carrying half a litre of water and no food, but with his preparatory laps of Elk/Beaver under his belt. Coming in for a final landing with no fuel in the tank, our award winner (“quote”) “Nearly vibrated to death in muscle spasms until he was rescued by a friendly ski patroller”. The ski patroller gave our winner’s legs a rub down, and some food, fluids and electrolytes. Our Captain also needed to borrow a jacket from a fellow female racer to narrowly avoid going into shock. This race “took five years off” our winner’s life, in his estimation, but he was still able to taxi in across the finish line despite this trail side turbulence. Our winner also raced the TC10K, then without missing a beat, jumped in the Harrier Carrier shuttle and was off to UVic to race the TC Half Marathon about 20 minutes later. During a stop at the first porta-potty at the 2K mark, some volunteers asked after his wellbeing, thinking he may be in distress, due to his flushed face, haggard appearance and heavy sweating due to recently completing the 10K race. According to our Captain, though, 2014 was a year where he focused more on training, by pushing himself hard at the Tuesday Night Workouts. He hammered it out regularly on Tuesdays – that is, when he arrived at the correct location. At times the autopilot malfunctioned, and he’d arrive at the wrong coordinates. Despite some bumpy take-offs and landings, many successful Good Times were had in 2014 for our award winner. He had sub-40 minute 10K performances at Cobble Hill, Sooke River, Times Colonist and at the Granville Island Turkey Trot where he took first place overall with a time of 38:02. He also ran his fastest half-marathon in 12 years at the Comox Half, which he completed in 1:25:27.
Harriers "Purple Heart" Award - Gary Duncan: Our first comical award is the Harriers Purple Heart Award and it is being presented to a club member for the most serious injury sustained during combat. Most of you will know that Gary Duncan took a very nasty fall at the Vancouver Gunner Shaw cross country race at Jericho Park in December and broke his right arm. The day featured miserable, pounding rain and, after gathering the Harriers team together at the start line, Bob Reid warned that one short downhill section was extremely dangerous. In fact, in previous years, Bob had fallen at that same spot and so had other Harriers including Les McNeill, Garfield Saunders and Jack Miller. This year, the wet conditions made this particular area even worse. The gun went off and 200 runners headed out in the pouring rain over grass, sand, mud, goose poop, creek crossings, slippery wood chips, wet roots, puddles and all the other elements that make for character cross country racing. After all Harriers has crossed the line but one, Bob was informed that a team member was in the medical room with a serious injury. The ambulance had arrived and the paramedics were assessing Gary’s arm before taking him to Vancouver General Hospital for further treatment. Just before the ambulance pulled out, Bob asked Gary, “Where did it happen?” to which Gary responded, “Precisely where you told us NOT to fall down!” Being a true Purple Heart warrior, Gary was out at the next TNW on Oakcrest Drive where he walked the 500 metre loop a number of times with his arm in a sling and a metal plate near his shoulder. Bouncing back, he has already completed the first half of the 2015 Island Series races and he is coming back into form nicely. The injury during combat is behind him and a positive season is ahead of him where he can continue displaying his Purple Heart toughness.
Claire Morgan: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is the highest performance award and it is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. For our final award, we are indeed pleased to honour three very talented and determined athletes. Each of winners has earned 18 or more Runner of the Week citations and numerous other mentions. Our second female winner continued her ascendency in 2013 with numerous personal best times and placings. At her 6 Island Series races she won 4 age-group gold medals and 2 silvers, she set P.B.'s at 5 races ranging from 2 seconds a kilometre at Pioneer to 13 seconds a kilometre at Comox, recorded her best-ever points at Bazan Bay with 857, where she clocked 17:23, and finished as second female overall at Cedar and third at Hatley Castle. Her Series average score improved to 825 points and she finished as second female overall, closely behind Series champion Jen Millar. More Spring road races included age group wins at the St. Patrick's Day 5K BC Champs and the TC10K, and a second place at the Sun Run with a new PB of 36:11. She also claimed an age group gold medal in the Timex BC Series. A variety of Summer races included a BC age group record in the 5,000 metres on the track, a pair of Gutbuster wins, a second place finish at the Squamish 23K, a first overall while beating a steam train in Port Alberni, and a twisting tour through the Toronto Zoo as a member of the gold medal winning women's Team BC at the National 10K Road Race Championships. Fall was challenge season with 8 consecutive female wins at races big and small, including the tough Bear Mountain, Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain races, and a best-ever female placement of second overall at the 38th, and likely the final, Shawnigan/Kinsol Half Marathon. All told, in 2013, this durable Harrier ran over 30 races including a community race and three track events in one day. Big mileage workouts, often run solo, have led to big performances for this dedicated runner.
Geoff Martinson: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is our highest performance award and it is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. For this award, we are indeed pleased to honour three very talented and determined athletes, one of which is receiving his first Harriers award in his first year with the club. Each of winners has earned 18 or more Runner of the Week citations and numerous other mentions. Our male Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner Award winner started 2013 with a spectacular road race season where he extended his perfect Island Series record with 5 more overall race victories including a new course record at the Cobble Hill 10K that lowered the old mark by 25 seconds. His 900 points best at the Harriers Pioneer 8K, his exciting squeaker of a two one-hundredths of a second victory at the Bazan Bay 5K over Ryan Brockerville, and selfless pacing effort at the Comox Valley Half Marathon enabled second place finisher and team mate, Jim Finlayson, to run a Canadian masters’ best time of 1:07:10 were just a few of his Island Race Series highlights earning him the 2013 Series title and a complimentary entry into the 2014 Series. Adding his 2014 Pioneer victory and his 2012 Bazan Bay victory, our most valuable runner is undefeated in 7 consecutive Island Series races. Another overall victory came at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K BC Championships in Vancouver which rewarded him with the Timex BC Series male crown with three fellow club members right behind including Jim Finlayson, 2nd, David Jackson, 3rd and Kris Swanson, 4th. He was the top Canadian and fourth overall behind three Kenyans at the both the Times Colonist 10K and the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. He posted the best time at the inaugural Harriers Bob Reid Magical Mile clocking 4:14 and winning the first prize of $1,000 and a framed print of Roger Bannister and John Landy finishing the historic Miracle Mile at the British Empire Games in 1954 at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium. Returning to his roots, he won the Labour Day 8.5 Mile Classic in Prince George, by over 7 minutes, then returned to Victoria one week later and was first to cross the finish line in 30:08 at the inaugural Zoot 10K in Oak Bay. He capped off his road running year with a second place finish to Kelly Wiebe at the Victoria Half Marathon shaving almost 2 minutes of his P.B. to record a new best time of 65 minutes and 18 seconds. Just as strong at Cross Country, he finished second overall at the BC Championships, and was 13th at Nationals where he helped Team BC to silver and led Team PIH to a fourth place finish in the highly competitive clubs division. Truly he is one of the speediest runners to grace our club since moving to Victoria from Prince George and it is a treat to watch him perform in many local events.
Natasha Wodak: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy the highest performance award and it is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. For our final award, we are indeed pleased to honour three very talented and determined athletes. Each of the winners has earned 18 or more Runner of the Week citations and numerous other mentions. Our first female winner had a truly blazing 2013 and was rewarded again by being named as BC Athletics Senior Female Road Runner of the Year. It started by snapping a 28-year-old course record, set by Olympian Debbie Scott in 1986, and establishing a Canadian Best 8K time of 25:28, with a sixth place overall finish at the Pioneer 8K. Her pace was 3:11 per kilometre, and moreover her points score of 955 is the best ever by any male or female athlete in the 32-year history of the Island Race Series. Pioneer was definitely the start of a spectacular year of achievements to unfold. She repeated as Sun Run champion knocking over 90 seconds off her 2012 time while setting a big 10K P.B. of 32:42, and she also retained her championship crown at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. She won the Canadian 10,000 Metre Championship in Moncton, New Brunswick, and 3 days later ran a sub-1:15 at the Vancouver Half Marathon. She won the Summerfast 10K, was 4th Canadian at the Toronto Zoo National 10K Road Race Championships, and had an outstanding 2:35 marathon debut at Toronto Waterfront which attracted Canada’s most competitive international field. At the Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, an amazing final kick in slick, muddy conditions put her clear for the National title over Rachel Cliff. Coupled with her international successes mentioned earlier, 2013 was a banner performance year for this talented athlete.
Binder Kelsall: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will again carry on with that tradition. Because we have an abundance of excellent master runners, we have selected two men and two women to receive this award for 2013 and all four winners competed in different age categories. Our second female Master of the Year competes in the F45 division and, at the Island Race Series, she completely destroyed her opponents. She won her age category by almost 100 points over Annette De Boer, 730 to 634 points, based on an average of their five best races and she finished first of 20 women in the category. In fact, she was so impressive in the combined 45 to 49 division, that only one male, Vince Brotherston of Comox Valley Road Runners, finished ahead of her. She ran 6 Series races and claimed gold medals at Cedar, Hatley Castle and Merville, collecting silver medals at Cobble Hill and Bazan Bay and took a bronze medal at Pioneer behind top-level masters Lucy Smith and Meghan Strothers. The highlight of her year was finishing Bazan Bay in 19:36 to place second of 43 in her age group. Her Bazan Bay points total of 730 was the highest-ever of 19 Series races completed to date.
Camie Bentham: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will again carry on with that tradition. Because we have an abundance of excellent master runners, we have selected two men and two women to receive this award for 2013 and all four winners competed in different age categories. Our first female winner turned 40 in March last year and burst upon the master’s scene with a victory at the Magical Mile one month later. At the Times Colonist 10K in April, British Columbia’s second largest race to the Sun Run, she finished 5th of 562 women in the F40 division in 42:09. This placed her with a very respectable 280th overall position of a massive 9,506 finishers. In November she won a gold medal at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic finishing 62nd of 261 finishers and first of 20 participants in the F40 division.
Garth Campbell: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will again carry on with that tradition. Because we have an abundance of excellent master runners, we have selected two men and two women to receive this award for 2013 and all four winners competed in different age categories. Our second male winner competes in the M50 age category and he had an equally impressive road running and cross country year. At the Frontrunners Island Race Series he won gold medals at Pioneer and Cedar and collected silver medals at Cobble Hill, Bazan Bay and Merville. He finished the Series with an average of 743 points to win the M50 division over Dan Smith, who was second, and Roger Plamondon, who placed third. At the Thetis Lake Triple Series, our Master of the Year dominated his category with victories at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic, the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge and the Thetis Lake 20K Relay with his team named the “Eight Balls of Fire”. A few other race highlights included finishing second in the Magical Mile in the spring and finishing third in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in the fall.
Jim Finlayson: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will again carry on with that tradition. Because we have an abundance of excellent master runners, we have selected two men and two women to receive this award for 2013 and all four winners competed in different age categories. Our first male Master of the Year was ranked as “Top Master in Canada” by Athletics Canada in their December year-end News Bulletin. He was acknowledged for being the top-ranked master in the country for 5K, 8K 10K and half marathon. A few of his highlights were winning three BC Championship events including the Vancouver First Half Marathon, the Sun Run and the 10,000 Metre Championships in Victoria where, he not only was the top master, he finished first overall in the track event. He recorded other master victories at Pioneer, Bazan Bay, TC10K, Summerfast 10K, Comox Valley Half Marathon, Oak Bay Half Marathon and GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon. He capped his brilliant racing season with an inspired victory at the Canadian Cross Country Championships at Jericho Park in Vancouver against some of the very best master runners in the country.
Franck Germain: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Our male winner of the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner Award feels that the weekly club runs gave him a strong base to achieve a significant improvement in fitness which translated to some race excellent results. He really enjoys the Tuesday Night Workouts, especially those with hills, and he loves the energy, the people and the dogs of the Saturday morning runs at Thetis Lake. With his foundation of weekly runs, he set bigger running goals for himself and participated in several road and trail events, including the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster, Kusam Klimb, Stewart Mountain Challenge and Conquerors of the Useless - Pointless Big Day held on New Year’s Eve. He shaved one minute and 34 seconds off his Stewart Mountain time between 2012 and 2013. At the Island Race Series, he participated in 6 events and improved his time by well over a minute in all 6 races with his best effort being an improvement of 3 minutes and 40 seconds at the Cedar 12 K. He recently started running with the faster group at the Saturday morning Thetis Lake runs which is a testament to his vast improvement in 2013.
Lisa Cantwell: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Our female winner's dedication to running for many years set the stage for improved performances in 2013, including the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler with a P.B. of nearly 7 minutes and the Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon where she shaved more than 3 minutes off her previous year’s race time. Her passion for trail running shined through, with participation in all of the three PIH wilderness runs and spearheading many social runs such adventures in Olympic National Park and in Strathcona Provincial Park. With so much trail time she completed the tough 23K Kusam Klimb Mountain run with an incredible 1 hour and 34 minute improvement over her 2012 race. She had several other successful trail races such as the Squamish 23K where she broke 3 hours and finished second in her category and the Mount Frosty 27K race in Manning Park. Her most memorable times in 2013 are the many social runs, spending her happiest days running through the mountains with people who love what she loves. This dedication provided a foundation of fitness for many personal best races and huge improvements in her race times.
Susan Norrington: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person who has contributed much more than running to our club. It is a pleasure to recognize a very important member who, not only gives her time to the Harriers, but also gives her time unselfishly to the Greater Victoria running community by assisting with other significant Victoria events. She frequently plays a key role with race registration, awards presentations, finish line management, financial management and volunteer briefing and coordination sometimes managing a team of over 100 volunteers for a single event. She helps with any job it takes to make a race successful including all of our eight annual Harriers events. She is on the organizing committee and the Board of Directors for the Victoria Marathon Society, the Prairie Inn Harriers Association and spent 10 years on the Board with the Victoria International Running Society which manages the Times Colonist 10K and the Victoria International Track Classic. She is invaluable at Harriers races such as Pioneer, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay, Stewart Mountain and the Magical Mile. She provides leadership, friendship and a strong sense of togetherness and her pride and attention to detail makes our club one of the finest athletic organizations in the province. We are a role model to other clubs when organizing and hosting races. PIH has had 19 different presidents over the 37 years since the club was formed in 1978. Some members served for two terms, some have served for three terms and one other president served for five terms. Tonight’s Dedicated Performance Award winner has just accepted her fourteenth consecutive presidency with the Harriers. She has been our leader and has experienced a period of growth from 200 members in 2001, which was her first term as president, to over 800 members in 2014, all during her 14 years in office. She consistently provides valuable input to club policy and organizational decisions and hosts regular executive meetings such as our December gathering where we discuss and determine all 40 award winners that are being honoured tonight.
John Woodall: Our next perpetual award honours the top male and female, 60 years and older, and is named after two legendary veteran club runners, Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood. Our top male veteran athlete is 81 years old and our top female veteran athlete is 63 years old. In the Frontrunners Island Race Series our male veteran was the gold medal winner in all of his races where he completely dominated his category. He won his age group at the Harriers Pioneer 8K, Bazan Bay 5K, Hatley Castle 8K and Sooke River 10K. He also was the M80 silver medalist at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon and was the gold medalist in the McNeill Bay Half Marathon.
Martha McNeely: Our next perpetual award honours the top male and female, 60 years and older, and is named after two legendary veteran club runners, Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood. Our top female veteran athlete ran track events as well as road races of various distances throughout the year. At Meet #3 of The Q's Victoria Run Race Series she ran four events in the one evening, varying in distances from 400 metres to 5,000 metres. In all four races she achieved a first place finish in the F60 age division. On the road she placed first in her age division of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K as well as in the Zoot 10K in Oak Bay. She placed third in the Spinnakers 5K Race and helped her PIH Drafters team to a gold medal performance. At the Victoria Scottish Games at Topaz Park, she ran the Kilted Mile and was the third woman overall and won her age category. Both of these male and female veterans are a true inspiration to the rest of us younger runners that we can keep competing and keep improving with age. The secret is to continue with an active and physical lifestyle and you will reap the rewards.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours. This year’s winner ran all distances, on all surfaces and in all disciplines ranging from 400 metres on the track to a day of back-to-back races that totaled over 50 kilometres. Our Durability Award winner is a consistent, high-performing running machine, who never takes a break and can’t resist the call of a starting gun or the promise of free food waiting at the finish line. He is a committed leader at club runs, a loyal training partner, and an avid contributor to club activities, formalities, social events and races. In 2013 he competed in 60 events totaling over 555 kilometres. Yes, you heard right, he ran sixty races in one year that has only 52 weekends. In order to attain such a huge volume he frequently ran 4 track races on the same evening, 3 races on New Year’s Eve and 2 more on New Year’s Day and 2 grueling Victoria races on the same day in October which you will hear about later as his 2013 highlight . He consistently won his age category including 6 gold medals at the Island Race Series, 4 golds at the Gutbuster Series, 11 golds at the Victoria Track Series and 4 more gold medals at BC Championship events including the St. Patrick’s Day 5K, Sun Run 10K, Provincial Cross Country Championships and National Cross Country Championships. His highlight of the year had to be running the GoodLife Fitness 8K Road Race, winning a gold medal in 29:36, only 7 seconds off his all-time 8K personal best set 5 years ago, then 30 minutes later he started and finished the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in 3:15:19 to collect a bronze medal in yet another BC Championship event. If you are doing the math, on October 12th he raced 50.2 kilometres in 2 races, one hour apart, on the same day, with a combined time of 3 hours, 44 minutes and he collected 2 medals. His biggest disappointment came on November 30 where the Canadian Cross Country Championships were scheduled in Vancouver at Jericho Park and the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic in Victoria at Thetis Lake Park was scheduled on the same day. He chose the National Championships and won his first-ever gold medal in the M55 division. With the Nationals starting at 10:00 am and Gunner Shaw starting at 1:00 pm, he seriously considered racing to the airport, flying back to Victoria, so he could do the cross country “double” but decided against it to cheer on his team mates running later races in Vancouver. The John Thipthorpe Durability Award for 2013 is presented to Gary Duncan and he is winning this award for the 8th time in the past 10 years since he first won it in 2004. He is our running machine!
Michael Barber: Our 2013 Junior of the Year, at 12 years old, is the youngest runner to receive this award since it was first presented to Chad DePol in 1990. Chad is now a 42-year-old master runner with the club. Our top junior burst on the scene with a victory in the Magical Mile in April by recording a 5:55 time and winning the Pre-Teens Division by 1 minute, 17 seconds. At the Victoria Run Series, Meet #1 on May 11, he ran a personal best of 2:27 in an 800 metre race to finish second overall and 2 weeks later at Meet #2, he lowered his P.B. by one second to 2:26 and finished 4th of 14 runners in the Open Men’s Division. On May 26, 12 hours later, he placed 6th overall of 193 finishers in the Oak Bay KOOL 5K, recording another P.B. of 20:10. At the Thetis Lake Relay he teamed up with his Dad, Gary, to win the Family Division of 15 teams in that category. His team called “A Little off the Top” finished a respectable 14th of the 92 teams in the Relay. Finally, he toed the line for his first-ever Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic in November. He went out with a vengeance leading the field of 261 finishers up the first big hill before relinquishing the lead to eventual race champion, Shane Ruljancich, by the time they reached the dog beach near the 1K mark. Our junior went on to finish in 47:07 despite the fact that he took a fairly serious tumble midway through the race and arrived at the finish line covered in mud and drawing some blood. He ended up with a silver medal in the Under-19 Division, 64th overall, but finished with a proud smile on his face after conquering his longest race. Currently, while training 35 miles per week, he has sliced 10 seconds off his 800 metre time and is shooting for a 16:20 performance at the Bazan Bay 5K next weekend.
Cathy Noel: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to a member that represents the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. She may not be an age group winner, but she is usually there competing, helping and supporting the Harriers in many events. Our award winner is a prolific runner, who races across a variety of distances and locations. She is always looking for interesting races near home, but ventures beyond our borders as well. In 2013 she started the year by running five races of the Island Race Series. She then went on to run the Calgary 10K, the Coho 14K, the Vancouver Half-Marathon, and the Seawheeze Half Marathon. She made her way to Sin City to race the Las Vegas Marathon. She followed-up the Las Vegas Marathon with some self-transcendence at the Sri Chimnoy Triathlon. The year before last she completed Ironman Canada in Penticton. She has run 41 Island Series races since joining the club in 2004 and her best effort was at Sooke River last year where she achieved 623 points. In 2012 she finished 7th in the Island Series in the F45 age category with an average of 580 points and in 2013 she improved to 4th place with 604 points. Besides her consistency in running races, she is the absolute hub of the running community on Vancouver Island as she is the President and General Manager for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, the Times Colonist 10K, the Frontrunners Island Race Series and the Goddess Run plus she played a key role in the inaugural Tour de Victoria.
Craig Odermatt: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first or second year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year. The Bright Shining Light award for 2013 is being presented to two individuals who are certainly no strangers to high performance racing. Both have transferred to the Harriers from other clubs for different reasons. Our male winner was with Pacific Athletics, but in turning 40 last year, he wanted to join a strong master’s club like ours so that he could team up with athletes like of Jim Finlayson, Bruce Deacon, Ian Hallam and others leading to strong team performances at provincial and national cross country championships. On the roads he placed third overall and was the second master at the Comox Half Marathon, he was second master at Bazan Bay and first master at the Longest Day 5K at U.B.C. He ended the year with an overall victory at the Run Through Time on New Year’s Eve. On the track he won the 5,000 metre race in June as part of the Q’s Victoria Run Series and his 32:20 took third place behind Jim Finlayson and Bruce Deacon at the 10,000 Canadian Championships at Centennial Stadium in August. He was the overall winner in the Master’s Division of the BC Cross Country Championship in Abbotsford and won a bronze medal at the Canadian Cross Country Championship in Vancouver. The Harriers team of him, Jim and Bruce took the gold medal in the national club division. BC Athletics selected him as 2013 Master Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
Erin Burrett: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first or second year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year. The Bright Shining Light award for 2013 is being presented to two individuals who are certainly no strangers to high performance racing. Both have transferred to the Harriers from other clubs for different reasons. Our female Bright Shining Light joined the Harriers because her Bastion Running Club in Nanaimo is not affiliated with BC Athletics and she wanted to be considered for Team BC selection in national championships and for Team Canada selection in international and world championships. With the Harriers in 2013 she achieved both of these goals and received travel funds and financial support from both BC Athletics and Athletics Canada. She ran 15 races varying in distance from 5K to Half Marathon. She traveled to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and San Jose, California for races, plus a second altitude training stint in Flagstaff, Arizona. She focused on the Timex BC Series in an attempt to be invited to Toronto for the Canadian 10K Road Running Championship in September. A few of her Timex highlights were finishing second at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Vancouver, a BC Championship event in March, and third at the Summerfast 10K in July, also in Vancouver. Her top five races secured a second place overall finish in the Timex Series in a very close fight with Sabrina Wilkie. She was the top female from British Columbia at the Oasis Zoo 10K National Championship race in Toronto and anchored Team BC to gold medals in both the Senior Women’s and Senior Mixed Divisions. Her half marathon personal best performance of 1:17:03 at San Jose was an improvement of 3 minutes and Athletics Canada named her as part of Team Canada to compete in the North American, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championship in Mount Irvine, Tobago held just last Saturday where Team Canada finished with a silver medal just a mere 9 points behind Team U.S.A.
Andrew Pape: Our two recipients of the Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year Award had outstanding 2013 performances. Our second recipient had solid results at each of his races in 2013. In April he raced the Fletcher's Challenge in Nanaimo, crossing the line as the second master. He went on to win his age category at the Western Speedway Gutbuster long course and was the second master at the Ladysmith Gutbuster long course. He also challenged the grueling Kusam Klimb, winning his age category. He then went on to a second overall, winning his age category at the Mount Frosty 27K race, and claimed gold again in his category at the Gunner Shaw. Finally, he crossed the line first overall at the Perseverance 10K Trail Race in Cumberland.
Shane Ruljancich: Our two recipients of the Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year Award had outstanding 2013 performances. Our first recipient was 5th at the Iron Knee 25K on the North Shore, finishing in 1:45:30. He also had great results in the Gutbuster races finishing second overall in both the Mount Tzouhalem and Ladysmith Gutbuster long courses. He is definitely “tough enough” proving his metal by finishing fourth overall in a very competitive field at the rugged 23 kilometre Kusam Klimb at Sayward. He then went on to be the senior men’s champion at the Harriers Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic finishing in 35:30 and he placed fourth at the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge.
Shannon Coutts: Our female Cyclist of the Year moved away from long distance road rides last year by returning to mountain biking and she did very well in the 2013 Island Cup Race Series. Last year she competed in the Beginners Category and won that division handily. This year she was upgraded to the Intermediate Category and her next step is the Expert Category. She reached the podium in all five Island Cup events. On March 17 at Hartland in Victoria she placed third, on April 7 at Maple Mountain in Duncan she was first, on April 14 in Cumberland she was second and on April 21 in Cobble Hill she was first with her best race of the season. On June 9 she was second female at Campbell River Mountain to capture the Intermediate Title of the 2013 Island Cup Race Series. Finally, on June 16, she concluded her season by finishing third in the women's field at a 12-Hour Endurance mountain bike race in Cumberland where she covered 126 kilometres by completing 21 six-kilometre laps in a race which started at 8:00 am and finished at 8:00 pm. Her goal race was XTerra Victoria at Durrance Lake on July 14 where won her age category and qualified for the World XTerra Championships in Maui in October.
Steve Bachop: Our male Cyclist of the Year excelled in both road races and cyclocross races. At the age of 49, he finished third overall of 52 riders in the Elite Category of the Victoria Cycling League Series where he participated in 10 races and achieved a podium finish 6 times in the Series staged between March and September. In the extremely popular and competitive Bastion Square Criterium in June, he crashed on lap 25 of the 60 lap race but fought his way back to finish 21st of 55 riders in the Pro/Elite race. In May, at the BC Cycling League, he was first overall to take the gold medal at Mill Bay and in the July, at the BC Time Trial Championships in Comox, he placed second in the Master’s Category. When the fall came, he turned his attention to trail racing where he was the overall Master’s winner of the Cross the Rocks Cyclocross Series held at several locations between September and December often experiencing slippery and muddy racing conditions. He reached the podium 5 times with 3 first place finishes, 1 second and 1 third. There were 107 riders in the Master’s Category which was the largest turnout in the history of the Series. In the BC Cyclocross Champions held in November in Nanaimo, he was fourth master and in December at the Canadian Championships in Vancouver, he placed 11th with this comment, “No excuses for me today, I just ran out of gas at this time of the season!” In total, tonight’s male winner competed in 20 cycling events in 2013, winning 6 of them outright and finishing on the podium 13 times. He is a regular fixture by volunteering as the Lead Cyclist for the GoodLife Fitness Marathon and the Harriers Pioneer 8K and is very much appreciated by the race champions of these two popular local events both celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2014 and both initiated by the Prairie Inn Harriers in 1980.
Gary Duncan: This year 47 Harriers cast their votes for our Members’ Choice High Achievement Award. The recipient is nominated and chosen by the membership and the final count was very close, so we are presenting this award to two very deserving recipients – a female and a male Harrier. Our male recipient is an amazing runner and contributor to the Prairie Inn Harriers. He participates in a huge volume of races annually and finishes at a very high achievement level in his age category, frequently in first place, including some overall race victories at the age of 57. He attends all club functions whether they are meetings, club runs, race committee meetings, social gatherings, TNWs, Saturday Thetis runs, club executive meetings, etc. He provides leadership by heading up and briefing TNW runners on sessions and schedules including writing Work-out Reports and producing maps and instructions on all Tuesday training sessions for posting on the website. He is a leader of club teams by encouraging PIH participation and driving runners to and from events both on Vancouver Island and on the Lower Mainland. He leads by example when racing and training and, by doing this, he brings along other club runners to be the best they can be in achieving top-level results in their particular age category, both men and women. At club meetings he regularly reports on race results and upcoming fixtures. He takes an active interest in our new Harriers website by uploading race results, pictures and reports, and assists in maintaining the site by fixing problems as they occur. He always finds time to support the club in a multitude of ways! Outside of club activities, he meticulously measures and certifies numerous race courses throughout the year, attends organizing committee meetings for many major events in Greater Victoria such as the TC10K and GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon to provide race logistics and course improvement/certification information.
Kathleen Birney: This year 47 Harriers cast their votes for our Members’ Choice High Achievement Award. The recipient is nominated and chosen by the membership and the final count was very close, so we are presenting this award to two very deserving recipients – a female and a male Harrier. Our female recipient has been a member of the Prairie Inn Harriers for several years and from the beginning, she has enthusiastically given much of her time to participating in races, TNW and Saturday morning trail runs, as well as being one of the first to step up when a group wants to hit the trails or roads. Tonight she was one of the recipients of the 2013 Excellence in Club Leadership award and her devotion to running and volunteering for the club were outlined at that time. Along with her extensive participation in all club activities, she is an active member on the Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association and is dedicated to bringing the 700 kilometre north-to-south Vancouver Island Spine Trail to fruition. Recently, she was elected to the Board of Directors of Royal Roads University. She is also just one heck of a person; always game for anything and a pleasure to be around.
Julie Van Veelen: Next is the second presentation of another new perpetual award which was initiated last year, the Island Race Series Runner of the Year. Our female winner ran 7 Series races, collected 4 medals, and had her best performance of 782 points at Bazan Bay. She was the second female Harrier to finish at Cedar, Hatley Castle, Bazan Bay, Comox Valley and Sooke River and was the third female Harrier at Cobble Hill. She earned the second most female age-category points for our club with 122 following closely behind team mate, Wendy Davies. For the Series she finished as fourth female overall; she was the second Harrier and second in her age-group with a career-best average score of 769 points. She set new P.B.'s at 4 races ranging from 7 seconds per kilometre at Pioneer and Bazan Bay to 15 seconds per kilometre at Merville. Outside the Series she set a new marathon best time of 3 hours, 12 minutes with a well paced run at Victoria; she collected a silver medal at the BC Cross Country Championships and a bronze medal at the James Cunningham Seawall Race in Vancouver the following day, all amongst her nursing studies and heavy triathlon training.
Logan Roots: Next is the second presentation of another new perpetual award which was initiated last year, the Island Race Series Runner of the Year. Our male winner ran all 8 Island Series races, won his age group in 7 of the 8 races, and had his best-ever points ranking of 836 at Bazan Bay. He finished with a career-high of third overall twice and also pocketed two fourths. He was the top male Harrier at Cedar, Merville and Sooke River and he was in the top 3 at Cobble Hill, Hatley Castle and at the Comox Half. He earned the most age-group points for our club with 154. For the Series he finished as fourth male and improved his average score by 33 points from 780 in 2011 to 813 in 2013. He set P.B.'s at each race, ranging from 4 seconds per kilometre improvement at Sooke River to 20 seconds per kilometre at Pioneer. He had equally impressive results outside the Series with bronze medal performances in his highly competitive age M20 group at both St. Patrick’s Day 5K BC Championships, going sub-16, and at the at Victoria Half Marathon, going under 1:13 for the first time. In Cross Country he powered his way to help the Harriers Senior Men's team to a silver medal in the Provincial Championships and to a fourth place finish in the National Championships.
Java Wear: This year sees the second presentation of a new perpetual award initiated last year, the Molly Reid Top Dog of the Year Award. As we have 34 canine members, we felt that it was time to honour our four-legged friends. This award goes to the canine member who has shown dedication to his or her master and is the champion of the annual Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint held at Thetis Lake Park in October. In 2013 fifteen dogs came to the event with eleven starting and finishing the sprint while the other four dogs and 25 spectators watched in the foggy, but dry, conditions. When the time trial race ended it appeared that Bebe Reid had won her third championship in six years with a sparkling time of 5.08 seconds over Leena Arensen who finished second in 5.44 seconds. As the equipment and timers were cleaning up, a late arrival strolled onto the beach and the Race Director asked the dog’s master if she wanted to enter her canine in the race. Her master adamantly replied, “NO”. After a lengthy discussion and constant badgering by the Race Director, the master reluctantly agreed. The result was that her tardy dog sprinted to a 5.05 performance which was three hundredths of a second faster than Bebe’s time and she raced off with the 2013 championship Top Dog title.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in Club Leadership - Kathleen Birney and Lisa Cantwell: Our first two very deserving individuals are being recognized for Excellence in Club Leadership. The Prairie Inn Harriers are known for organizing excellent racing events and many of our members are key individuals because of their experience and drive to produce first-class events. Our first recipient, Kathleen Birney, has been a member of the Prairie Inn Harriers for several years, and devotes a great deal of time to club activities. She is a dedicated TNW workout participant, and one of the candy suppliers, and regularly participates in the Saturday morning trail runs at Thetis Lake. She devotes a substantial amount of time to the Pioneer 8K, as one of the co-race directors, and has just wrapped up her third year at the helm. She is also quick to volunteer to help whenever it is needed, whether as a driver for the summer wilderness runs, or as a course marshal or at the registration table for the PIH races. Our other recipient, Lisa Cantwell, of the Excellence in Club Leadership goes to a passionate and committed trail runner, who shares her enthusiasm generously with the club. She adds to the richness of trail running experiences by facilitating groups to run in stunning locations beyond our region. She has helped organize trips to amazing trail running destinations including Sol Duc Falls to the Hoh Valley in Olympic National Park and to the Elk River Valley into Landslide Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. She also helps with the TNW post workout re-fuelling through the year.
Excellence in Half Marathons - David Jackson: This year, for the first time, we are presenting a special award to recognize a club member who has excelled in half marathons. This Harrier is in the M35 age division and has been running competitively for over ten years, first in Victoria and more recently in Abbotsford. He is presently teaching at the Mennonite Education School in Abbotsford where he also coaches the track and field program. In 2013 he completed seven half marathons, placing well in every one of them. In four events he was overall race champion. He achieved victories in the North Face Whistler Half, the Surrey International Half, the Abbotsford Run for Water Half and the New Balance Fall Half in Vancouver. In the other three races he placed well up in the field with a fourth place finish in the Vancouver First Half, a fifth place of 4,657 finishers in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half and he placed sixth of 8,564 finishers in the BMO Vancouver Half, in which he was the second Canadian finisher. His fastest two times were 1:08:28 at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in May and 1:08:22 at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in October.
Excellence in International Competition - Natasha Wodak: One club member represented Canada abroad at numerous international events around the world in 2013 in outstanding fashion. She consistently placed high, setting personal, national, and team records and is the highest-achieving runner in our club’s 37-year history. Her list of impressive results includes: • Handily winning the Senior Women's North American, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championship in Mandeville, Jamaica in January. • Finishing in 24th position at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydogoszcz, Poland in March, leading the Canadian women’s team to an 8th place finish in the team standings. • Running 33:03 to place 18th at the Payton Jordan Invitational Track Meet in Stanford, California in April. • In June, finishing as the top Canadian and 18th overall in the women's-only Oakley New York Mini 10K, one of the most prestigious runs for women in North America. • In September, representing Canada at the 2013 Francophone Games in Nice, France in the 10,000 metre event, where she finished in 4th place in 33:30, 10 seconds under the Women's 10,000 Metre Record, and only 11 seconds out of a podium position. • In October, finishing 8th overall at the Rock 'N Roll San Jose Half Marathon with a time of 1:14:39. • Also in October, she ran her debut long distance race at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and broke the tape in 2:35:16 to finish as 10th women and 35th overall of 3,599 finishers.
Excellence in Volunteering - Mike Emerson: Our second service award is going to an individual that is being acknowledged for Excellence in Volunteering for the fifth consecutive year. Soon we will be naming the award after him! Volunteers are the reason for success at the eight Harriers-hosted events and our winner tonight is always the first one to show up willing to help. He played a major role in staging of the Magical Mile, Thetis Relay, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain, Twilight Shuffle and Zoot 10K races last year. He also helped with the TC10K, Goddess Run and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Frequently he provided excellent service with equipment pick-up and delivery, course marking, set-up and take-down of the finish line equipment and signage. He is dependable, reliable and carries out his duties efficiently with never a complaint. We also have a small gift for Mike’s wife, Sharon, who plays a vital role by helping Mike with equipment and signage for the Victoria Marathon.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Andrew and Sara Pape: This couple is among a core group of our most active and dedicated members. They are involved in many aspects of the club, organizing and participating as well and keeping a fitness level that would exhaust most normal people. They are dynamos participating in many activities together. In April 2013, the male raced the Fletcher's Challenge and was the second master. Our female also had a strong result in the same race, placing fifth out of 48 women in her category. Our male then went on to win his age category at the Western Speedway Gutbuster and took second place at Ladysmith Gutbuster, both long courses. His female counterpart raced the Mount Tzouhalem Gutbuster, claiming gold in her category for the short course, and she was the first female Harrier in the Ladysmith Gutbuster short course. He was second overall in the Mount Frosty 27K Race at Manning Park, winning his age category; she was the first female in the Lightening Lakes 13K Race at Mount Frosty. They both won their categories at the Old Kaloha Sugar Mill 10K Race on Kauai in November and he was second overall. Our male winner claimed gold in his category at the Gunner Shaw Classic and at the infamously, challenging Kusam Klimb. He was first overall at the Perseverance Trail Race in Cumberland. And if that isn’t enough, outside of running, he also has fun in the mountains by challenging himself by summiting the highest point in Washington State, the 14,410 foot peak of Mount Rainier, and then doing seven peaks in seven days at the 2013 Alpine Club of Canada Mountaineering camp. Our female winner relishes her long runs on the trails and she organizes the wilderness trail runs for the club and has been an enthusiastic group leader over the last several years.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Wendy Davies: In completing the Non-Perpetual Awards it gives me great pleasure to honour a long-time club member with a Lifetime Membership Award. Currently, twelve Harriers have been inducted as Lifetime members including Gunner Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid, John McKay, Ken Bonner, Maurice Tarrant, Garfield Saunders, Marg Melvin, Susan Norrington, Brian Turner and Anita Carter. Tonight’s inductee joined the club in 1999 and has been an active member for 15 years. Over her running career she has performed as a gold medalist in many road races, cross country, relay and track events. She was selected as our Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner in 2003 and she won the Susan Reid Most Consistent Runner in 2007 and 2012. In the early days our inductee excelled in difficult cross country events such as the Basil Parker, Admiral Nelles and Bazett Farm, muddy character races, and she always claimed the blue first-place ribbon. She started running in school and was an excellent hurdler throughout her younger years. She met Bob Reid in 1975 where they both ran for a government team called the Dusty Sneakers in events like the CFAX Ground Pounder Series and the Jack Hutchison 21 Mile Relay at Beacon Hill Park. With Bob’s encouragement, she joined the Harriers in 1999, at the age of 40, and commenced in winning gold medals in the F40 division, F45 division, F50 division, and now in the F55 division. She tackled road races, Gutbusters, track events and cross country challenges. Besides her running longevity from a 13-year-old hurdler to a 56-year old seasoned master racer, she encouraged and led track training sessions and assisted with editing of our club newsletter, the Prairie Inn Post, for the past several years. In the current P.I.Post she entertained us with “Remembering My First Time”, an account of running her first marathon in 1980, the inaugural Royal Victoria Marathon. She was 22 at the time.
Harriers Triathlete of the Year - Richard Knowlton: Our Triathlete of the Year winner competed in 6 triathlons between May and August and had very strong showings in road and trail races throughout the year as well. Perhaps his most impressive result was achieved at the Ironman Canada event held in Whistler, his first-ever full-distance Ironman triathlon, where he finished 17th overall with a time of 9 hours and 35 minutes. He also finished 4th at the North Shore Triathlon in Vancouver, 10th in the Half Ironman at Shawnigan Lake, 6th at the Subaru Victoria Half Ironman and 4th at the Self-Transcendence Triathlon at Elk Lake where he posted a 7 minute improvement over his previous year’s race. He also had strong finishes in road running and trail races including the Sooke River 10K where he was 7th overall, with excellent performances at the Western Speedway and Mount Tzouhalem Gutubsters, the Grouse Grind Mountain Run and the Run Through Time 5K at UVic on New Year’s Eve. In 2013, he was recognized seven times as Runner of the Week.
Sport BC President's Award - Bob Reid: Next Wednesday, BC Athletics has an evening of celebration for the Sport BC Athlete of the Year awards for 2013. The special event, founded 48 years ago by Sport BC, is the longest standing recognition event in Canada. Awards in 17 different categories are given each year to athletes, coaches and officials for their performance and contribution to sport in British Columbia. The awards play a valuable role in nurturing athletic success and recognizing some of BC's growing talents. In conjunction with the athlete awards, every sport identifies someone in their organization who represents the spirit of volunteerism, and whose dedication, energy, and commitment contribute to development of their sport or organization. That person is presented with the President’s Award. This year, BC Athletics is recognizing Bob Reid for over 35 years that he has given to the sport of running, particularly in Victoria and on the Island. Bob and his daughter, Heather, will be BC Athletics guests at the awards ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on March 5. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the President’s Award – congratulations Bob.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Bee Sting and Stitch Award - Bob Reid: Our final comical award is called the Bees Knees - Bee All and End All Award. It is being awarded to one of our fearless leaders and a prominent lifetime member who has always been a believer in the no frills style of running. Pile on miles to improve, one foot in front of the other, and when the going gets tough, hit yourself up the side of the head and just keep going. Proving as he always does with this ultimate style of running, in August he started out on an easy fitness run at Elk Lake with his dog Bebe after helping to set up for our annual club picnic. Not long on the trail, his footing gave way as he was negotiating a rotten log and he went down. That wasn't a huge issue as he had only drawn blood in several areas of both legs including a deep gash on his shin, but hiding in the log was a wasps nest. They were royally pissed at being disturbed and let him know by stinging him more than 50 times on one leg and almost as many times on the other. He returned to the picnic at David and Josephine’s house pretty messed up, but in true Harrier fashion, he drove himself to the clinic, took 8 stitches on the shin, got cleaned up and bandaged, medicated with antihistamine and stayed on at the picnic for burgers, beer and quality social time with his fellow Harriers. This recipient is receiving this award for his spectacular run-through-pain performance even though he couldn't sleep for 2 days afterwards.
Best Wipe-out in Competition Award - Jane McDonald: Every year we hear stories of how things have gone spectacularly wrong on a training run or in a race. Wipe-outs with blood-letting, ankle twisting or bone breaking are not unheard of amongst the Harriers. Our wipe-out Queen this year had a major fall at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic just before the infamous Puddle #1 and had to be helped back to the main beach at Thetis by a kind volunteer acting as a human crutch. She was so badly banged-up and bruised that she couldn’t sleep, couldn’t lie on her back or side, and could barely walk. She was told by medical professionals that she should stop running for at least six weeks. We are unsure if she complied with the doctor’s advice, but because she is a Harrier, we suspect NOT because she has bounced back and is now competing regularly in the current Island Race Series circuit.
Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch Award - Chris Callendar: This award winner is a very well rounded runner. Not only does he run a mean marathon, but he also out-sprints the most accomplished runners in the final stretches of races. For example, he won the Boundary Bay Marathon and set a new P.B. of 2:51 which was a 9 minute improvement. To top that, he sprinted the final 100 metres in 16 seconds after racing 42.1 kilometres! He had some other sprint accomplishments in 2013. He emailed us, and I quote, "I sprinted at the end of every race just because I can't help myself!” He blitzed the last 100 metres at the Bazan Bay 5K in 13 seconds which was the second fastest of 750 competitors, and at the Comox Half in 14 seconds which he claimed those sprints to be slow. The book "Advanced Marathoning" states that successful marathoners have a "high proportion of slow twitch muscle fibers", relative to fast twitch fibers. Presumably this award winner has a lot of those fast twitch muscles due to his fantastic sprinting accomplishments. So how does this he pull it off with excellent marathon times and award winning sprints? Is it the "slow twitch" Sunday training runs from Bay Street north to Elk/Beaver? Or is it the "fast twitch" TNWs and Thursday 10 mile tempo runs over Amblewood hill? Whatever the answer is, it’s quite clear that this award winner has mastered a combination of fast twitch and slow twitch fibers in the same race.
Harriers Athletic Supporter Award - Andrew Morgan: This year for the first time, we are recognizing one of the many people that play a key role behind the scenes in a runner’s success. Perhaps more important than coaches, training plans and running partners, the spouses and partners who support a runner’s pursuit of excellence are seldom given the credit they are due. We would like to change this by honouring a spouse who unflinchingly and unconditionally supports his spouse’s dedication (some might say obsession) to the running lifestyle. His devotion to parenting, particularly on weekend mornings and race days, his skill in putting together nutritious post-run meals, his flexibility in scheduling work and social commitments around his spouse’s training schedule and his willingness to massage sore muscles make this supportive fellow a deserving award-winner.
Most Eligible Bachelor Award - Eric Davies: This is the first year we have given this award. A club environment can sometimes bring two people together to find romance and friendship. We have a few eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the club, but probably none that have been so candid about finding a partner to share life’s adventures as this man. He has so much to offer. On the physical side, he is tall, slim and fit. He has these wonderful amusing eyes that shine and he has a great, quirky sense of humour. He is always there to volunteer and has told me that he figures, if he does this, he just may meet the woman of his dreams. He is multi-talented and has skills that few women could resist – he makes his own waffle cones, his own ice cream and balloon animals, just to name a few. He has a special concern for the environment and rides his bicycle everywhere, sometimes with a small cart on the back to carry his romantic wares, his waffle iron, homemade ice cream containers and his supply of balloons. Now that we have made his quest public, it is our sincere hope that our winner (who just barely beat out Garth Campbell for this prestigious award) will find love and romance during 2014.
Claire Morgan: Our first female winner, with her focused training and increased mileage, had her best running year yet in 2012 as she ran 25 races on the road, track and trail, and won her age group gold at almost all of them as well at the Island Race Series and the Victoria Track Series. She successfully defended her overall woman's titles at the Kilted Mile, Victoria Track Series 5000 metres, and McNeil Bay Half Marathon and had new top female finishes at Hatley Castle 8K, Chemainus 5K, several track races, MEC 5K, Bear Mountain 10K, and the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic. She also finished as top Harrier female and second overall at the Island Race Series and at the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge. She placed very well at the larger St. Patrick's Day 5K, Times-Colonist 10K, Sun Run 10K and Calgary 10K. She set new distance PB's at 5K (Bazan Bay), 8K (Pioneer), 10K (Cobble Hill then the Sun Run), 12K (Cedar) and Half Marathon (Oak Bay then Victoria). These outstanding performances throughout the year earned her 14 Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 8 other honourable mentions.
Natasha Wodak: Our second female winner is an exemplary runner whose continued improvements and successes made 2012 a stepping stone year for a brilliant start to 2013 with a course-record victory at Pioneer and a NACAC World Championship Cross Country victory in Mandeville, Jamaica. She was first female at all five Timex BC races entered, often by substantial margins, including 2 minutes, 15 seconds at the 'First Half' Half Marathon, 42 seconds at the TC10K and 38 seconds at the Longest Day 5K. She achieved her first-ever victory at Canada's largest 10K, the Vancouver Sun Run, finishing ahead of over 21,000 females, and was eighth overall at Mother's Day 5K. The points collected easily allowed her to retain the Women's Timex BC Series crown of the 15 race road series across the province. She claimed victory at the Vancouver International Half Marathon, the LuluLemon Sea Wheeze Half Marathon, where she finished almost 5 minutes ahead of the next female finishers, and at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon with a new course record of 1:14:06 and a $1,000 cash bonus. There were numerous track races including the VTS 10,000 metres BC Championship which she won in a new personal best time of 33:44. She won the BC Cross Country Championships at Abbotsford and was third at the Canadians at Jericho Park. BC Athletics awarded her Senior Female Road Runner of the Year for 2012 and Athletics Canada selected her to the Canadian team for the NACAC (North America, Central America and Caribbean) Cross Country Championships. She won five provincial championships, on the roads at distances of 5K, 10K and Half Marathon in Vancouver, on the trails, BC Cross Country in Abbottsford, and on the track 10,000 metres in Victoria. These all earned her 15 Runner-of-the-Week distinctions and 2 honourable mentions.
Shane Ruljancich: We’ll finish the evening with our highest performance award. The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is presented annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. For our final award, we are indeed pleased to honour three very talented and determined athletes. Our male winner started the year off with an excellent Island Race Series completing five races, winning age group gold at four and silver at the other, setting new course PB's at Cedar by 26 seconds, Hatley by 30 seconds, Cobble Hill by 41 seconds, and at Bazan Bay where he scored his best total ever of 835 points. He finished fifth overall at Cedar, third overall at Hatley and second at Cobble Hill. For the Series he defended his age group title, and finished a best-ever second place overall. The main focus of his running year though was longer races and off-road. He ran the Boston Marathon finishing as top Harrier, 156th overall in a time of 2 hours 46 under the most extreme heat in the race’s 116 year history, and won the North Olympic Discovery Marathon by 15 minutes. His trail successes were heard earlier, and included a sweep of the local Gutbuster Series and four ultramarathons including a Canadian 50K crown and a victory in his first 50-Miler. He also defended his Kilted Mile title, was the inaugural winner of both the MEC Legwarmer 7K and MEC Fall 10K, and won the Salmon Run Run 5K. These all earned him 12 Runner-of-the-Week distinctions and 6 other mentions. The highlight of 2012 had to be a 12-minute margin of victory at the Harriers Elk/Beaver Ultras where he won a Canadian 50K Championship. One of his colleagues described his terrific year as follows: "He has had a remarkable season of racing with many excellent performances and provides high quality, supportive coaching to a local group of runners weekly."
Andrew Pape: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will again carry on with that tradition. Our male master of the year focused mainly on trail running in 2012 and came across the line as the first master in almost every race in which he competed. He was first master in each of the three Gutbuster Series Races at Colliery Dam, Ladysmith and Mount Washington. He had an excellent race at Manning Park Frosty Mountain in the 27K Endurance Distance, placing second overall and he was the top master. He finished the year with a fantastic performance at the Perseverance 10.5K Mountain Run in Cumberland by winning the race outright which proved to be a highlight of 2012.
Nancy Baxendale: Our female winner of the Alex Marshall Master Runner of the Year had an outstanding year. She placed first in her age division in each of the Island Race Series in which she competed including Pioneer, Cobble Hill, Cedar, Bazan Bay and the Comox Valley Half Marathon. At the Bazan Bay 5K, she set both an F50 Course Record and a British Columbia F50 5K Record finishing with a time of 18:35. In the fall she ran the Shawnigan/Kinsol Half Marathon and, not only was she the first master, she was also the first female overall, finishing the hilly course with an excellent time of 1:30:26.
Happy Jaycox: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and one woman. Both of them had one thing in common – they showed a huge improvement in the Tuesday Night Workouts which translated into many personal best race performances in events throughout the year. Our male winner of the Most Improved Harrier award has had a number of excellent performances in 2012 including improvements at several races on the roads, trails or track. He placed fourth overall at the Buntzen Lake 5 Peaks Enduro Race and won his age category and was second overall at the inaugural Lightspeed 5K held in conjunction with the McNeill Bay Half Marathon. From 2011 to 2012 he also significantly improved his times at the Pioneer 8K, Cedar 12K, and the Bazan Bay 5K in some cases by 3 to 4 minutes.
Lisa Cantwell: We’ve lost count of the number of times our female winner of the Most Improved Harrier Award achieved a new personal best in 2012. She has consistently been improving her race times across several distances over the last few seasons. To name only a few, she has improved her Pioneer 8K time by 3 minutes between 2010 and 2013, improved her Bear Mountain 10K time by several minutes, and shaved an impressive 9 minutes off her Victoria Goodlife Fitness Half-Marathon time.
Gary Duncan: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person who has contributed much more than running to the club. He is a hard working Harrier that has given outstanding and dedicated service as a volunteer as well. Surprisingly, this is the first time our winner has won this award. He joined the club in 2002 and immediately began competing wearing the PIH colours with pride in almost every race he could enter. He has won the John Thipthorpe Durability Award more often than any other Harrier in history. He has also brought his considerable talent to the club by calculating stats on club wins and individual runners' performances. He is our Fixtures Director, reporting regularly at club meetings on past and future races. In 2011, when Bob Reid was looking for a partner to share the Tuesday Night Training sessions, he offered his help in leading half of the sessions on the schedule. He loves to put the group through its paces. He is an integral member of the organizational team for all Harriers events, assisting with course measurement and marking and anything else that needs to be done for set-up and tear-down (just as long as he can compete in the race, too). He posts race reports on the Chatline for many charity and other smaller events where race results are not produced and posts maps and reports of all of the Tuesday Night Workouts on the website. He always leads a group on Saturday mornings at Thetis Lake and organized the 2011 Salt Spring Island club run. He consistently provides valuable input to club policy and organizational decisions. This is his third perpetual award that he is receiving tonight highlighting his true all-encompassing value to the Harriers.
Herb Phillips: Our next perpetual award honours the top male, 60 years and older, and is named after a great veteran club runner, Maurice Tarrant. Our male veteran for 2012 runs in the 70-74 age division. He competed in various track events as well as road races with distances ranging from 800 metres to 10 kilometres. He finished first in his age category in all of the events he raced last year. At the BC Senior games he ran track in the 5000 metres, 1500 metres and 800 metres. He also ran the 10 kilometre road race. He won a gold medal in every event and set BC Games Records for all four of these races. On the road he won gold in the 70-74 age division for all his events including the Ambleside Masters Mile, Shaughnessy 8K, Mother's Day Spring Classic 5K, Harry's Spring Run-Off 8K and the St. Patrick's Day 5K.
Martha McNeely: The perpetual award honouring the top female, 60 years and older, is named after a great veteran club runner, Rosamund Dashwood. Our female veteran athlete runs in the 60-64 age-group. She focused mainly on track events during the year, however, she ran road races in various distances from 5K to the marathon. In the Victoria Track Series she won the Maurice Tarrant Inspirational Award which is awarded to the competitor who achieves the highest number of points throughout the Series. She achieved a total 100 points to lead the 87 runners that participated. She ran 10 events of various distances from 400 metres to 10,000 metres and achieved a first place finish in all the events in the her age division. On the road she was first in the F60-64 division of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K and the Litespeed 5 in Oak Bay. She also ran the Boston Marathon last year with a notable finish.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. For only the third time in 27 years, we have a female and a male winning this award tonight. The trophy has been dominated by men since 1986 and more recently by Gary Duncan who has claimed the award for 5 consecutive years and 7 out of 8 years since 2004. Both of our Durability winners have had outstanding races throughout 2012 collectively participating in over 60 events. Our male winner ran all distances, all surfaces and all disciplines ranging from 400 metres at the Victoria Track Series to a half marathon at Shawnigan Lake to a Gutbuster in Nanaimo to a tough cross country race at Stewart Mountain.
Natasha Fraser: Our female winner focused on 16 road races including four half marathon victories and also did very well in 2 championship track events and three championship cross country races. Both male and female Durability winners competed at the highest level in BC Cross Country Championships as part of Harriers gold medal teams. Without listing their specific individual accomplishments now, as you will be hearing more details of these later in the ceremony, it gives me great pleasure to announce our two Durability winners.
Logan Roots: Our 2012 Junior of the Year only returned to racing in August, but did so in commanding fashion, finishing as the top junior in every race so contended, generally by a substantial margin. In fact, he won three races outright, starting with the Yukon Trail Marathon by a margin of 24 minutes in 2 hours 50 minutes, and he posted victories at local charity races, the Terry Fox 10K at Mile 0, and the Run for the Cure 5K at UVic. At the large GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon he gold medalled and ran sub-one fourteen, almost 15 minutes faster than the next junior in the race. At the BC Cross Country Championships he not only drove most of the senior team over to Abbotsford, but graciously waived his junior race to run up in the longer senior event thereby helping the club complete as a team which won gold. At both the Victoria and Vancouver Gunner Shaw cross country races he was the top Harrier, top junior, finishing 2nd and 3rd overall respectively. The Stewart Mountain 10 Mile cross country saw another good overall finish. These impressive results earned our 2012 Stewart Fall Junior of the Year four Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and three honourable mentions. This was clearly his best year of competition and it stands as the all-time best performances by a junior club member in the 35-year history of the Prairie Inn Harriers.
Jane McDonald: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be age group winners, but they are usually there competing, helping, and supporting the Harriers in many events. We have selected two winners to receive this award tonight and collectively they ran many races for the club in 2012 and often competed in the same events. Since 2000, our first winner has run 73 of the Island Race Series races, including 7 of the Series races in 2012. She increased her point contribution to the club in 2012 by 338 over 2011. A short list of some of her racing events are - Thetis Lake Relays, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain 5 Miler, Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon, Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon, Gutbuster Trail Running Series, Twilight Shuffle, Bear Mountain 10K and McNeill Bay Half Marathon. She truly enjoys the camaraderie and friendships she has made with others in the club. She loves to participate and won this award in 2010 as well.
Wendy Davies: Our second winner is claiming this award for the first time. Since 1998 she has run 74 of the Island Race Series races, almost always showing up in the top five in the awards in her division. Some of her other races in 2012 were - Thetis Lake Relays, Stewart Mountain 10 Miler, TC10K, meets 3, 4 and 6 at the Q Victoria Track Series, Salmon 5K Run Run where she was first woman overall, Terry Fox 5K, again first woman overall, Diva on the Run 5K in Vancouver, first master female, Sidney Days, first in her age division, Twilight Shuffle and McNeill Bay Half Marathon. She has represented our club in so many events over the last 14 years, it would be impossible for me to hazard a guess as to how many. She is always encouraging and supportive of her fellow runners and is a pleasure to have as a team mate at any event. She also does a wonderful job of editing our club newsletter.
Jean-Francois Gagne: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first or second year Harrier to signify our Rookie of the Year in running or non-running endeavors. Our Bright Shining Light award for 2012 goes to one of our members in the male 30 to 35 age group. He ran races on the trails as well as the roads of various lengths, from 5 kilometres to the half marathon. He ran races in Victoria and Vancouver, as well as Quebec, doing well in all of them including the Fletcher's Challenge 13K Trail Race, Peninsula Runners 5K Free Run, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Legwarmer 7K, Salmon 5K Run, Mountain Equipment Co-Op's 10K, Boundary Bay 10K and Bear Mountain Resort 10K. His highlight of the year was a victory in Quebec where he won the second annual Senneterre Pied Half Marathon. In very hot conditions with temperatures reaching the mid-30s, he broke the tape in 1:24:03 good for almost a 5-minute margin of victory over the runner-up.
Susan Boyle: Our Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year has been a club member since 2009. She was introduced to race walking four years ago at a TC10K clinic and was a runner at the time but felt that race walking would be easier on her body. She has been a walk leader for the Times Colonist clinics ever since as well as one of our most enthusiastic and inspirational race walkers. Last year she walked a total of almost 200 kilometres in races and more than double that while training. Among her events she race completed a 32K at Sooke, the Elk-Beaver 40K Ultra, the Hurricane Ridge Mountain Top Hike in Port Angeles and the 56K Great Lake Walk in Lake Cowichan. She says that it wouldn’t have been possible without her walking team’s support. She volunteers at various races, has organized a walking group during lunch at work and started a Saturday morning group for those who want to train for a half marathon and beyond. She is always looking for new challenges and invites us to be part of this experience.
Andrew Pape: Our second winner of the Trail Runner of the Year competed as a master and had an outstanding year on the trails. He competed in a variety of events and distances ranging from a 6 kilometre uphill race to the summit of Mount Washington to a 27K Endurance Challenge at Frosty Mountain across rugged technical terrain. He finished as the top master in almost every event in which he competed, always with a smile. Two of his best performances were at the Perseverance 10.5K Mountain Run in Cumberland in which he was the first master and the overall winner and the Frosty Mountain Endurance 27K race in which he placed second overall and was top master in a time of 2:46:02.
Shane Ruljancich: The Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year award is going to two fine men this year. Both had excellent trail racing seasons, including several wins in their respective age categories in the GutBuster Series. Our first Trail Runner of the Year tried racing ultramarathons in 2012 for the first time. He competed at three 50K events – Chuckanut in Bellingham, North Shore Knee Knacker in Vancouver and the Elk/Beaver Ultras and one 50 miler - the inaugural Squamish 50 Mile Trail Race. He had excellent performances at the Knee Knacker finishing in second place and at the Elk/Beaver 50K event, at which he placed first and won the title as the National 50K Champion. He also excelled at shorter trail events, placing second at the challenging Kusam Klimb in a sprint finish and sweeping the Gutbuster Series – placing first at each of the three events at Ladysmith, Colliery Dam Half Marathon and the Mount Washington ascent race.
Steve Bachop and Shannon Coutts: Our male Cyclist of the Year had an ambitious appetite for bike racing both on the roads and on the mountain trails. At the age of 48, he finished third overall of 61 riders in the A Group Category of the Victoria Cycling League Series where he participated in 20 races with overall victories at the Criterium and Hill Climb. He finished second in the road race and placed third in five road races and time trials . He participated in five races in the BC Masters Cycling League and recorded three overall wins and two second place finishes. He was second overall of all age groups in the BC Australian Pursuit Category. In total tonight’s male winner did 27 races between March and September, winning 5 of them outright and finishing on the podium in most of the others with twelve top-10 finishes. Perhaps his most memorable cycling experience of 2012 came at the Test of Medal, a 67 kilometre mountain bike race in Squamish. He described his experience as follows: “I was riding in the top 15 overall when I crashed on a downhill section at the 45K mark and broke two ribs. I hobbled in to finish third in my age group and 57th overall of over 900 starters. Without a doubt, this was the most un-enjoyable final 22K of my riding life but I did learn that I had a new pain threshold!” He is a regular fixture by volunteering as the Lead Cyclist for the GoodLife Fitness Marathon and the Harriers Pioneer 8K. Our female Cyclist of the Year took a different approach and dominated in both long-distance and short-distance road racing events and she embarked on a new challenge last year and posted three consecutive victories in the 2012 Vancouver Island Cup Mountain Bike Race Series. Her first mountain bike win came at Victoria's Hartland trails on March 11 with a time of 36:43. In Race No. 2 at Cobble Hill on March 18, she took gold in 53:50 and in April she won her third race at Cumberland in 53:20 in perhaps her best performance by dominating the Women's Division by over 10 minutes. There were 114 riders in Victoria, 99 in Cobble Hill and 87 in Cumberland spread amongst six divisions in the Mountain Bike Series. On the roads, our winner topped her division at the Russ Hays Time Trial on Dallas Road on June 3 with a time of 8 minutes, 23 seconds for 5 kilometres. Three weeks later she stepped it up a huge notch to compete in the 260-kilometre Victoria Granfondo from Victoria to Port Renfrew and continuing through Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Shawnigan Lake and back to Victoria, an ordeal that took her over 9 hours in the pouring rain on a windy and wet day.
Gary Duncan: It is a pleasure to present a fairly new perpetual award tonight for only the fourth time. It is the Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award and the recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership of the eight nominees. You have brought forward a worthy name for this achievement and we consider him as “Mr. Everything” to the club. In the past he has won the Most Valuable Runner, the Most Improved Runner, the Master of the Year, the Dedicated Performance Award, the Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award, the Excellence in Club Leadership Award and the Durability Award seven times. It’s a good thing that he doesn’t cycle, race walk or partake in triathlons or he would win everything the club has to offer. His banner year for being selected to receive this High Achievement Award included over 40 races completed, up five from 2011, even though he took two months off during the summer to travel to Scotland with the Scouts. Besides racing, he measured, certified, marked and set up 33 race courses and volunteered at 12 events including Victoria’s two largest races, the TC10K and GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. He participated in Club Wilderness Runs at Cobble Hill-Kinsol and Hurricane Ridge and drove the Harrier Carrier to transport club members and Harriers teams to races in Cedar, Chemainus, Port Angeles, Abbottsford and Shawnigan Lake. He is a run leader at Thetis Lake on Saturday mornings and a group leader of the popular Tuesday Night Workouts. As members, you couldn’t have picked a better candidate to receive this award.
Claire Morgan: This year sees the introduction of a new perpetual award, the Island Race Series Runner of the Year. Our female winner ran five of the VIRA races, extended her consecutive age group gold streak to 12, and set personal course best times and overall placements at each, including lifetime distance PB's at 5K, 8K, 10K and 12K. Each of her age group wins was substantial with margins ranging from 1 minute 44 seconds at Bazan to 2 minutes 44 seconds at Cedar. She set her best ever point total of 824 at Pioneer then bettered that to 829 to Bazan Bay, and set her best ever overall placement of 27th at Cobble Hill then bettered to 22nd at Hatley Castle. At Pioneer she ran her first sub-30 8K to improve her course PB by 37 seconds. At Cedar she ran her first sub-47 12K with a 47 second course PB, and finished as third female. At Hatley Castle, the improvement was 1 minute 44 seconds propelling her to claim her first-ever female win at a Series race. At Cobble Hill she was second female overall, and at Bazan Bay she ran her first sub-18 5K. Her Series average of 811 points was a new 27 point PB, and allowed her to repeat her age group win, this time by 43 points the same impressive margin as our male winner. She also repeated as top Harrier female in the Series, improving to a best-ever second place female overall.
Sean Chester: This year sees the introduction of a new perpetual award, the Island Race Series Runner of the Year. Our male winner ran six of the eight VIRA races winning age group gold at four and bronze at one. At Pioneer he finished fifth overall, at Cedar and Hatley Castle he set new course PB's by 23 and 44 seconds, he won gold and finished third and second overall respectively. At Cobble Hill he successfully defended his overall title finishing within 1 second for the third time. At Bazan Bay he set a new course PB by 11 seconds, and collected 850 points, his best of the season. At Merville he won gold and finished second overall. His series average 840 points was a new PB, and allowed him to repeat his age group win, this time by 43 points. He successfully defended his overall 2012 Series Championship, this time by 23 points.
Molly Reid: We have another new perpetual award, the Harriers Top Dog of the Year Award. Now that we have 34 canine members, we feel it is time to annually honour our four legged friends. This award goes to the canine member who has shown dedication to his/her master in promoting the principles of the Prairie Inn Harriers and, who just loves to run. This year the Harriers Top Dog of the Year is being awarded posthumously to a dog who was always front and centre to run with her master. She was sleek and beautiful. She had a couple of sides to her personality. She was the boss of Bebe and Deeogie and would curl her lip at them and put them in their place. And OMG – don't touch my tail, but please, please scratch my ears! She was also very sweet, gentle and active; just like her human. She was in front of her master for nine years, right behind him in the last two and followed him with her eyes the last few months!! Truly a loyal companion. The winner of our 2012 Harriers Top Dog of the Year is Molly Reid. Accepting for Molly, please welcome the 2012 winner of Excellence in Administration and Race Direction and master of the inaugural Harriers Top Dog of the Year Award winner, Bob Reid.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Courage to Come Back - Joanne Rosen and Garfield Saunders: The two patients suffered a serious heath set-back in 2012 and tonight are being presented with the Courage to Come Back Award. In July, Patient #1 was cycling with the Harriers Hackers Western Community Splinter Group when she had a serious bike crash. While traveling downhill at 50 kilometres per hour she hit a rock on the steepest part of Atkins Road throwing her into a concrete guard rail. The result, besides multiple road rash scrapes, was a broken shoulder requiring a metal plate to be inserted and requiring several months of rehabilitation. In October, Patient #2 felt short of breath and sluggish while running the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. He withdrew at the 10K point and was rushed to hospital with a heart attack. After receiving a stint he also faced months of rehabilitation. Both patients have now recovered and returned to running at Thetis Lake Park on Saturday mornings and both are looking forward to competing in the new Harriers Magical Mile race in April.
Excellence in Administration and Race Direction - Cathy Noel and Bob Reid: We will start by saluting five club members for unparalleled service to the club on three distinctly different fronts. Our first two individuals are being recognized for Excellence in Administration and Race Direction. The Prairie Inn Harriers are known for organizing excellent racing events and many of our members are sought out for committee positions for other events, such as the TC10K and GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, because of our experience and drive to produce first-class events year after year. Our female recipient of this award has an impressive resume of race coordination: Starting in 1993 as a Sport Coordinator at the Victoria Commonwealth Games; then from 1998 – 2004, Event Manager, Do it For Dad Run/Walk for Prostate Cancer. She branched out to larger events in 2000 when she became the General Manager of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and she continues in that position today. She also took on the job of Race Director for the TC10K from 2005 to 2007, and more recently from 2010 to 2012 became the Event Manager for the Tour de Victoria. She is the President and General Manager for the VIRA/Frontrunners Island Race Series. New for 2012 was the Victoria Goddess Run, an all-women’s event with a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K runs which she developed and directed with Andrea Carey. It was a huge success and sold out very quickly with a race cap of 2,000 runners. The second annual Goddess Run is planned for June 2nd this year. I have worked on events and committees with our recipient and she has such a nice way of mentoring people and supporting them to do the best job they can. She is highly respected in the running and sports community and is one of the most knowledgeable people in Victoria related to event management and race administration. Our second recipient is a man who has often been called "Mr. Running" in the Victoria sports community. He has won a number of awards over the years, the Community Sports Hero for Athletics from Sport BC, the CFAX Sportsman of the Year Award, just to mention two of his most recent. He began his relationship with the Prairie Inn Harriers in 1978 and has held a position on the executive since 1986. The first PIH race he organized was the 1986 Elk/Beaver Ultras and since then he has initiated and directed 12 different races for the club. He still directs the club's flagship races at Thetis Lake Park, a popular cross country series in the fall. And not to forget our much loved canine Harriers, over the past six years he has organized the Harriers Hounds Hikes and annually since 2005 has developed and lead the road bike rides and mountain bike rides with club members. In addition to the PIH events, he was involved both as an executive and working committee member on the TC10K for 17 years and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon for 30 years. He helped out at numerous other events, both directing and announcing. He frequently manages elite athletes in Victoria races and he is respected by the very best of runners both on the Island and off the Island. He has left his mark on the Victoria running and racing scene. Over the years, many of his fans have suggested that he put his name to one of the Thetis Lake Races, but he has always declined, however, in late 2012 he made the decision to initiate a new race for 2013 and began the planning for the First Annual Harriers Bob Reid Magical Mile race which will take place on April 13. He has been running at Thetis Lake Park on Saturday mornings for 39 consecutive years and he is a Lifetime Member of the Harriers. He has incredible organizational skills and he is a pro at getting members to volunteer for jobs for our club and other events he is working on. As one of those volunteers, I can tell you that you always feel honoured to help him and support him.
Excellence in Adventure Racing - Hayden Earle: This year, for the fourth time, we are presenting an award for Excellence in Adventure Racing to a club member who has excelled at many different disciplines including mountain running, mountain biking, orienteering, urban/trail running, trekking and kayaking. Our winner hones his skills locally by regularly participating in Greater Victoria orienteering events where he dominated the Victoria Determinator Series. In 2012 he went on to have excellent results in the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race Series including an impressive second place overall finish at the MOMAR in Cumberland, and a third overall finish at the Burnaby Mountain MOMAR. He is a regular member at the Tuesday Night Workouts and he won the Bright Shining Light Award last year as a promising new club member.
Excellence in Marathoning - Ryan Day: This year, for the first time, we are presenting a special award to recognize a Prairie Inn Harrier member who has excelled in marathoning. He competed in five marathons in 2012 and placed well in each one of them. He started off the year by racing in two marathons in May; he placed third at the Vancouver International Marathon in a time of 2:29:22 and fifth at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon in a time of 2:33:38. He then went on to compete in the Kamloops Marathon in July and the Canadian Derby Edmonton Marathon in August and was the race champion at both of these events. He finished off the year by racing in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in October, at which he placed fifth in a time of 2:35:09 and was the third Canadian finisher.
Excellence in Volunteering - Mike Emerson: Our second award is going to an individual that is being acknowledged for Excellence in Volunteering for the fourth consecutive year. Volunteers are the backbone of the eight Harriers-hosted events annually and our winner tonight is always the first one to show up willing to help with his trusty truck. He played a major role in success of the Pioneer 8K, Thetis Lake Relay, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain, Twilight Shuffle, McNeill Bay Half Marathon and Boxing Day races last year. He also helped with the TC10K, Goddess Run and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Frequently he played a key role with equipment pick-up and delivery, course marking, set-up and take-down of the finish line equipment and signage.
Harriers Fittest Couples - Larry Nylen and Valerie Bell and Andrew Pape and Sara Pape: For the first time we have chosen two couples within the Harriers to be labeled as our Fittest Couples. The first hard-working couple shone very brightly in 2012 particularly on the trails. They both consistently achieved improvements and podium performances in Gutbuster and other mountain races. The male winner topped the master’s field at Colliery Dam in Nanaimo, Mount Washington Ascent, Fletcher’s Challenge on Mount Benson, Perseverance Run in Cumberland and the new Stewart Mountain 5 Miler. His female companion also ran very well in the master’s division of these events taking 3rd, 4th 6th, 14th and 3rd places at the same races. Their highlight of the year was in Manning Park where our male winner was second overall and top master in the 27K Enduro Division of the Frosty Mountain Ultras while our female winner recorded her first-ever race victory by finishing third overall and was top female and top master in the 13K Lightning Division. The second couple is one fit duo, both performing at high levels in road and trail racing in 2012. They really excelled on the road, both achieving multiple top-3 finishes in their age categories at the Island Race Series. They were also regularly on the podium at the trail races such as the Gutbuster Trail Running Series and the Thetis Lake Triple Series. Perhaps their highlight of the year was traveling to Sweden to compete in the Jubilee Stockholm Marathon where they both had tremendous performances finishing in the historic Stockholm Olympic Stadium, built in 1910. Aside from racing, they can be found taking in the beauty of our Island trails keeping stride on long rambling Sunday trail runs or hikes with their new companion, Abby.
Harriers Humanitarian Award - Eugene Leduc: The next two presentations uniquely recognize a club doctor and two club patients. This year we have created a Harriers Humanitarian Award and want to applaud a Harrier who makes a unique and special contribution in his work as a physician by volunteering with the Victoria-Vanuatu Physician Project. He volunteers over-seas on the island of Tanna in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, providing medical services, and helping to improve the self-sufficiency of the community on Tanna.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Brian Turner and Anita Carter: In completing the Non-Perpetual Awards it gives me great pleasure to honour two long-time club members with a Lifetime Membership Award. Currently ten Harriers have been inducted as Lifetime members including Gunner Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid, John McKay, Ken Bonner, Maurice Tarrant, Garfield Saunders, Marg Melvin and Susan Norrington. Tonight’s male inductee joined the club in 1983 and has been an active member for 31 years. During that time he was a top-level master’s runner and captained many teams at the Vancouver Island Road Relay, the Haney to Harrison Relay, the Hood to Coast Relay in Portland and the Jasper-Banff Relay. He ran on the Master Blasters over-40 team and the Mellow Fellows over-50 team and always gave his teams a high standard with several gold medals performances. He loves cross country skiing, photography and traveling to foreign countries. He is a proud founding member of the Thursday Morning Group and was a regular at the rail of the YMCA attending the Lunch Bunch noon runs for over 20 years. In 1983 he won the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner Award and in 1998 he was received the Master of the Year Award. He is most indebted to Tony Boydell for introducing him to the Y Lunch Bunch and to Bob, Reid, Jack Farrell and Paul Bowler for accepting him into the group which he claims made him a much better runner. Our female inductee joined the club in 1985 and has been an active member for 29 years. Over her running career she has performed as a gold medalist in many cross country, road races and relay events. She was selected as our Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner in 1991 and 1997 and she won the Alex Marshall Master of the Year in 1998 in her first year of master’s competition. In the early days our inductee excelled in difficult cross country events such as the Basil Parker, Admiral Nelles and Bazett Farm events and she always claimed the blue first-place ribbon. In her middle racing years, she was a permanent fixture of the Hellions Racing Team at the Vancouver Island Road Relay and the Haney to Harrison Road Relay. As she was the Hellions strongest and fastest team member, she frequently ran the longest and most difficult stages of the relay to secure the victory for her team. In her later years, she was a top-flight master and, once again, rose to the top of the podium and many local events in both road races and cross country races. She has a beautiful running form and it is a treat to watch her rhythm, grace and style when she is training and racing. During the past 20 years she has been a faithful volunteer as part of the Thetis Lake hot chocolate crew under the leadership of Ken Smythe and now Randy Jones. She has a wonderful smile and I know that she will be using it often tonight with this new achievement.
Harriers Super Veteran of the Year - John Woodall: Our Super Veteran of the Year award winner moved into the M80 age division last year. In the Frontrunners Island Race Series he was the gold medal winner in many races and dominated his category. He placed first overall in the M80 division and won his age group at the Bazan Bay 5K, Hatley Castle 8K and Sooke River 10K. In the Series he also a silver medalist behind Maurice Tarrant at the Cobble Hill 10K, Cedar 12K and Pioneer 8K. He was the M80 gold medalist at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria 8K and the McNeill Bay Half Marathon. Our winner has continued to be a running member of the Thursday Morning Group and was the only executive member of that group for ten years. At the end of 2012 he stepped down and was replaced by a six-member executive for 2013.
Harriers Triathletes of the Year - Bill Scriven and Julie Van Veelen: Our next four awards recognize adventure racing, marathons, ultramarathons and multi-sport events as we have many members exploring activities beyond running. Starting with the Triathlete of the Year, we are honouring one woman and one man. Our male Triathlete of the Year competed in the M65 division and excelled in each of the races in which he competed. He competed in several Olympic Distance events as well as two Half Ironmans. At both the Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon in Kelowna and the Self Transcendence Triathlon at Elk Lake, our male Triathlete won the M65 division handily, finishing the Apple Triathlon 18 minutes ahead of his competition in a time of 2:42:00. He also had superb performances at the Half Ironman distance where he placed first in the M65 division at the Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon at Elk Lake in a time of 5:44:44. He had a tremendous performance at the International Triathlon Union's Aquaton World Championships in New Zealand where he won the bronze medal over athletes from 25 countries. Our female triathlete competed in Sprint Triathlon events through to the Ironman distance, performing well at each race and each distance. Despite battling with a running injury, our female triathlete was still able to perform well at the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon where she was the third overall female in the Sprint Division in a time of 1:08:04. At the Subaru Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman triathlon she placed second in her age category in a time of 5:12:31. Her best performance of the year came at the Subaru Ironman Canada National Championship event in Penticton where she placed sixth in the F35 division in an outstanding time of 10 hours 44 minutes and 59 seconds garnering her “elite” status. She won the Harriers Triathlete of the Year last year as well.
Harriers Ultramarathoner of the Year - Jason Loutitt: This ultrarunning award goes to a highly deserving Harrier with a long resume of stellar performances in 2012. Our Harriers Ultramarathoner of the Year traveled to Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii to compete in long-distance races and had incredible success with first and second place finishes in many events. A few of his outstanding performances include capturing the championship in the Cedro Peak Ultramarathon in New Mexico, winning the H.U.R.T. 100 Mile Trail Race in Hawaii for a second consecutive year, and topping the field in the Black Canyon XTerra Half Marathon in Arizona. Locally he placed first overall at the rugged 5 Peaks Enduro Race in Squamish.
Harriers Webmasters of the Year - Lara Wear and Doug Bakewell: Our third non-perpetual award is entitled Harriers Webmasters of the Year. First off, a special thanks goes to Sylvan for designing the PIH website and Chatline in 1991. It has a wealth of information and it is the most popular running website in B.C. There’s tons of historic race results, race reports, pictures and Chatline messages over the past 22 years and the information is still available and archived. In 2012 two club members took on the task of modernizing the Harriers website and importing all of the historic data into a modern new-looking and easily-manageable site by freshening it up and re-modeling the Chatline and giving us a new and exciting version to exchange views. The new Harriers website was launched in early January of this year and looks both promising and popular to all users including club members and the rest of the Western World.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Harriers Runway Award - Lisa Cantwell: We’ll start the night off with a few amusing gifts to unusual suspects. The first one we are calling the Harriers Runway Award and it goes to one stylin’ runner. She thinly veils her running attire choices behind talk of how Lulu Lemon has figured out all the technical details: they’ve got the waist height, sleeve length, reflective stripes, and arm pit ventilation just right. Or how the flat seams and perfect stretch have helped her leap over tall logs, cross wide streams and achieve new PB’s. But really, this runner sets a standard for the rest of us to chase with her coordinated kicks, shirts, jackets, headbands, handbags, hoodies, and toques.
Moaners and Groaners Award - SeaChest and the Turtles: The next award goes to a PIH Thetis Lake Relay Men’s Veteran Team for the for their admirable and unending, varied and lengthy, moaning and whining about their ills and inabilities at the Thetis Lake Relay. Their run wasn’t flat, but their excuses seemed to be! Not all members were injured, not all members were veterans. Yet collectively, this fine foursome has proved themselves well worthy of the "Non-Perpetual Perpetual Moaners and Groaners Award!"
Trailside Transformer Award - Elaine Galbraith: Like superman emerging from a trail side phone booth, this runner transforms herself from a dirty sweaty trail running animal; emerging from her portable change room donning her alternate identity ready to head to her post-run meal. She stealthy avoids smelly bathrooms, or ducking behind trees and shrubs by slipping into her portable change room, which can be assembled and disassembled faster than a speeding bullet. Like Superman though, she has her krypton…it just doesn’t handle high winds well. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of Lisa Cantwell at Hurricane Ridge last summer, this Harrier and her portable change room may have been blow half way to Deer Park.
Claire Morgan: Our second female winner earned 14 PIH Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 10 other mentions. Building on the growing success of 2010, the start of 2011 for this driven athlete saw age group victories at all 5 Island Series races including top-3 overall finishes at Cedar and Hatley Castle. She concluded the Series with an age-group gold medal, third female overall and top Harrier distinction. She continued with bronze and gold age-group results at the large Sun Run and Times Colonist 10Ks respectively. Other road highlights included overall wins at the Navy 10K, McNeill Bay Half Marathon, Merrython 8K and Harriers Boxing Day 10Miler along with strong showings in three other half marathons at Oak Bay, Victoria and Shawnigan Lake. Personal Best times "tumbled on many occasions" at every distance including 5K on both the track and the road at Bazan Bay, 10K on the track and at the Times Colonist, and the half marathon at Victoria. Off-road results were equally impressive with an overall win at the Westwood Half and second place finishes at Mount Tzouhalem and Ladysmith where she was the top Harrier in the GutBuster Series. She won the Kilted Mile and Tug-o-War contest and posted a brilliant overall victory at Stewart Mountain. While credit is partially due to a strong training group and coach whose praise includes, "Without doubt she is the Athlete of the Year”, most as is self-realized by "training diligently done with focus, self motivation and commitment" and all while organized around the many time demands of a young and supportive family.
Natasha Wodak: Our first female winner earned 17 PIH Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 1 other mention. 2011 was another very successful year for this tenacious athlete that saw new distance PB's at Harry's 8K, Sun Run 10K and at the Victoria Half Marathon, which she also set a new course record. She had 12 road racing victories including Mother's Day and Longest Day 5Ks, Summerfast and Calgary 10Ks, and the James Cunningham Seawall 5.9 Miler. She won overall championships at the Lower Mainland Series, the Timex BC Series and the National Timex Road Race Series. She claimed 3 BC Athletics provincial championship crowns at Dave Reed 5K, Pioneer 8K and Sun Run 10K, and she helped BC win both the senior and mixed team championships at the National Timex Finale 10K Road Race in Toronto. 2011 also saw cross-country success as she was the top finisher on the winning PIH teams at both Provincial and National Cross Country Championships in Aldergrove and Vancouver. She was honoured in December by being named the BC Athletics Senior Road Runner of the Year.
Sean Chester: Our second male winner earned 9 PIH Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 3 other mentions. Like our first male winner, 2011 was a year of many firsts for this spirited and blazingly fast athlete. Of the 6 Island Series races entered, he won his age-group in four of them, set personal course best times at five races and recorded his highest Series points total ever at the Harriers Pioneer 8K. He collected his first-ever outright Series race victory at Cobble Hill and followed with 2 more wins at Hatley Castle and Merville. All these brilliant performances helped him secure his first overall Island Series championship title. He won his age-group at Harry's Spring Run Off, and was the first to finish at the Twilight Shuffle 5K, Ladysmith Gutbuster and Sidney Days 5K. As part of a two-man team he secured the overall victory in the four-leg Thetis Lake Relay in a thrilling see-saw battle against another outstanding two-man team of Bruce Deacon and David Jackson. At the Harriers Boxing Day 10 Miler he not only posted the fastest time of the day, but he also broke his own course record as well.
Shane Ruljancich: Our first male winner earned 14 PIH Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 7 other mentions. This tough athlete had definite plans and goals for 2011 and accomplished or exceeded almost all of them. He set Personal Best times at the Mile, 5K, 8K, 10K, 12K and Marathon. Each of the 6 Island Series races he entered saw personal best times, outstanding age-group placings with 3 gold medals and 3 silver medals, and a first-ever overall Series race victory at the Sooke River 10K, leading to a Series age-group gold medal and a personal best third-place finish. Other road race highlights included a first-ever sub-33 10K clocking at the Times Colonist, a gritty first-ever road half marathon win at Shawnigan-Kinsol, and an 8th overall finish at the Edmonton Marathon, done on no specific marathon training, to qualify for Boston. Off-road passion and talent showed with 6 more overall victories at the Dirty Duo and Scorched Sole 25Ks, Mount Tzouhalem, Kilted Mile, Stewart Mountain, and for his first-time at Gunner Shaw. He faced a determined challenge from top-level triathletes, Steven Kilshaw and Jasper Blake, at Stewart and Gunner but secured both wins with his punishing uphill trail running abilities. His big focus for the year was further afield with qualifying and representing Canada for the first time at a world championship race, accomplished with a brilliant 5th place finish at the Canadians in Canmore, and a persevering run under draining heat and sun at the World Mountain Running Championships in Albania.
Garth Campbell: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we will carry on with that tradition. Our male winner of the Alex Marshall Master of the Year had an outstanding year both on the road and on the trail. He placed first overall in the M50 category for the Island Race Series standings, with first-place performances at the Cedar 12K and the Pioneer 8K. At the TC10K he raced to a personal best, and concluded the road racing season at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon with a first place finish in his category. At the Gutbuster races he dominated his category, coming in first in the M50 category at each of the 4 races. During the summer he teamed up with three other master runners to set a new M50 Canadian Record of 9:24 for the 800 metre relay.
Juliette Christie: This year, we are honouring two female master runners in this category. Our first recipient competed in cross country, track and road races throughout 2011, excelling in the masters division. She was the first master, and the fourth woman overall in the BMO 8K Road Race in Vancouver. She sprinted past her competitor at the Dave Reed 5K in Stanley Park to clinch the top master female spot. At the Q’s Victoria Track Series, she was first female in the 1500m race, in a time of 5:10. On the cross country scene, she was the second masters female across the line at the BC Cross Country Championships and was part of the winning Harriers Masters female team at the Canadian Cross Country Championships.
Valerie Bell: Our second female winner had an excellent year in 2011, garnering personal bests in several distances and placing well in both road and trail races. She posted first or second place finishes at each of the 6 Island Race Series races in which she competed, taking second place overall in the F45 division for the Series. At the TC10K in April, she achieved a personal best and at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon, she had an amazing race, coming in under one hour, 30 minutes, good for second place in the F45 division. On the trail side, she dominated the Gutbuster Trail Series winning the female 40-49 division. She was ninth of 59 runners in the overall standings collecting 24 points from four races.
Elaine Galbraith: Our first female winner as Most Improved Runner specialized in 5K events where she saw her personal best times improve from 24:23 at Bazan Bay to 24:03 at the Twilight Shuffle to 23:49 at Sidney Days. She recorded P.B.s in many other distances including excellent performances at the Times Colonist 10K, Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon, Fletcher’s Challenge, Bear Mountain 10K and McNeill Bay Half Marathon. Besides Sidney Days 5K being her 2011 highlight, she posted a great 40:33 P.B. at the GoodLife Fitness 8K. This is her first Most Improved Runner Award after winning the Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award twice before.
Heather Bretschneider: Our second female winner concentrated on half marathons where she completed her 20th career half marathon in 2011 by finishing the Shawnigan/Kinsol Half, Oak Bay KOOL Half and Iron Knee 25K events. She feels her best effort came at the Iron Knee, a gruelling trail run from Grouse Mountain to Deep Cove in the North Vancouver Mountains. Her times improved drastically from 1:47 in 2010 where she ran Gibson’s April Fools Half Marathon, Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon and GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon to 1:35 last year at Shawnigan/Kinsol Half Marathon. She also ran 1:38 last year at the Oak Bay KOOL Half. In 2012 she teamed up with Kathleen Birney to become Race Directors of the Harriers Pioneer 8K and did a terrific job overseeing the race.
Richard Knowlton: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to one man and two women. All three of them had one thing in common – they showed a huge improvement in the Tuesday Night Workouts which translated into many personal best race performances throughout the year. Our male winner was seventh of 437 finishers at the Grouse Grind. His focus in 2011 was triathlons where he continually improved by finishing fifth in his age class at the Vancouver International Triathlon, second at the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon, second at the Victoria International Half Ironman, third overall and first in his division at the Panorama Triathlon and second overall, first in his division, at the 32nd annual Self Transcendence Triathlon at Elk Lake.
Bob Reid: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person who has contributed much more than running to the club. They are hard working Harriers who have given outstanding and dedicated service. This award is especially poignant this year as we lost our beloved Ken in December when he passed away suddenly. We have two recipients this year, a man and a woman, both of whom Ken would have whole heartedly supported as winners. This is the third time since 1997 that our male winner has won this award. He has been an active member of the club for 34 years and as a lifetime member he is the mainstay of the Prairie Inn Harriers. He personifies all that our club was organized to do (from our constitution): that is To encourage, promote, foster, support and assist in the development of public participation in running for fitness and health; and To organize and promote mass participation running events and educational and public awareness programs. But just as importantly, he is our emissary, welcoming new members, enlisting elite runners, encouraging and supporting all who run and walk with the club, offering all of us a special place in the PIH family.
Sara Pape-Salmon: This is the first time our female winner has won this award. She joined the club in 2005 and from the beginning has been a supportive and driving force. She is a regular member of the Saturday morning Thetis Lake gang, often leading one of the groups, and she participates in the Tuesday night training sessions regularly. She can always be counted on to volunteer at PIH events as well as competing as a Harrier in many of the organized races on the Island. As PIH Social Director since 2010, she has breathed new life into our social activities by arranging interesting guest speakers at our meetings, organizing club wilderness runs (which is a lot of work) and managing our premier social events: the summer BBQ and the annual Awards Night. She brings her upbeat positive approach to everything she does for the club and all the Harriers she meets. She has been a huge help to me over the past two years.
David Hoskins: Our male veteran athlete competes in the 65-69 age division. He consistently finishes at the top of his age category at a number of races throughout the year. Some key victories in 2011 included the Harriers Pioneer 8K, Sooke River 10K, Times Colonist 10K, Twilight Shuffle 5K, and the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon. In the Carlsbad Half Marathon in Southern California, he topped his age division by more than 10 minutes, with an outstanding 1:29:27 performance. He was 96th overall of the 7,018 finishers and finished 14th overall in the age-graded standings with a performance factor of over 85%. This was his second consecutive win at Carlsbad.
Marcia Stromsmoe: Our female veteran athlete is in the 60-64 age-group. She focused mainly on track events during the year where she had a number of noteworthy accomplishments. In the Victoria Track Series, she competed in 18 events of varying distances over the eight-meet Series. She achieving a first place finish in the F60 category in all 18 races and often raced two or three distances each night. She scored 180 points and was in first place overall in the Series, topping the leader board of the 114 male and female athletes. At the BC Senior Games she competed in 7 events including 6 track races ranging from 100 metres to 5,000 metres. In the F60 division she won 7 medals including 5 gold medals and she established a new BC Record in the 3000 metre race.
Claire Morgan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. For only the third time in 26 years, we have a female winning this award, in fact, for the first time ever we have two females winning it tonight. The trophy has been dominated by men since 1986 and more recently by Gary Duncan who has claimed the award for 5 consecutive years and 6 out of 7 since 2004. Gary routinely runs 40 to 50 races annually and never misses a club training run, social run or adventure run. Due to an injury, he has gladly passed the torch to two first-time winners. Both of these ladies have had outstanding races throughout 2011 collectively participating in 40 to 50 events and winning several of them. Both recorded personal bests at a variety of distances and consistently finished in the top three women overall in almost every race. Both winners competed at the highest level in BC Championships, National Championships and as part of female Harriers winning teams. Without listing their specific individual accomplishments now, as you will be hearing these later in the ceremony, it gives me great pleasure to announce our two winners.
Natasha Fraser: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. For only the third time in 26 years, we have a female winning this award, in fact, for the first time ever we have two females winning it tonight. The trophy has been dominated by men since 1986 and more recently by Gary Duncan who has claimed the award for 5 consecutive years and 6 out of 7 since 2004. Gary routinely runs 40 to 50 races annually and never misses a club training run, social run or adventure run. Due to an injury, he has gladly passed the torch to two first-time winners. Both of these ladies have had outstanding races throughout 2011 collectively participating in 40 to 50 events and winning several of them. Both recorded personal bests at a variety of distances and consistently finished in the top three women overall in almost every race. Both winners competed at the highest level in BC Championships, National Championships and as part of female Harriers winning teams. Without listing their specific individual accomplishments now, as you will be hearing these later in the ceremony, it gives me great pleasure to announce our two winners.
Logan Roots: Our Stewart Fall Junior of the Year winner earned 5 PIH Runner-of-the-Week distinctions and 5 other mentions. In his 6 Island Series races he won his age-group in 5 but recorded his best points at the other. He also recorded two 5th overall placings, and easily won age-group gold for the series placing an impressive 6th male overall. He was top junior and 4th overall at the Tzouhalem Gutbuster and 7th overall at the Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. He set a 34:20 PB at the Times Colonist 10K winning his age group by over 3 minutes, was the top junior at both the Oak Bay and Victoria Half Marathons, and at the Twilight Shuffle 5K, perhaps his best performance, where he finished second overall.
Christine Thate: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be age group winners, but they are usually there competing, helping, captaining and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. Proudly wearing the Prairie Inn Harriers colours, our female winner has been a member of the club for 14 years. She has previously held the office of PIH secretary. In 2011, she ran the Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon, the McNeill Bay Half Marathon, the Bear Mountain Half Marathon and the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon. And this year, as an enthusiastic participant in the Q’s Victoria Track Series, she won her F50 age division and was a respectable 8th place point winner with 78 points. When she is not running in our many club organized races, she can always be counted on to volunteer as a marshal or part of the clean-up or set-up crews.
Larry Nylen: On the run all of the time, our male winner is a regular member of the Saturday morning and Tuesday night training groups, he has consistently improved at every event and at every training session. He ran all 8 races in the Frontrunners Island Race Series in 2011 and racked up 98 points for the club. He was 2nd in the M50 division at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic and ran the Shawnigan Lake Half in 1:33:52, bettering his time by 2 minutes from 2010. He was the PIH runner of the week for his second place finish in the M40 division at the 27K Endurance Race at the Mount Frosty Ultramarathon in September and he represented the club in all of the Gustbuster Series Trail Races by regularly improving his position by 3 to 5 places each race.
Antonia Harvey: Our female Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is a very hard working runner with extraordinary hill climbing abilities, known to do training runs in the dark before work by climbing stairs in Goldstream Park or running up Mount Prevost in Duncan. Climbing and endurance training were necessary for one of her goal races of 2011 - the 50K Mount Frosty twin mountain climb in Manning Park where she finished 11th overall out of 58 runners. She competed in three Gutbusters last year with a second place finish in her category in the Westwood Lake Half Marathon. In 2010 she was the fastest female with an under-3 hour finish at the Kusam Klimb in Sayward and would have had a chance at setting the course record in 2011 if the event wasn’t cancelled due to avalanche conditions.
Hayden Earle: Our second male rookie is an extraordinary navigator that is running faster and faster with his persistent training with the club on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings, among other runs. He shaved 4 minutes and 15 seconds off his Pioneer 8K time between 2011 and 2012. He is an excellent orienteer and is very active with the Victoria Orienteering Club and their events throughout the year. His biggest achievement in 2011 was his team’s second place finish at the Cumberland Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race in September. His two-person team was in the lead through the kayaking and trekking sections of the race and posted the fastest orienteering section overall.
Jeremy Watts: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2011 we have selected two males and one female to receive this award. Our first male winner is a trails pioneer whose passion is exploring the Sooke Hills Wilderness Park for new running routes, ranging from a couple hours to a half-day experience, sometimes returning after dark with his headlamp. He often runs the hills on his own but sometimes leads a group of runners to an adventure as he knows the large network of trails, rarely resorting to a GPS to find the way back. He had a terrific 35:12 finish in the TC10K in April and had a top-10 finish at the Ladysmith Holland Creek Gutbuster in June.
Sharon Anderson: Our Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year has been a club member since 2008. Her first TC10K time in 2009 was 77 1/2 minutes. Since then she has improved to last year's personal best of 74:54 and was third out of 209 female competitive walkers and first in her age division. Last year she entered the Esquimalt 5K in March and the Esquimalt Walkers Only race in September where she was first female in the Walker's race. She also did the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon in October and was 50th of 98 in her age group for all half marathon participants, runners and walkers. She is a supportive member of the group, helping with new members and assisting at RaceWalk Victoria in February. She is also involved with the Times Colonist clinics as a walk leader.
Shane Ruljancich: The Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year award is going to a male and female recipient this year. Both had excellent trail racing seasons, including several wins in their respective age categories in the GutBuster Series. Our male trail runner of the year had an absolutely outstanding year, racking up a total of five overall victories in trail races in 2011. He started off the year with a win at the Dirty Duo 25K trail race in North Vancouver, and followed this with victories at the Mt. Tzouhalem Gutbuster in Duncan and at the Scorched Sole 25K trail race in Kelowna. He topped off his winning season with first place finishes at both the Gunner Shaw 10K and the Stewart Mountain 10 mile races at Thetis Lake. In between these winning ventures, he also qualified for the National Mountain Running Team and competed at the World Mountain Running Championships in Albania.
Valerie Bell: Our female winner dominated the master’s category in several trail races. She was the top female master in the overall series standings for the Gutbuster series, placing first, second or third at each of four races in the Series. She was the second masters female at the Fletcher's Challenge 11K Trail Run in Nanaimo and raced to an impressive fifth overall placing at the Mount Frosty 27K race in Manning Park, clinching the first female masters spot.
Steve Bachop and Louise Proulx: Our male Cyclist of the Year had an ambitious appetite for bike racing both on the roads and on the muddy trails in a Cyclocross Series. He finished 4th overall in the A Group Category of the Victoria Cycling League Series where he participated in 19 races winning the Neild Road Hill Climb and finishing second in two races and third in two others. He participated in 7 races in the BC Masters Road Race Series and placed second overall with 5 victories and 6 age group wins in the M40 division. He finished 6 races to claim second overall in the Expert Category in the Cross on the Rocks Cyclocross Series in September, October and November. In total tonight's male winner did 35 races between March and November, winning 9 of them outright and finishing on the podium in most of the others. He is also a regular fixture by volunteering to be the Lead Cyclist for the GoodLife Fitness Marathon and the Harriers Pioneer 8K for the past several years. Our female Cyclist of the Year took a different approach and dominated in long-distance racing events, all of which were over 100 kilometres in length. She is winning the award for the second consecutive year. At the inaugural Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria ride in May she was the top Harrier and finished first in the F50 division in the 140K race, the 3.6K Hill Climb on Munn Road and the 12K Waterfront Time Trial on Beach Drive. In July, she traveled to the Okanagan to place first in the F50 division of the RBC Kelowna GranFondo 115K race winning her age category by over 8 minutes. She was the sixth female overall of 1,138 cyclists. Saving the best to the end, in September, she placed second of 348 riders in the F50 division at the 122 kilometre Vancouver to Whistler GranFondo and improved her time by 4 minutes 20 seconds over 2010 under very windy and harsh weather conditions. She was the ninth female overall of over 7,000 total competitors.
Chris Kelsall: Our first male winner of the Members’ High Achievement Award was singled out by his nominator for his “work in organizing the Q-100’s Track Series. He put on eight events each summer so we (the runners) can pick and choose which nights we will be doing 400, 800, 1500, 3000 or 5000 metre races; even orchestrating a 10,000 metre high performance event in August of 2011. The awards nights are informal, yet meaningful – welcoming all to attend. Also, I would like to nominate him for his work with Olympic and other high calibre athletes with Flotrack Interviews – he religiously puts the interviews on the Harriers Chatline and sends them out via email for all of the track participants. His has high energy, enthusiasm and is very professional, in a relaxed manner that makes one really feel like doing one’s best at track events.” One other aspect that stands out in my mind is the time and energy he has put in as editor of the Prairie Inn Post producing great issues time after time.
Sara Pape-Salmon: It is a pleasure to present a fairly new perpetual award tonight for only the third time. It is the Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award and the recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership. You have brought forward three names for this achievement and all are extremely worthy candidates in 2011. The member who nominated our female winner of the Members’ High Achievement Award said, “She is so involved in every aspect of the club: leading runs, organizing wilderness trail runs, volunteering at races, competing in races, coordinating social events and road trips such as Orcas Island.” A few other things our nominator did not mention was her persuasion and great organizational skills in bringing in so many new speakers for our regular meetings and her enthusiasm at welcoming new members at Saturday morning runs and Tuesday night workouts. She embodies all the wonderful qualities of PIH members past and present who have given so much of themselves to our great club.
Shane Ruljancich: Here’s what the nominator of the second male of the Members’ High Achievement Award had to say. “There are a lot of great runners out there, and people who give to the club, and I see my nominee as someone who not only is performing well as a competitive runner, but in addition, as someone who gives back to the running community. He has had several great performances across many races, made the Canadian Mountain Running Team, and subsequently competed in grueling conditions in Albania at the World Championships. He is also very modest about his achievements. He gives back to the running community by offering coaching and training services to a number of runners in Victoria, with an emphasis on trail running and racing. He has created an inclusive, supportive atmosphere for this diverse group of runners.”
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in Adventure Racing - Todd Nowack: This year, for the third time, we are presenting an award for Excellence in Adventure Racing to a club member who has excelled at many different disciplines including running, mountain biking, orienteering, trekking and kayaking. He is an exceptional mountain biker who continues to dominate the adventure racing scene on Vancouver Island with his strength, agility, navigational skills and endurance. Since 2005 he has completed 13 Mind Over Mountain Adventure Races. He suffered a back injury in 2010, but with remarkable determination, back mobility exercises and core strengthening he rebounded to once again be the top adventure racer in B.C. He won both MOMAR races in 2011 – on Burnaby Mountain with an 8 minute lead and in Cumberland with a 6 minute margin of victory to finish in 4 hours 52 minutes. During that race he consumed 1,000 calories of CarboPro Powder, 2 gels, 2 fruit bars and 40 Hammer Endurolytes.
Excellence in Club Leadership - Gary Duncan and Kathleen Birney: Our third special service award is for Excellence in Club Leadership. Leadership and volunteerism form fundamental pillars for a successful and vibrant running club. The two Harriers receiving this award regularly give their time and energy contributing to the functioning and success of the Prairie Inn Harriers. They volunteer at every PIH race and social event, provide logistical and creative input during planning processes, and regularly assist with transportation and leadership for the club wilderness runs. The Tuesday Night Workout participants are also most grateful for them consistently leading the training sessions and for bringing the gummy treats and Gatorade in Bob’s absence. It is worth noting that one winner volunteered to be the 2012 Pioneer Race Director and did an excellent job in all aspects while the other leadership winner sits on the PIH Board of Directors and meticulously measures and certifies almost every race course on Vancouver Island.
Excellence in Volunteering - Mike Emerson, Garfield Saunders and Susan Norrington: Our second group of three individuals are being acknowledged for Excellence in Volunteering. Volunteers are the backbone of the seven Harriers-hosted events annually and our winners tonight are always the first ones to show up willing to help. They played a major role in success of the Pioneer 8K, Elk/Beaver Ultras, Thetis Lake Relay, Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain and Boxing Day races last year. They also helped with the TC10K and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Frequently they play key roles with race registration, awards presentations, equipment delivery, course marking, set-up and take-down of the finish line equipment and signage.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Shane Ruljancich and Sonja Yli-Kahila: The impressive, hard-working couple receiving the The impressive, hard-working couple receiving the Harriers Fittest Couple award shone very brightly in 2011. They both consistently achieved improvements in their race times on road and trail. They also both won their age categories in the 2011 Frontrunners Island Race Series and achieved numerous personal bests between them during the Series. Another tremendous highlight for both of them was competing in the Canadian World Mountain Running Championships in Canmore, Alberta, qualifying for the Canadian Mountain Running Team and subsequently representing Canada in Albania at the World Mountain Championships.
Harriers Newsletter Article of the Year - Keith Mills: We will start by saluting a club member for the Newsletter Article of the Year. We are encouraging Harriers to send stories to our editors to keep our Newsletter lively and exciting every edition. This new award is for the best or most interesting article published in the Prairie Inn Post during 2011. The winner of this award wrote a remarkable report on the Lions Gate Road Runners’ Gunner Shaw Race in the February 2011 issue of the Prairie Inn Post. He writes in his own voice. His writing style is wonderfully refreshing, although I understand he is a bitch to edit. The story in PIP is hilarious on a couple of levels as it pokes fun at fellow runners and the writer himself in good-natured, self-deprecating fashion and with exceptional wit. From our editor of the PIP: for pure entertainment value, this is the one for me; no other articles compare in my view.
Harriers Triathletes of the Year - Melanie McQuaid, Julie Van Veelen and Richard Knowlton: Our next three awards recognize adventure racing, ultramarathons and multi-sport events as we have many members exploring activities beyond running. Starting with the Triathlete of the Year, we are honouring two women and one man. The first winner has excelled on the XTERRA triathlon scene in 2011. She picked up XTERRA victories on two consecutive weekends in April at the XT West Championship in Las Vegas and the XT South Central Championship in Texas. She won the XTERRA USA Championship in Ogden/Snowbasin for the fourth year in a row, coming in 3 minutes ahead of the next closest female finisher. She also clinched the 2011 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series championship in Utah and the won the Canadian XTERRA Championship in Whistler. In addition, she excelled at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion in Spain winning the female championship while riding on a borrowed bike. Having ‘found’ triathlon a few years ago our second female shone in this sport in 2011 with strong improvements in both her cycling and swimming times. She was third female overall and second in her category at both the Sooke Half Ironman Triathlon and in the sprint distance at the Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon. At the Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon she won the silver medal in the F30 division, improving her time by over 15 minutes from 2010. To top off an excellent year racing in triathlons, she qualified for the ITU Long Distance World Triathlon Championships where she crossed the finish as the second Canadian female and seventh female in the 30-34 age category. Our male winner competed in both Half Ironman and Olympic triathlon distance events in 2011. He was 4th overall and finished 2nd in his category in the Olympic distance at the Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon. At the Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon he finished 22nd overall out of over 200 finishers and at the Saunders Subaru Victoria Half Ironman he finished with a personal best placing of 9th overall to win a silver medal in the M30 division.
Harriers Ultramarathoner of the Year - Jason Loutitt: Our Ultramarathoner of the Year travelled all over the world to compete in long-distance races and had incredible success with first and second place finishes in many events. In January he won the Hawaii Ultrarunners Trail 100 Mile run by over an hour and repeated his victory again last month. In April he finished second overall of 426 finishers at the American River 50 Miler in Sacramento, California. In May he won the Elk/Beaver 100K race and topped the field at the Calgary Marathon. Perhaps his highlight of the year was a second place finish in July at the IAU 70K World Trail Ultra Championships in Connemara, Ireland. Following the event and during the race he was interviewed and the 30-minute segment was televised worldwide showcasing the race as one of the most difficult ultras. In September he participated as part of Team Canada at the Commonwealth Ultramarathon Championships in Wales and at the World 100K Championships in Winschoten, The Netherlands.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Best Hits to the Head - Kirsten Arensen, Carlos Castillo and Larry Nylen: Our next comical award is going to three runners that took running to a full-body contact sport in 2011. They also displayed blood, gashes, dizziness and unsteady running by colliding with a tree, a rock, a branch or just hit the ground during a training run. Runner Number One collided with a tree in the warm-up of a Tuesday Night Workout at Mount Doug Park; we hadn’t even started the workout yet! She had to be escorted to the parking lot and driven to the hospital for a check-up. Runner Number Two fell and cracked his head open with a nasty cut while running with Big Dan on the Gowlland Tod Trail. Fortunately, he had his video camera along to record the complete fiasco and his bandana stopped the bleeding. Runner Number Three showed up for a regular Saturday Morning Harriers Run at Thetis Lake Park and didn’t duck low enough under a large wayward branch. The branch won and our man was knocked down on his rear end resulting in a big bump on his forehead. We are giving them each an icepack.
Most Unreliable Run Leaders - Lara Wear and Garth Campbell: The final funny acknowledgement goes to two runners that have difficulty in leading a Harriers training group. Tonight they are receiving “The Most Unreliable Run Leader Award”. For many, many years the regular Saturday morning group leaders at Thetis Lake Park have been Gary Duncan, Bob Reid and John McKay. Occasionally Gary, Bob or John can’t make it and one of the groups employs a substitute leader. Others such as Sara, Lara, Louise, Garth, Ian or Garfield have stepped forward to fill in. Substitute Leader Number One never stops at trail intersections and seldom looks behind her to see how the group is doing. As a result she loses many runners along the way. One Saturday a father brought his two 10-year old English boys to participate in the Harriers group run; they had never been on the Thetis Lake trails. Within the first 15 minutes our Substitute Leader had dropped one of the boys, who was now lost and crying, and the second one disappeared beside a bridge. Sara had to retreat and find both of them and escort them back to the parking lot. You guessed it, the boys never came back to Thetis again! Substitute Leader Number Two has the habit of starting the training run fast then increasing the pace to the point that he has everyone spread out from Thetis Lake to Ladysmith. None of his pack is connected, all of them are panting like crazy as they are scurrying along above race pace and none of them get a chance to talk during this training session. They are on their own to discover the proper route and find their way back to the cars. The so-called group run is now an individual survival contest as each one enters the parking area about three minutes apart, completely drenched in sweat from trying to catch up to Substitute Leader Number Two, who has already gone home and finished breakfast. For Substitute Leader Number One, we are pleased to present a Thetis Rear View Mirror that she is to hold in front of her while running. On the back of the mirror is a map of Thetis Lake Park with every trail intersection marked with a stop sign. The person immediately following her is to yell “WHOA” and hold up this sign every time the group approaches a trail intersection. Hopefully, no one will get lost with this new trail re-grouping equipment. For Substitute Leader Number Two, we have introduced a Thetis Lake Leg Anchor that must be attached to his ankle before the training run. He is required to keep it on for the entire hour so that the run is controlled and all those following in his group can keep up. They will now be able to socialize along the way and should arrive back at the parking lot together and actually be able to go for breakfast together instead of running, then eating, one at a time.
Mr. Non-Fragile Award - Dave Harvey: We’ll start the night off with a few amusing gifts. The first one we are calling the “Harriers Non-Fragile Award” presented to Mr. Blood, Sweat, Blind and NO Tears. It goes to a Harrier who has proved to be a true, elite “Non-Fragile Runner”. This Harrier proved his salt, and sweated out a bunch too, on the Mount Frosty 50K course in 2011 at Manning Park. He tackled this course like a hardy Harrier: Food - who needs that! Water - baahhh, totally unnecessary! Blood-letting – it’s a good thing! He managed to cross the finish line (or should I say, was eventually delivered in the back of a pick-up truck to the finish line), after enduring dehydration, open bleeding wounds, confusion, and blindness in one eye. He is receiving a package of bandages and a black eye patch.
Lucy Smith: Our second winner earned 9 Runner-Of-The-Week distinctions and 2 other mentions. She ran 3 Island Series races in 2010 comfortably winning her age group each time, by over 8 minutes at Cedar, and finished as top female overall once, and second female twice. The Series race that stands out for her is a close battle in our own Pioneer 8K where she finished just 3 seconds back of our first award winner. She double dipped in the prize money at the Twilight Shuffle 5K, a Pacific Northwest Masters’ Championship, winning the title overall by almost 2 minutes and was the top master by over 5 minutes. She also topped the age graded results at 89%, an incredible 13% better than the next female. She raced the TC10K finishing 4th overall and 2nd master with a time of 34:58, the Vancouver Sun Run finishing 7th overall and 1st master in 35:06 and the Beat the Bridge 8K in Seattle finishing 3rd overall and 1st master in a time of 27:51. On the track she raced open rather than master and won 4 Victoria Track Series races from the mile, in 5:15, to 5,000 metres, in 16:59, including two on one night, and two mixed races where she also beat all the men. Highlights of the season for her included "the actual marathon training and the awesome four-week block that overlapped with Marilyn's, and then completing it on a tough day", where she battled for the overall lead of the Victoria Marathon several times before ending up a close third in 2:55, and was easily top master by over 16 minutes. At the BC Cross Country Championships she finished 3rd overall qualifying for Nationals where, just 2 weeks after having pneumonia and in heavy snow with 10" underfoot, she finished 10th overall to help lead both Team BC and the PIH Racing Team to silver medals. All this in a year where she says her "personal, business and family life took priority", she "missed lots of training and events due to family and LifeSport commitments and only ran about 5 times or less than 8 hours per week for most of the season.”
Maurice Tarrant: Our third winner earned 9 Runner-of-the-Week distinctions and many other mentions. While running locally he earned results felt well beyond Victoria. In 2010 he won his age group in the 7 Island Series races that he contested keeping alive his string of over 250 consecutive victories. Besides setting a substantial new course age record at each, he also set new Canadian age group records at every Athletics Canada sanctioned distance including 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K and half-marathon. He didn't just break these Canadian records; he destroyed them by lowering the 5K by 3:26, the 8K by 8:07, the half marathon by 6:32 and the 15K by an incredible 16 minutes and 56 seconds. Think about that for a moment; that's over one minute per kilometre faster than the previous National M80 record for 15K. In fact his 5K and 8K times are second best in the world, and his 12K and 15K times are new age group world records. At the TC10K he lowered his own new Canadian record by another 32 seconds. His age-graded equivalent time of 29:22 topped all 10,616 finishers with a world class 91.44% ranking. He has run this race all 21 years and holds age class records for M60, M65, M70, M75 and M80. No one in the world will ever match this longevity and string of outstanding TC10K performances. Next up was the Victoria Track Series where in 6 races he set new Canadian age group marks for 1,500 metres, the mile, 3,000 metres and twice in the 5,000 metre race, again significantly by 1 minute, 56 seconds or about one full lap in the 3,000 metre event. The fall saw more course age records fall at the Lands End 10K and the Victoria Half Marathon. Accolades received during the year include having a second award named after him, the Victoria Track Series Performance Award presented to the athlete who gains the most votes by his contemporaries. He won the inaugural presentation by a wide margin; he also won the BC Athletics Master Road Race award and fittingly he was inducted into the Canadian Master's Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2010. “Running is a lifestyle for me; I enjoy the fitness and the companionship of others during training or racing, keeping to regular training with at least three runs a week with rest days - this could be weight training or rowing or carrying out projects like gardening or home improvements. In other words, staying active.”
Natasha Wodak: Our first winner earned 7 PIH Runner-of-the-Week distinctions and 2 other mentions. 2010 was a big year for her with new PB's at most distances from 1,500 metres to 10K, although many races were about placings rather than times. Her self-professed "breakthrough race" was a 40 second PB at a 5,000 metre race in Portland. While living in Port Moody and training with her alumnus Simon Fraser University group, she like several other talented mainland runners frequently flies the PIH colours. Her 8K PB of 27:51 came in an overall win at our own Pioneer race where she bested fellow Harrier luminaries Lucy Smith, Kirsten Sweetland and Cheryl Murphy. She raced 4 other Timex races to win the Series Title with an 876 points average, 46 ahead of the second place female. The races included the TC10K, a 34:48 PB at the Vancouver Sun Run, a 2 minute margin of victory at the Sandcastle 10K in White Rock and a 16:41 PB win at the Longest Day 5K at UBC. October races also included a trio of second place finishes at the Victoria 8K, at the Canadian 10K Championships in Toronto to lead the BC team to the national title, and at the BC Cross Country Championships in Aldergrove to lead the PIH team to victory. In November she was selected to Team Canada to compete in Japan in the Chiba Ekiden Relay, her first national team representation. Her self-professed most surprising race of the year was at the cross country nationals in Guelph, where coming straight back from Japan, exhausted and jet lagged, she initially struggled falling off the back of a fast start pack slipping to 8th position by 2K. She heard her aunt and uncle cheering her on telling her to get tough. With 2K to go gritting her teeth she hammered up a hill and set her sights on first 7th, then 6th, until with 1K left, she was only 20 metres behind 5th, the last spot for the national team, slowly reeling her in until just steps behind with only 100 metres to go and a huge hill. The previous year at the Nationals she fell right before the finish line in a tight race and so this year she was determined to redeem herself. Hanging tight until the top of the hill she let go a final 40 metre sprint to nip by. In her words, "I couldn't believe I got 5th! It was one of my best races ever.... I refused to give up even on a day where I wasn't feeling great. Hard work does pay off and now I'm on Team Canada going to North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships in Trinidad next weekend!!!!".
Lucy Smith: Our female recipient of the Alex Marshall Master Runner of the Year started out the year with a master’s win and a second female overall performance at the BC 8K Road Race Championships at Pioneer. She was also the first female finisher, first female master and 21st overall at the Cedar 12K. She then went on to place as second female overall and first master at the Bazan Bay 5K in 17:21 which tied her for the F40 course record set the previous year. She ran 34:58 at the TC10K and 35:06 at the Sun Run where she won a gold medal and a silver medal in the F40 masters’ division. In June, she cruised to another 5K victory as top female and top master at the Legion Twilight Shuffle 5K in Chemainus which was the Pacific Northwest Masters’ Championships. She spent much of the summer on the track and competing in the Q's Victoria Track Series pulling off the first female win in the 5,000 metre race in 17 minutes 14 seconds on June 26, and then beating out all of the male and female runners on July 17 in the Open 3,000 metre race. And finally, she finished first in the 5,000 metre division in 16:59, against 14 other men and women at the August 21 meet. In October, at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, she was 3rd female, top female master and 51st overall runner finishing in 2:55:30. This was another gold medal performance in the Provincial Marathon Championships sanctioned by BC Athletics. She completed the year, as did our male recipient, at BC Cross Country Championships in Aldergrove and at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Guelph. In both events, she chose to compete in the senior women’s events with younger females rather than in the masters division. She placed 3rd in the 6K race at Aldergrove and anchored the BC senior women’s teams in Guelph, leading Team BC to a silver medal in the inter-province competition and the Prairie Inn Harriers Racing Team to a silver medal in the Inter-Club competition.
Paddy McCluskey: The Prairie Inn Harriers has for many years been known as strong masters club, and tonight we carry on that tradition. Our male winner has been hiding in the wings for the about ten years while he followed his career path to become a physician and started to raise a family. 2009 brought him back into the competitive mode and 2010 was a great year for him. He started making waves, literally, in May when he hit the triathlon circuit and placed first in his age division and second master in the Sooke Spring Sprint Triathlon; and then three weeks later, he was second master and 9th overall at the Subaru Shawinigan Lake International Triathlon, finishing in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 45 seconds. In June at the New Balance Half Ironman, he was top master and 3rd overall out of 399 finishers with a time of 4:15:47. In the fall he showed his diversity by hitting the trails at the BC Cross Country Championships where he unleashed a tremendous finishing sprint to out-kick Craig Odermatt by less than a second in 28:34.16, and winning the Provincial Master's 8K Championship. He closed out the season as a member of Team BC at the Canadian Cross Country Championships held in Guelph, where he placed 2nd in the Master's 8K division in a phenomenal time of 26:36 on a course covered with 10 inches of snow which made the footing very tricky.
Claire Morgan: Our first female winner had an absolutely fantastic year. Returning to racing after having two children she achieved P.R.s in several distances in 2010. She lowered her time by over a minute and a half at the 5K distance between the Bazan Bay race in March, 2009 and the Sidney Days race in July, 2010 with a time of 18:36. She shaved around 2 minutes off her times at Pioneer, Cedar and Hatley Castle. She also ran under 39 minutes at the Lands End 10K in September which was almost 2 minutes faster than her performance at Cobble Hill in January the year before. Finally, the highlights of her year were major improvements and sizeable personal bests in the half marathon where she previously had been running 1:30. She lowered her time to 1:26:52 at the San Francisco Half Marathon in July and then to 1:26:19 at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in October to earn a silver medal in the F35 division.
Larry Nylen: This year the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is being awarded to two men and two women. Our first male winner achieved excellent performances throughout the year. He lowered his times in all of the Island Series races from 2009 to 2010. He improved his times by about two minutes in the Pioneer 8K, Cobble Hill 10K, Cedar 12K and Hatley Castle 8K races. He also improved his 10K time by over two and a half minutes lowering it from 43:53 to 41:12. He had strong performances on the trails at the GutBuster Series where he ran all five races with his best performance coming at Royal Roads where he came in second in his age category, just a few seconds behind Claire. At the age of 49, he placed third in the GutBuster Series behind team mates Andrew Pape-Salmon and Ian Ackroyd in a very difficult and competitive M40 division.
Shane Ruljancich: Our second male winner has achieved success locally in previous years and, after switching his training regimen, he was able to improve his times considerably during 2010. He dropped his 8K time from 26:57 in 2009 to 26:31 in 2010 and broke the 16-minute barrier at the Bazan Bay 5K race, running it in 15:47. For 10K, he lowered his times by almost a minute and half from 34:20 to 33 minutes flat in an outstanding effort at the Times Colonist 10K. In the half-marathon distance, he reduced his time to 1:14:46. He succeeded in winning his age category at the Island Race Series and improved his overall points standing from 798 in 2009 to an all-time high of 812 points in 2010.
Sonja Yli-Kahila: Our second female winner of the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award is going to a Harrier who had an excellent 2010 season. She ran a total of 18 races and improved her times from the previous year in every distance from 5 kilometer races to the half-marathon. She had an incredible Island Race Series, winning her category at the Comox Half Marathon in 1:32 and the Merville 15K in 1:04. She was second place in her category at Cobble Hill and Bazan Bay and ultimately won the overall Series title for the female 30 to 34 age category. She ran her first marathon in 2010, the Victoria GoodLife Fitness Marathon, crossing the line at an impressive 3:22. She competed in several grueling endurance trail runs, including the 48 kilometre Juan de Fuca Trail, the Vancouver Island Spine Relay running the 43K on the North Coast Trail and she also did well at the Orcas Island 25K trail race.
Ken Smythe: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to the person who has contributed much more than running to the club. He has given outstanding and dedicated service to the Harriers for many of our keynote events. Our recipient has received this award five times in the past and he is such a valuable member that the trophy was renamed after him in 1992. He continues to provide service by volunteering before, during and after many major races and club social events. He was one of the first on the scene for the Gunner Shaw 10K, Thetis Lake Relay and Stewart Mountain Cross Country races and was there three weeks later for our New Year’s Day Memorial Run at Beaver Lake. He and his crew of Sandy, Anita, Karen, Doug, Jim, Art and John are the most welcomed people on a freezing, windy and wet day at Thetis Lake Park when the competitors come to the refreshment tent shivering cold and covered with mud, some of them are even crying. It is Ken who they first see serving up a generous cup of chicken soup or hot chocolate along with fresh fruit, marshmallows and cookies, all of this done with a smile and a few kind words to each person. Somehow the challenging ordeal of the day is forgotten by the runner – the slogging through the slush and snow, the slipping on the ice and wet rocks, the cut knees, the trudging through waist-deep stinky puddles and the race finale, a shoe-wash by thrashing through the lake in two feet of water to the finish line. The day is now complete, hot chocolate in hand, a smile on the runner’s face and all of this thanks is a credit to yet another dedicated performance from the ultimate volunteer of the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club. It is indeed to a pleasure to present the 2010 Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award to whom else, but to Ken Smythe.
David Hoskins: Two men have had magnificent race seasons throughout 2010. No one in B.C. is better than these two Prairie Inn Harriers veterans. The first winner won all 6 races and placed first in his age division in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. He also completed in a number of races in the Timex BC Road Running Series and placed first in his age division in major events such as the Sun Run and TC10K. He won his age division at the Twilight Shuffle 5K and ran both Gunner Shaw Cross Country Races placing second in Victoria and first in Vancouver. He won BC Road Racing Championships in the 8K and 10K distances. He won his age division in the Lands End Half Marathon, the Kilted Mile and the Calgary Half Marathon. Perhaps his highlight of the year was in California where he topped his age category by nearly 2 minutes and placed an incredible 68th overall out of 7,140 finishers in the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon.
Herb Phillips: Our second award winner competed in track, cross country and road races at local, provincial and international levels in distances from 1,500 metres to the marathon finishing first for his age category in all of his races. His race schedule reads like a fixtures list including the James Cunningham Seawall Race, Delta Half Marathon, Sandcastle City Classic 10K, Shaugnessy 8K, Pioneer 8K, TC10K, Sun Run, April Fool’s Day Half Marathon, St Patrick’s Day 5K, Steveston Ice Breaker 8K, Harry's 8K Spring Run-off, Dave Reed 5K Spring Classic, Twilight Shuffle 5K, Longest Day 5K, Scotiabank Half Marathon, Delta Half Marathon, GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, BC Cross Country Championships and Vancouver Gunner Shaw Cross Country 10K. He also competed at the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California where he won gold medals in the 1,500 metres, 5K and 10K events. He won his age division in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series and the Timex BC Race Series. He was winner of for his age division in the BC Athletics Championships in Cross Country and in the BC Athletics Road Racing Championships for 5K, 8K, Half Marathon and Marathon distances. He set numerous provincial and national road race records last year as well as track records for 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres, one mile and road records for 10 kilometres and half marathon.
Marcia Stromsmoe: Our first female veteran athlete is in the 60-64 age-group. She ran nine of the Victoria Track Series races winning all nine in her age group and she also won her age group for the Island Race Series. In 2010 she competed in the 3-day, BC Senior Games in seven events including six track events ranging from 100 metres to 5,000 metres and a 10K road race. On the track events she won 1 gold, 3 silvers and 1 bronze and in the road race she won a silver. In the Legion Twilight Shuffle 5K, she was first for her age category and was the third age-graded female overall.
Sandy Anderson: Our second female veteran athlete is in the 70-74 age-group and is presently competing in field events. She holds a number of British Columbia and Canadian age-class records. In 2010 she competed in the 3-day BC Senior Games including six field events and the Weight Pentathlon. She won gold medals in the Discus, Hammer Throw, High Jump, Shot Put, Weight Throw and Weight Pentathlon and she took silver in the Javelin. At the BC Senior Games she established new provincial records in both the Weight Pentathlon and Weight Throw events. She competed at the USA Track and Field Championships, in Sacramento, California, in the High Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Discus, Hammer Throw and Javelin. She won one gold medal and three silvers and set a Canadian Record in the W70 Pole Vault.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight's winner has a huge appetite for running and racing and he is no stranger to this award as he has won it on five previous occasions. In 2010 he completed 45 races and his running schedule sounds like a Race Calendar as he rarely misses any events. He completed eight races of the Island Race Series with 3 gold medals, 4 silvers and one bronze to capture his first-ever M50 Series title. He was first in his age category in 3 of his 5 GutBuster mountain races and winner of the M50 division of that Series. He had a M50 sweep of the 3 Thetis Lake races, Bear Mountain and Lions Gate Gunner Shaw cross country race in Vancouver. He ran two races in the Vancouver Island Cross Country Series and four races in the Victoria Track Series. Besides these races he ran an amazing six half marathons including, Oak Bay, Lands End Shawnigan-Kinsol, GoodLife Fitness, Westwood Lake, Comox Valley and Fort Rodd Hill taking gold at most of them. In between, he still found time to do the TC10K, Twilight Shuffle, PIH Boxing Day Run, seven charity races including Do it For Dad and Oak Bay Merrython, where he finished first overall in both events, Terry Fox, Run for the Cure, Run Through Time, YMCA New Years Day 10K and the Harriers New Years Day Memorial Run. He had two double-race weekends - the BC Cross Country Championships in Aldergrove on Saturday and Shawnigan-Kinsol Half Marathon on Sunday and the Jericho Gunner Shaw on Saturday and Oak Bay Firefighters Merrython on Sunday. Even more demanding, he had three double-race days by finishing the Harriers Memorial 10K then racing to the YMCA for their New Year’s Day 10K, he ran Stage 1 for his M50 team in the Oak Bay Ekiden Relay then continued on with the Half Marathon race course to capture his age category, and finally, after finishing the Fort Rodd Hill Half Marathon in Colwood, he headed north to Duncan to run their new 8K Road Race later in the day. His busiest season was in the summer with16 races in three and a half months and he dabbled with some new adventures in 2010 by taking a silver and gold medal in the Mt. Washington Yeti Snow Shoe Race and the Juan de Fuca Duathlon. His highlights of the year both came at Royal Roads where he nailed a P.B. on the GutBuster long course and at the Hatley Castle 8K.
Julie van Veelen: For only the second time in 25 years, we also have a female winner of the John Thipthorpe Durability Award in a category that seems to have been dominated by men. Rob Grant and Rosamund Dashwood shared this award in 1996 and 2010 marks the rise of another race-hungry female Harrier. She competed in 31 races including five Half Ironman Triathlons, all eight Frontrunners Island Series races, five Victoria Track Series events and still managed time to fit in the TC10K, BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, Kilted Mile, Panorama Duathlon, Twilight Shuffle, Sidney Days 5K, Esquimalt Triathlon of Compassion, Self Transcendence Duathlon, Lands End Half Marathon, GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Thetis Lake Relay, Vancouver Gunner Shaw 10K and the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler. She was shooting for more but a nagging injury cropped up and shortened her schedule. She had a brilliant Triathlon and Duathlon year and was first female overall at the Panorama Du. Her best race of 2010 was at the Vancouver International Half Ironman Triathlon where she shaved 12 minutes off her half marathon P.B. by running it in one hour, 35 minutes after a 90K bike ride and a 1.9K swim.
Austin Willson, Brandon Willson: Before we announce the Junior of the Year winners, I would like to acknowledge Logan Roots who has been tearing up the cross country scene lately and placing very well overall in the Island Race Series. Logan joined the club in September and will be eligible for the award this year, rather than last year as you need to be a member for a full year to be eligible for perpetual awards. This year we have two top male juniors and two top female juniors. The boys have are winning this award for the fourth consecutive year and the girls, also sisters, are being recognized for her first time. The male juniors ran five of the eight Island Series races including Pioneer, Cobble Hill, Cedar, Hatley Castle and Sooke River. They placed in the top five in their age division every race and finished 3rd and 4th overall in the Series standings for the M15 division. They also did very well by running all five of the GutBuster races capturing first and second in the Junior division. They are very close together in most events with Brandon winning the first three Series races and Austin winning the final two.
Robyn Noel, Taylor Noel: The two female juniors are winning this running award for the first time after a very successful few years as top-level soccer players. They placed second and third in the F15 division at Pioneer, first and second on a difficult Hatley Castle course and third and seventh in the deep and competitive field at Bazan Bay. This was their best race of the season as both scored an all-time high of 593 points and 465 points. At the end of the Frontrunners Island Race Series they were rewarded with a gold medal and a silver medal in the F15 division at the young ages of 10 and 12.
Jane McDonald: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be age group winners, but they are usually there competing, helping, captaining and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. We have selected two winners to receive this award tonight. Collectively, they ran many races for the club in 2010 including mountain races, cross country races, road races, track races and relays. Our first winner did all eight races in the Frontrunners Island Series, ran four races in the GutBuster Series and four races in the Victoria Track Series where she was rewarded with a third place finish in the F50 division. Her highlight of the year was achieving 494 points at Bazan Bay, only 6 points shy of her all-time record of 500 points set 10 years ago at Pioneer. She has now completed 60 Island Race Series, frequently running every race for the past 8 years.
Kathleen Birney: Our second winner focused on cross country and mountain races with excellent performances at the Thetis Relay, Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain where she placed seventh in her age category in all three races. She ran the Mt. Tzouhalem, Royal Roads and Westwood Lake GutBusters where she took a bronze medal in Nanaimo. Perhaps her highlight was on the slopes of Mt. Washington when she strapped on a pair of snowshoes for the first time and sluiced her way to a silver medal in the F50 division of the Mount Washington Yeti 5K Snow Shoe race with a time of 34 minutes and 39 seconds to place 36th overall of 142 finishers.
Ian Ackroyd: Ironically, our second male winner also P.B.’d in the Times Colonist 10K finishing 92nd overall and only 2 seconds back of our first winner with an excellent time of 37:35 to place 11th in a deep and challenging M45 division at Victoria’s major 10K event. He went on to have a high performance GutBuster Series by capturing the M40 title by finishing 5th at Westwood, 4th at Mt. Washington, 3rd at Mt. Douglas and saved his best race for Mount Tzouhalem where he won a gold medal in his age category. He went on to another gold medal performance at the Thetis Relay and captured an 8th place finish at Stewart Mountain and a 4th place finish at the popular and large-field Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic. So far in 2011 he has run all four Island Series Races and has consistently finished in the top five in the M45 division so this year looks very promising as well for our Thetis Lake regular.
Jeremy Lawrence: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2010, out of more than 90 new club members, we have selected two males and one female winner with all three of them using the Island Race Series to highlight their excellent race performances. One first male winner achieved success by showing steady improvement at Tuesday Night Workouts and Saturday morning Thetis Lake runs to the point where he was continually challenging the leaders. He travels a great deal with his job which limits the amount of races he can do, but Pioneer, TC10K, Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain jumped out as outstanding performances in 2010. He has run the Pioneer 8K for 5 consecutive years and seen his time improve by over 7 minutes from 36:09 to 29:08 and his points improve from 593 to an all-time high last year of 736. He placed 7th in both the Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain races in a very difficult M30 division and ran a P.B. of 37:33 to place 91th overall out of 10,616 finishers at the Times Colonist 10K, perhaps his highlight race of the year.
Valerie Bell: The female Bright Shining Light placed third in the masters’ division of the GutBuster Series by finishing 5th at Mt. Douglas, 3rd at Westwood Lake and 2nd at both Royal Roads and Mt. Washington. She is a regular on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and is showing continual improvements in her race performances, both on the trails and on the roads. She finished 2nd in the F45 division of the 2010 Island Race Series and improved her points standings from 605 at Pioneer to a career-high of 660 at Sooke River with a P.B. of 41:47. Along the way she collected one 4th place finish, two 3rd place finishes and three silver medal finishes in the Series. The highlight of her year came with another personal best effort of 41:18 at the Times Colonist 10K where she finished 276th overall with an amazing 10,340 runners behind her on the busy streets of James Bay.
Helen Jaques: Our second recipient has made it her mission to promote race walking as a social and competitive sport in Victoria as did her late husband. She is the leader and driving force behind Race Walk Victoria, a local group that provides coaching and support for new and seasoned race walkers. She singlehandedly organizes the annual sanctioned 5K and 10K Race Walk Victoria event every February which attracts many rising stars in the race walk world as they vie for spots on national teams. She holds the distinction of having race walked in all 21 years of Victoria’s Times Colonist 10K race. In recent years she lobbied for, and was subsequently appointed as Race Director, for the competitive and recreational walking category for the TC10K. Our recipient conducts walking clinics locally where she introduces walking novices to the techniques of race walking and also shows experienced power walkers how to improve their techniques for decreased strain and increased performance. Veteran runners seek out her race walking advice to keep active while injuries prevent them from pounding the pavement. She is qualified to judge race walking at local track and field events as well as nationally and internationally. And she coaches promising high school students through their track and field season. She loves the sport and is tenacious in championing its cause.
Janet Anderson: Our first award goes to a race walking competitor who participates in events, and what is most important to the PIH race walking group is the enthusiasm she brings. During 2010 she competed in the RaceWalk Victoria 5K, World Masters Indoor Games, Kamloops 5K, Canada Day Sidney 5K and the first walkers-only event, the Esquimalt 5K. She organized the Portland to Coast walking event for the RaceWalk Victoria group by securing the Harrier Carrier for the team as well as being one of the main drivers. The Portland to Coast Relay is a 127 mile walk, open to teams of 12. There were 297 race walking teams that participated. Our award winner volunteered at TC10K package pick-up and was the contact person for race walking at the finish line. This year, our recipient has also helped with coaching duties and takes over whenever the PIH Race Walking Director is not available to coach.
Andrew Pape-Salmon: Our male winner also had an excellent 2010 trail racing season, winning several GutBuster races for his category. He was also the top master in the Gunner Shaw 10K and the second master in the Stewart Mountain 10 mile race. He was second in his age category at the Orcas Island 25K trail race, all while snapping photos along the way. In 2010 he also did several tough endurance runs including the Elk/Beaver 50K ultra, the 48K Juan de Fuca Trail, 40 kilometers along the shore of Lake Minewanka, the 43K North Coast Trail, and finally 80K over two days along the Trans Canada Trail.
Louise Proulx: The Dave Reed Trail Runner of the Year award is going to a male and female recipient this year. Both had excellent trail racing seasons, including several wins in their respective age categories in the GutBuster Series. Our female winner won her category in all four GutBuster Races she participated in during the 2010 season, and also made impressive improvements in her times from the previous year. The highlight of her year was a third place female overall finish at the Mount Washington Ascent 6K where she beat several runners that had been finishing ahead of her in other races and she secured the overall masters’ championship title for the Series.
Doug Doyle and Louise Proulx: We have some terrific cyclists in the club and we would like to recognize both a male and a female winner of the Cyclist of the Year for 2010. Last year's winner of the Harriers' Excellence in Adventure Racing award concentrated on bike racing this year. His season started in mid-March at the first Island Cup Mountain Bike race at Hartland Park. He must not have enjoyed it too much, because the very next week he switched to road racing and remained on the road for the spring and summer. In 2009 he finished second overall in the 'B' group of the Victoria Cycling League season. In 2010 he moved up to the elite 'A' group and scored 4 top-ten finishes on the tough circuit races at Caleb Pike and Newton Heights. There are no masters divisions or age groups in the VCL. In the fall he switched back to the mud and raced the Cross on the Rock Cyclocross Series. Despite entering only 3 of the 6 races, he accumulated enough points to finish 20th out of 66 racers in the super-competitive masters division, capped by an excellent 8th place finish in the season finale in Port Alberni. In 2011 he has entered the epic, week-long, single-track mountain bike challenge - the B.C. Bike Race - after serving as the aid station manager for the 2010 event. Our women's winner of the Cyclist of the Year award also has a strong off-road background as a superb masters trail runner. She won the 2010 women's masters division in the GutBuster Trail Series, was the women's overall winner of the 45th Annual Bazett Farm Cross Country race in Duncan and teamed with Sonja Yli-Kahila to place 5th in the 2-person female team at the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race in Cumberland. She's famous for tearing the legs off her cycling training partners, both on the road and on her mountain bike, and immediately had people asking who this new fast woman was when she starting training at 6 a.m. with the Tripleshot Cycling Club. The high point of her year had to be a superb 10th place overall finish, 4th in her age group, out of 876 finishers in the women's race at the inaugural GranFondo Whistler. Her time was 3:52:11 for the first-time 120K route from Vancouver to Whistler. That's an amazing average of 32 kilometres per hour for 120 kilometres including 2,000 metres of difficult climbing. With another year of training and racing experience she could turn out to be a dominant force on the BC Masters bike racing and on the growing GranFondo scene.
Andrew Pape-Salmon: It is a pleasure to present a fairly new perpetual award tonight for only the second time as Jeff Hunt was recognized for this honour in 2009. It is the Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award, and the recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership. You have brought forward two names for this achievement and both are extremely worthy candidates in 2010. Each of them has already received a major award tonight so you know that they both excelled in the Island Race Series, the Victoria Track Series, the GutBuster Series and the Thetis Lake Series with tremendous age class victories in the M40 and M50 divisions. But these two individuals bring far more to the table than just racing and this is probably the reason why you chose them for our High Achievement Award. The first Harrier gave an entertaining talk at a club meeting on the Vancouver Island Spine Relay then singlehandedly coordinated a first-ever relay involving running, hiking, cycling and horseback riding from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the southern tip while participating himself most of the way. He organized and led 20 Harriers on an enjoyable adventure run on the Khudahk Trail, north and west of Sooke, and helped with the arrangements for the Hurricane Ridge and Juan de Fuca Trail club runs. He volunteered to be our Harriers Sponsorship Director and has made good progress in securing financial support from the community for the Prairie Inn Pioneer 8K. He is an accomplished cross country skier in the winter but in 2011 he has agreed to take time from his skiing and take over the responsibilities as Race Director for the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge in December.
Gary Duncan: Our second winner not only exemplifies a tough competitor who means business and always gets the job done at a high level in races, but he goes far beyond that in providing a steady diet of outstanding service to the club. Besides finishing a large number of races, he rarely misses a Saturday morning run at Thetis Lake, a Tuesday Night Workout, a mountain run, a club run, a meeting or a social event like tonight. He is a true Harrier and is irreplaceable for his leadership on group runs at Thetis, TNWs, Christmas Lights Run and virtually any other social event that the club is involved with. He regularly entertains us with race results at our monthly meetings. He has spent countless hours on his bicycle by measuring race courses with a Jones Counter for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Half Marathon and 8K Road Race, the TC10K, the Pioneer 8K, the Cobble Hill 10K and the Twilight Shuffle 5K along with many other courses on the Island. We were pleased to see him rewarded with a “B” Class measuring certification in 2010 for his diligent work; there aren’t many other “B” level measurers in British Columbia. From a running standpoint, he has improved by light years since his first Series race in 1997 where he scored 578 points at Pioneer to last year where he scored an all-time high of 736 points at Bazan Bay, perhaps his best effort of the 90 Island Series Races on his resume over the past 14 years.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
A Tribute to the Award Winners from Bob Reid: First off, I would like to thank Susan for getting through that one-hour script and to Sara for her organization tonight to make this evening so special. It is understandable why Sara was selected to receive an award for Excellence in Club Leadership isn’t it. Also, thanks to the 100 or so Harriers and friends in attendance tonight to support our 46 award winners. It is people like you that brought forward Gary’s name and Andrew’s name for the Harriers High Achievement Award – two outstanding and well deserving candidates. Great choices by you. I applaud each and every award winner tonight and it is particularly refreshing to see first-time recipients, new members and young members receiving their plaques. Juniors like Austin, Brandon, Robyn, and Taylor, rookies like Jeremy, Ian and Val, most consistent Harriers like Kathleen and Jane and former winners of this trophy like Christine, Elaine and Sara. It is these new members, these young members and these consistent members that are the future of our club and it’s a pleasure to welcome them into the Harriers family. We are a diverse club which started with 3 runners and now spans over 700 members which goes far beyond running. Tonight we have seen achievements in triathlons, duathlons, mountain running, ultra running, adventure racing, cycling and swimming. We are probably the only club in Canada with a canine membership and our very own dog race. I have been a Harrier for 33 years and I’ve always maintained a philosophy that if you take care of the social aspects of the club, the competitive aspects will take care of themselves. Take a look at the person sitting on either side of you right now. Did you know them 10 years ago? Probably not, but joining a club has brought you numerous new friends with similar lifestyles and similar interests. Although a new acquaintance, the person next to you may now be your best training partner and you can thank running and the Harriers for this gift of friendship. On the high performance spectrum, a special congratulation goes to Lucy for no one in our club has ever been chosen as Master of the Year and Most Valuable Runner in the same year. Well done and thanks for coming tonight to receive your awards for a brilliant racing season spanning roads, track, cross country and the marathon. You did it all and you did it all well, Lucy. Kudos to the double winners – Gary and Andrew, Shane and Sonja and Lucy and Louise. You certainly earned both awards in 2010. I want to finish by paying tribute to five long-term members, all of which are in their 70s or 80s. They paved the way for the Prairie Inn Harriers and continue to lead us with outstanding race performances and with magnificent service to the club. You can call them Vintage Veterans or Super Seniors or anything else noteworthy, but I call them Inspiring Harrier Pioneers. Herb, at 70 years old, is still running marathons near the 3-hour mark. He went undefeated in all of his 30 or more races last year and set numerous provincial and national age-class records in road running, track racing and cross country. Right now, he is without a doubt, the best 70 year-old runner in North America. Mike, at 71, still gives his time unselfishly race after race by being our super volunteer. He is the lifeblood for Race Directors such as me in getting the job done and hosting a first-class event on behalf of the club. It’s also nice to see Mike competing in the Island Series this year; he had a great performance at Hatley Castle. Garfield, 72 years old, and running the Victoria Marathon and the Boston Marathon! Besides the other numerous events that he races, he still finds the time to be a regular at TNWs, Saturday Thetis runs and to be on the Harriers Board of Directors. He isn’t finished yet as he plans to run Victoria again this year and Boston again when he turns 75. We should all be so lucky. Ken, at the age of 77, continues to be the ultimate dedicated performer. What most of you don’t realize is the fact that Ken was also an excellent master runner in the 80s and 90s. I can vividly remember him running a great stage from Chemainus to Crofton in the Island Relay to help the Harriers win the masters’ team title. His volunteer work for the last 30 years is unparalleled. Thanks so much, Ken, I toast you for being such a good friend and such a cherished and valuable club member. And finally, Maurice, our 81 year-old phenomenon. There are probably 500 or so running clubs in Canada spanning 10,000 runners. Not one of them, besides PIH, could boast a Most Valuable Runner at the age of 81. Maurice set 15 Canadian Record Times last year bringing his total to 65 National Age Class Records. Also, imagine going undefeated for 250 consecutive races on Vancouver Island and never being topped in your age division for 30 straight years. Unthinkable, incredible and truly inspirational to all of us. Maurice, you are simply the best at what you bring to us, to the running community and to the events that you choose. A big congratulations for all the accolades that you have received in 2010; you belong in the Canadian Masters Hall of Fame. These honours couldn’t have gone to a finer person and you are the very best choice for our Most Valuable Runner.
Excellence in Adventure Racing - Todd Nowack: This year, for the second time, we are presenting an award for Excellence in Adventure Racing to a club member who has excelled at many different disciplines including running, mountain biking, orienteering and kayaking. He competed in sprint mountain bike races, which were new to him and succeeded in placing well at these races, achieving a 4th overall performance at his best outing. He also competed in races throughout the season in orienteering with the Victoria Orienteers, and regularly came out in first place. On the Adventure Racing front, he raced in two Mind Over Mountain Adventure Races in 2010. In May, he teamed up with his previous partner, Gary Robbins, with whom he’d raced on several occasions and they had racked up several wins. After coming in third overall in Squamish, in September our award winner decided to race the next race in Cumberland solo and succeeded in crushing his competition and all two-person and four-person teams by over 30 minutes to achieve the overall victory for the day. At this race, he demonstrated his prowess at kayaking, mountain biking, navigation and orienteering and demonstrated that he would be the force to beat in Adventure Racing.
Excellence in Club Leadership - Sara Pape-Salmon: Our second special award is for Excellence in Club Leadership. Our winner agreed to become the Harriers Social Director last year and has done a splendid job in all aspects. She has organized an outstanding list of guest speakers at our club meetings, assisted in organizing social events such as tonight’s Awards Night, our popular summer barbeque at Ken Smythe’s and three wilderness runs on the Juan de Fuca Trail, Hurricane Ridge and the Kludahk Trail west of Sooke. She coordinated a club journey to Orcas Island where 10 Harriers ran a 50K trail ultramarathon and a 25K trail race which she also completed. They rented a house for the weekend and all had a great time. She frequently volunteers at club races and captained the Angels and Demons to a first place finish at the Westwood Lake Relay in Nanaimo. Showing good character, she ran the undulating Shawnigan-Kinsol Half Marathon the very next day. She loves the trails as evidenced by her performances at the Thetis Lake Triple of Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain and Thetis Relays. She ran all five GutBuster events and placed third in the F30 division continually improving with every race. She is a regular at the Tuesday Night Workouts and leads the middle group Saturday mornings on the trails of Thetis Lake Park. She did a magnificent job of route planning and escorting a group for the Club’s Christmas Lights Run, complete with maps and house ratings, then coordinated the dinner arrangements following at the Olive Grove Restaurant.
Excellence in High Performance Coaching - Paul O'Callaghan: Our third individual for service to the club is being recognized for Excellence in High Performance Coaching. The Harriers have been fortunate with many high performance athletes that, after competing, they have turned their attention to coaching such as Kelvin Broad, Bruce Deacon, Richard Lee, Ron Bowker and Jon Brown. Tonight we are honouring another National top-level athlete for sharing his experience and knowledge in coaching to make many of our local runners excel to their highest level. The athletes that he is currently working with are winning many races and establishing personal bests at all distances and all disciplines. Some of his athletes include Shawn Nelson, Sean Chester, Nick Walker, Walter Cantwell, Kevin Searle, Shane Ruljancich, Claire Morgan and David Jackson. Many of them are winning major awards tonight as a result of this excellent coaching.
Excellence in Track Organization - Christopher Kelsall: The next special award is for a Harrier who saw a need and decided that he had the ability to fill it. For the many years organized track racing has only been for kids, through Victoria Track or for students at UVic. Our recipient of this award, saw that there were no track races in Victoria that allowed recreational, elite, sub-elite and beginners an opportunity to race together, so in 2010 he found sponsors from his connections in the business and media communities, tapped his running friends and club members to volunteer at the meets, got sanctioning from BC Athletics, did a great job of publicizing the events and he organized eight excellent track meets between May 14 and September 3. The emphasis was on fun in his low-key, light-on-the-frills track series. He invited first-timers, joggers, semi-serious and elite athletes to race on the track, competing at middle distances up to 5000 metres, in individual races or competing for series placement. The series certainly drew out the elites and serious recreational runners, but even more surprising, it also attracted slower, less competitive participants who soon found their racing times were improving after training and competing on the track. In 2010, he had 28 races with 350 finishers in total. His goal for 2011 is 30 races with 500 finishers. We congratulate you on your great track series last year and look forward to this year’s series.
Excellence in Website Management - Sylvan Smyth: We will start by acknowledging three Harriers for exceptional service in 2010. There is no doubt whatsoever that the PIH website contains a wealth of information and is used regularly by not only Harriers but many other runners in British Columbia, Canada and the United States. The searchable database for the Island Race Series is second to none and the race results, photographs and race reports are current and popular for many, many runners. The Chatline is a lively forum for discussion with both serious stuff and silly fluff. Many people visit it daily including contributors and lurkers. Our webmaster does a super job of posting club social events, newsletters and detailed schedules on the Home Page for all 700 Harriers to access.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Shane Ruljancich and Sonja Yli-Kahila: Finally, the last non-perpetual award goes to the Harriers Fittest Couple. This is always a hotly competitive award as there are several fit couples in the club. The couple receiving the award this year excelled consistently and achieved improvements in their race times at several distances, recording many personal bests and winning numerous races on roads and trails. They competed in MOMAR adventure races and, between the two of them, they ran in an impressive 39 races in 2010. This couple also took their passion for running to some challenging trails during their travels. Highlights for them included running in lush plunging Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, including a tough section of Kilauea, and 20K on the sandy challenging trails of Heleakala on Maui. If there is a steep gnarly trail somewhere, you are likely to find them running it together.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Susan Norrington: It is my pleasure to recognize a very important club member who, not only gives her time to the Harriers, but gives unselfishly to the Greater Victoria running community. She will be recognized tonight with a “Prairie Inn Harriers Lifetime Membership Award” joining nine other Lifetime Members of the club. Not many of you are aware of the fact that PIH has had 17 different presidents over our 34 years since the club was formed in 1978. Some of them have served for two terms, some for three and one other president served for five terms. Susan Norrington has just accepted her eleventh consecutive presidency with our club. For almost one third of the Harriers existence, she has been our leader and fostered and experienced a period of growth from 200 members to over 700 members during her 11 years in office. Besides the excellent work Susan does for the Harriers, she was the start line coordinator for the Times Colonist 10K for many years and was their Secretary. She is the finish line coordinator for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, she sits on the Board of Directors for Prairie Inn Harriers as President and the Victoria Marathon Society as Treasurer. The inscription on her plaque says: “In recognition of many years of leadership and direction towards the development of the best running club in Canada - Prairie Inn Harriers, 2011.” It is indeed my honour to recognize Susan Norrington with a “Prairie Inn Harriers Lifetime Membership Award”.
Harriers Triathlete of the Year - Kirsten Arensen: Our next two awards recognize adventure racing and multi-sport events as we have many members exploring activities beyond running. The Harriers Triathlete of the Year has had an amazing year. After qualifying for the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Mexico in November 2009, she PB'd at 5 different distances in the 2010 Frontrunners Island Race Series, including the rare achievement of beating her Pioneer 8K time at Hatley Castle. She ran 19:52 at the Bazan Bay 5K and improved that to 19:48 at the National Capital Race Weekend in Ottawa in May. She ran a PB of 41:16 at the TC10K. In July she finished 2nd in her age group in the Olympic Distance Military Triathlon in Gatineau, Quebec and in August was top female in 42:43 at the CFB Esquimalt Navy 10K and 5th woman overall in the 31st Annual Self Transcendence Triathlon. Most impressive by far has been her consistent Ironman progression, starting with a 12:17:04 at Ironman Canada in 2008, 11:31:17 and 3rd out of 60 in her age group at Ironman Cozumel in 2009, and ultimately an amazing 11:27:15 in the brutal conditions of the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona this past October. Her incredible dedication to training was rewarded by being voted the top female athlete in the entire Canadian Navy. Those ridiculous, character-stressing, 5-hour indoor cycling workouts in the super-heated Anti Coaching Lab have paid off handsomely. She's obviously not resting on her laurels as early this year she treated herself to a new Cervelo R3 racing bike - the same ultra-light, carbon-fibre race machine that was used to win the 2008 Tour de France.
Mountain Runner of the Year - Kris Swanson: Our second winner tackled the mountains and did it with a vengeance. He improved dramatically on his 73rd and 64th place finishes at the previous two World Mountain Running Championships to take 30th place at the 2010 championship held in Kamnik, Slovenia in September. His 1:02:20 clocking for the 12K uphill race, gaining 1,220 metres, saw him finish less than 6 minutes behind the winner Samson Gashazghi or Eritrea, and he led the Canadian Senior Men’s team to 13th place of 24 countries. This was Team Canada’s highest finish ever at the world championships. He also won his eleventh championship in the last 12 years with a 1:22 clocking at the Emperor's Challenge 20K Mountain Run in Tumbler Ridge, beating 682 runners in one of the biggest events of its kind in Canada. The race course features 2,000 feet of vertical elevation gain. He was third overall of 463 finishers at the Grouse Grind in Vancouver, third Canadian at the NACAC Championships in Canmore, Alberta and was first overall of 224 finishers in 53:29 at the Five Peaks Enduro race in Whistler with a margin of victory of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Super Veteran of the Year - Garfield Saunders: Our third winner is performing like a 30-year old while at the age of 72 and we would like to honour him with the Super Veteran of the Year Award. The recipient of this award has been a long time member of the Prairie Inn Harriers and was honoured with a Lifetime Membership in 2008. His goal for the year was to be in the top 10 for his age in the Boston Marathon. He finished second in the M70 category to the legendary Herb Phillips at the Pioneer 8K and won his division at Cobble Hill and the Comox Valley Half Marathon in an injury-plagued season with back and leg problems. He continued his training for Boston with the assistance and encouragement of other runners and with physiotherapy treatments. In April he finished the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:03 to place 16th out of 96 runners in his age group. The previous year he placed first of 13 in his age category with a time of 3:53 at the Royal Victoria Marathon. His new goal is to improve on his Victoria time in 2011 and further improve on that time in Boston in 2013 at the age of 75. In September he ran Land’s End 10K winning his age category and then the BC Senior Games, competing in 5 events, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1,500 metres, 5,000 metres on the track and the10K road race. He captured 4 gold medals and one silver.
Ultramarathoner of the Year - Randy Duncan: Our next group of awards recognizes excellent athletic performance at difficult, strenuous and unique events. Our first winner focused on ultramarathons including 12 races totaling over 1,000 kilometres of racing, basically running one ultra every month. His events took him to “Run the Sun” in Maui, “The Dirty Duo” in North Vancouver, “The Capital Peaks” in Olympia, a double crossing of the Juan de Fuca Trail, “Sea to Ski” at Mount Baker, the “Fat Ass 100K” in Vancouver, the “Sun Mountain 50 Miler” at Winthrop, Washington, and two 100 Mile races, “Fat Dog” in Manning Park and “Stormy” at Squamish. He considers his best effort of the year to be his 8:42 finish at the Capital Peaks 50-Miler in Olympia.
Volunteer of the Year - Mike Emerson: Our second service to the club individual has won this award twice before and he is about to three-peat as Volunteer of the Year. He has also won the Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award three times. Volunteers are the backbone of Harriers-hosted events and our winner tonight is always the first person to show up with his truck willing to help. He played a major role in success of the Pioneer 8K, Elk/Beaver Ultras, Thetis Lake Relay, Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain races last year. He also helped with the TC10K and the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Frequently, he’s the first one to arrive and last one to leave after tear-down and clean-up is completed.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Most Bizarre Videographer of the Year - Gerry Etcheverry and Carlos Castillo: The final funny acknowledgement is called the Most Bizarre Videographer of the Year Award and it goes to two individuals that have posted entertaining videos on our website. Our first winner spent countless hours editing his videos because he had a camera strapped backwards to his bike helmet and he couldn’t stop himself from looking back at the runners in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Every time he looked back the camera switched from rear to front and created a flip-flop in video viewing. For him we have a plaster-of-Paris neck brace with a mirror attached to it to prevent any future head-turning when filming high profile events. Our second winner posts numerous videos on the Running Forum with a hand held camera guaranteed to cut off the heads and legs of all other people and to capture many non-significant landmarks while bouncing so much that one Harrier voted him and his film-making as “the most likely person to induce a headache!” For him we have a state-of-the-art modern helmet-cam. This prototype design will now show actually show the heads and legs of other runners, capture some significant landmarks so we know where he’s going and reduce the bouncing to only one extra strength Tylenol tablet per viewing. Our winners of the Most Bizarre Videographers of the Year are the Basque Man and The Jackal.
Mr. Blabbermouths of the Year - Keith Mills and Chris Kelsall: We’ll start the night off with a few amusing gifts. The first is called Mr. Blabbermouth of the Year, which we gave out last year, and it goes to the Chatline Champion. We know that BBK used to be the Fluff Queen leaving everyone in her dust. She threw up 168 posts in a single day while at work and posted 4,220 times in one year! No one has ever come close to those two records. This year we are going to recognize two blow-hards for bizarre and entertaining messages on the Chatline throughout the year. Just when we thought the Exaggerator-slash-Dr. Wetcoast-slash-Mr. Unreliability-slash-Dr. Global Instability-slash-Editor of the PIP-etc. would take the title, K Mill rose to the challenge and topped the leaderboard in 2010 with 2,229 posts. Exaggerator was a distant second with a measly 684 posts. Combined, K Mill and Exag entertained us with lots of funny stuff. For their efforts we are pleased to offer each of them a new book which is authored by one of the Exaggerator’s favourite comedians, George Carlin. The books are entitled “Brain Droppings” and “Napalm and Silly Putty”. 2010’s biggest blabbermouth goes to Keith Mills for his 2,229 posts and the all-time biggest blabbermouth in PIH history with 16,293 posts is Christopher Kelsall.
Mr. Techno Geeko of the Year - Jeremy Lawrence: Next is our Mr. Techno Geeko of the Year Award which goes to a new Harrier that relies on the highest degree of technology just in order to run. And there are lots of examples of you running geeks out there! Stepping out the door with a GPS unit strapped to his wrist, a foot pod tied to his shoe, a heart rate monitor attached as a bra and a blood pressure gauge fixed on his arm, our man is ready for a run. There are more beeps, buzzes and chirps along the way than you can shake a stick at. It doesn’t faze our man a bit as he keeps beeping, buzzing and chirping while trying to run. On finishing, the GPS unit instantly downloads detailed statistics into his laptop which automatically emails 100 friends with information, whether they want it or not, on distance run, elevation change, heart rate, running zone, blood pressure, a weather report, running surface, sweat rate, number of piss stops and an abundance of other useless numbers. Tonight we have a brand new state-of-the-art chest-mounted computer barometer that will double the speed and double the amount of useless information being emailed to double the number of people to double their pleasure. The Techno Geeko Award of the Year is presented to Jeremy Lawrence.
Cheryl Murphy, Scott Simpson and Jason Loutitt: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner trophy is awarded annually to a club member or members who have dominated at various events throughout the year. Our three winners tonight all had outstanding race performances in 2009 locally, provincially and beyond. Collectively they received 34 club Runner of the Week listings and 7 other mentions, and 24 BC Athletics and 16 Athletics Canada rankings. There were many parallels between our first two winners. Both ran 4 Island Series races, winning their gender in 3 and medaling in the other. They would have handily won the series if they'd done a 5th race. Both did qualify for the Timex BC Road Running Series completing 5 races and scoring enough to win the Provincial Series. They scored their highest points at Sun Run 10K. They shared the winners circle at several other races, and both were named 2009 Senior Road Runner of the Year at the BC Athletics Annual Awards Banquet in December. Our women’s winner has been a club member since 2004 and is winning this award for an unprecedented 5th year in a row, but this year it is her first time as a master. She earned her highest points in the Island Series at the Pioneer 8K with a run of 28:05 for 866 points. Her highest in the Timex Series were at the Vancouver Sun Run 10K with a time of 34:29 for 890 points. However, she considers her First Half Half Marathon, where she won by over 2 minutes, in 1:16:06 as her best effort. Incredibly among the already tight schedule of the two intertwined series in the first few months of the year, she fit in at least 6 other high calibre races, including a 2:48 eighth place performance at the Arizona Rock 'n Roll Marathon in Phoenix which she sandwiched between her overall silver medal performance at Pioneer and gold medal at Cobble Hill. These led off a non-fragile 9 races in 11 weeks. She had 6 victories: • including Hatley Castle 8K; • a 16:54 St. Patrick's Day 5K; • a 17:07 at the Dave Reed 5K; • and 2 second places, including Harry's Spring Run-Off 8K. • back-to-back age group wins at the Sun Run and TC10K. • Then came 2 more half marathons, Vancouver International and a win at Oak Bay; • and to top it off, a 2nd at the Chemanius Twilight Shuffle 5K. The Fall saw: • another half marathon, with a win at Lands End; • and 2 more marathons, a 2:44:01 BC Marathon championship victory at Royal Victoria and the California International in December. Performances in all these races earned her an amazing 13 rankings over 5 distances with BC Athletics, and 9 rankings with Athletics Canada for 2009. Oh, and in the summer she won the New Balance Half Ironman Triathlon which includes a 1.9K swim, 87K bike and 20K run in 4:36:18. She finished 5th in the Vancouver Half Iron in 4:38:56, and 9th overall at the Subaru Ironman Canadian Championships in 10 hours, 12 minutes. Our first male winner has been a club member since 2005 and is winning this award for the first time. His 4 Island Series races in 2009 were all personal course bests including a 20 second and 20 point improvement at Bazan Bay 5K with a 14:37 performance for 890 points, which he won in an amazing sprint finish by 1/10th of a second out-leaning his friend, Simon Whitfield, at the line, a race which he described as "a blast" adding "It's always nice to out-kick an Olympic champion. Setting the course record was an added bonus." He earned his highest points in the Timex Series at the Vancouver Sun Run with a run of 30:08 for 902 points. But the series championship came down to a final duel at the Longest Day 5K in Vancouver in early June. He narrowly won the series with an average of 1.8 points ahead of Ryan McKenzie. Other high calibre races in 2009 included: • a win at the St. Patrick's Day 5K, • 2nd at the Black Press 5000, • a top Canadian finish in the Elite Invitational at the Carslbad 5000, billed as the world's fastest 5K, • a 4th at the Times-Colonist 10K, • a 3rd place behind two Kenyans at the Calgary 10K • and a win with the 2nd fastest time ever at James Cunningham Seawall 5.9 Mile race in Vancouver. Performances in all these races earned him 8 rankings over 3 distances with BC Athletics, and 6 rankings with Athletics Canada for 2009 including the top 2 for 5K. Other "treasures" of the year for this self-described "lucky guy" include "going to Serbia as Physio for Team Canada at the World University Games. A great experience", coming back towards the cheering crowds in the TC and "being part of the best club in Canada." Our second male winner has been a club member since 2008 and is also winning this award for the first time. While clearly quite capable on the road, earning: • BC Athletics rankings in each of a 1:09:52 at the Oak Bay Half Marathon, • and a 6th place, top Canadian, and lifetime best 2:24:37 at the Seattle Marathon • the 8th best Athletics Canada ranking for the year; • and a 2:28:13 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, he positively excels off-road. When the others were contesting the two road series, he was flying through the alpine snow in the Yeti Snowshoe Series. While the first 10K race at Mt. Washington at 42:54 was a close 10 second victory over local Neil Holm, he handily won the next two mainland races at Mt. Seymour and Grouse Mountain by over 2 1/2 minutes each. These wins were enough to take the series championship and be crowned as 'King of the Mountains'. Next up was the 5 race GutBuster Trail Running series which features lots of heavily undulating and twisting single track and sometimes significant elevation change. He ran 4, won 4. He set a new course record on each, with a 55:50 at Mt. Tzouhalem 12.3K, a 54:24 at Royal Roads 13.8K, a 41:46 at the Mt. Doug 11K, and a 33:43 at the Mt. Washington ascent. Not having enough at this final race, he rode the chair down and ran up again in about the same time passing some racers still on their first climb. He won the series championship and a much coveted all-expenses paid trip to this summer's Death Race. In September, he competed in the World Mountain Running Championship in Italy, finishing 55th to help Team Canada to it's best-ever 11th place finish. Two weeks later, he captained a smaller 3-runner Canadian team, that also included newbie Harrier Kris Swanson, in a pair of races 2 days apart at the Commonwealth Mountain Running Championship in Kessick, England. In the Ascent Only race, he finished 14th and in the Ascent-Descent race, he finished 10th , helping Canada to come away with 2 team medals, its first ever in mountain running. This he considers just his second best racing highlight of 2009, with the first being "winning the 25th Gunner Shaw and having Bob say 'Whoa take it easy' as I tried to run straight to him across the beach at the finish". It is a pleasure to acknowledge the three outstanding Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners for 2009 - Cheryl Murphy, Scott Simpson and Jason Loutitt.
Gord Christie, Juliette Christie and Lucy Smith: We have always been seen as a strong masters club, and with tonight’s three winners, there is no doubt that this tradition will continue for many years. Our male winner had a great fall in 2009. He was the 1st master in the November New Balance Fall Classic 5K and 4th overall. Later that month, he then won the Master M45 division at the Gunner Shaw 10K Cross Country Classic. And was the 1st master across the line in the 6th annual Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Cross Country Challenge in 1:09:55 winning by 19 seconds over his next competitor. On the track in the summer at the 2nd Black Press 5000 he was top master as well as taking the bronze in the M40 - 49 division in a tough field at the Twilight Shuffle in June. Our first female winner has more than a passing relationship with our male master winner. She had a stellar performance at the 22nd annual Sidney Days 5K on July 1, wining the top Female Master division in 18:47 and bettering her time from Twilight Shuffle 5K, two weeks earlier, by 50 seconds. She was 1st in her F45 division at the Lands End 10K in September. In October, at the BC Cross Country Championships at Jericho Park she placed 3rd in the master women's 6K event. She also competed in the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Guelph as a member of the Prairie Inn Harriers Racing Team and was 5th master overall and 3rd in the F45 division. Our female master finished off the year in fine style by being the 1st master to cross the line at the Run Through Time on December 31. She continually improved over 2009 and we expect to see her name high on the results lists in 2010 on the mainland, as unfortunately both she and the male master winner have recently moved to Vancouver. In her second year as a master, our second female winner is in a class of her own. She excelled in some of the major events this year. At the Sun Run on April 19, she was top master and 6th female overall in a time of 34:33. She simply dominated the masters' race by beating Vancouver's Helen Ritchie by a staggering 4 minutes, 17 seconds and topping 2,210 finishers in the F40 division. A week later she also claimed the titles of top female master, top Harrier woman and 3rd female overall at the TC 10K. Another top performance at the Ottawa 10K race in May, earned her the title of top female master, 8th female and 62nd overall out of 9,107 finishers. She broke the F40 Canadian female record by 17 seconds at the Twilight Shuffle 5K with at time of 16:49. Our second female winner tonight finished off the year at the Canadian Cross Country Championships running in the senior women’s 7K race rather than the masters 6K race and placed 11th overall of 53 finishers in 24:56 which, along with Richard Mosley’s outstanding performance, powered Team BC to a 1st place finish in the provincial team competition. She balances her joy for the sporting life with parenting two young children. Her involvement in sport goes beyond training and racing; she is recognized as a sport leader, coach and role model for women in sport. Our three Masters of the Year are Gord Christie, Juliette Christie and Lucy Smith.
Jeff Hunt, David Hoskins, Keith Mills and Deb Hopkins: This year we will be presenting the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner award to three men and one woman. Our first male winner had a fantastic year, lowering his times throughout the year. A dedicated ultra-runner, he also performed well at several road races. He improved his time by 24 minutes at the Great Lake Walk, a 56 km race around Lake Cowichan, finishing 2nd overall. He set a personal best at the Shawnigan Half Marathon in November coming in at 1:24:17, improving his time by over three minutes since 2008. And he was the 2nd place solo finisher at the Thetis Lake 20km Relay. Our second male winner ran several of the Island Series races and his times improved in each race compared to his 2008 results. He improved by over 1 minute in the Pioneer 8km and Cedar 12 km, by 4 minutes and 48 seconds in the Comox Valley Half Marathon and by 50 seconds at the Bazan Bay 5km. He finished off the series by an outstanding race at Sooke River, where he earned his highest points standing for the year, and was first place in the 60-64 category. At the Scotiabank Half-Marathon in June, he continued his streak, lowering his time by another 1 minute and 14 seconds to 1:25:38. The third male winner showed enormous improvements at the Hatley Castle 8km compared to the Pioneer 8km, six weeks earlier. He lowered his time from 31:31 to 30:12. He placed first at the 8km Father's Day Walk/Run for Prostate Cancer and second at the Sound and Silence 10km. At the Lands End 10km, he ran a personal best of 34:40, lowering his time by 3 minutes. The female winner had superb improvements in 2009. She dropped almost 2 minutes between the 8 km race at the Royal Victoria Marathon in October 2008 and the Pioneer 8 km in January 2009. She improved by 6 minutes and 40 seconds at the Bazan Bay 5km compared to the previous year. At the Times Colonist 10km, she lowered her time by an amazing 11 minutes and 39 seconds since the same race in 2008. The 2009 Robin Pearson Most Improved Runners are Jeff Hunt, David Hoskins, Keith Mills and Deb Hopkins.
Mike Emerson, Gerry Etcheverry and Sandi Heal: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award goes to those who have contributed much more than running to the club. They are hard working Harriers who have given outstanding and dedicated service to the club. Not only are they the backbone of the Prairie Inn Harriers when it comes to volunteering at races, they have also been involved in activities beyond running, both within the club and outside of the club. The award is going to three members this year and they have been involved in different aspects. Our first recipient has received this award twice in the past. He continues to provide service before, during and after many major races and club social events. He helped with delivery of equipment to Harriers’ races, as well as RVM and the Twilight Shuffle. He assisted with the setup and marking out of various race courses and, at the end of the event, he’s always there to tear-down, clean-up and return the equipment. He was first on the scene for the Pioneer 8K, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Lake Relay and Stewart Mountain Cross Country races. He has been a race marshal at the other events. He assisted with the Royal Victoria Marathon and Expo both before and after the events in a number of ways. He helped with the stuffing of race packets. He was involved at the Conference Centre setting-up for race packet pickup and, on completion, tear-down and the return to storage of the equipment and signage. The second recipient has been involved with the various Harrier activities and events throughout the year. He assisted with the course flagging and set-up for the Thetis Relay, Gunner Shaw and Stewart Mountain cross country races. He was also the lead runner for these events. His major contribution was his promotion of cycling within the Harriers. He established a cycling training centre, known as the ACL, in which he opened his house four times a week to club members for indoor wind-training sessions. He is the leader for many of the road riding sessions and encourages all club members to achieve a better performance. While involved with the training of others, he also was a competitor and had excellent results at both the Ironman Canada Championship in Penticton and the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii. He is currently training for the Coeur d’Alene Ironman in Idaho and we wish him the very best of luck on June 29th. Our third Dedicated Performance Award winner has been actively involved in club activities since she joined the in 2003. In her first year she became PIH secretary and held this position for five years. She was an enormous help to me during that time. She was a vibrant and valuable member of the club executive and provided sound judgement and strong recommendations in the decision-making process. She also played a vital role in the production and publishing of our newsletter, the Prairie Inn Post, for the past 3 years. As the Administrative Manager of the Royal Victoria Marathon she coordinates the Race Expo and updates the RVM website with current material and artwork. She entered and verified a record number of 12,502 registrations for the marathon, half marathon, 8K and Kids Run and was rewarded by seeing a record number of 10,376 finishers. She coordinated the stuffing of over ten thousand race packets. She did a brilliant job of singing the national anthem both at the start of both the TC10K and the Royal Victoria Marathon. And anyone at the finish line has to enjoy her infectious woo hooing as she enthusiastically cheers everyone across the line. She is currently training for the Boston Marathon and we wish her the very best of luck on April 19. The winners of the 2009 Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award are Mike Emerson, Gerry Etcheverry and Sandi Heal.
David Hoskins and Garfield Saunders: Two men have had magnificent race seasons in the 60+ and 70+ age categories and their performances read like a blue ribbon list of dominant veteran athletes of B.C. The first male, a 60+ winner, ran 7 Island Series races progressively getting stronger with every race. He recorded 3 thirds, 2 seconds and one first place finish. His highlight of the year had to be winning the gold medal with a huge personal best of 38:44 at the Times Colonist 10K. He was 139th overall out of nearly 10,000 runners. Our second male veteran of the year ran 21 races and took 19 gold medals and 2 silvers. He won BC Championships in 5K, 8K and the marathon and won the Vancouver Island Series, the Timex BC Series and the Thetis Lake Series. Please acknowledge our two Maurice Tarrant Veterans of the Year – David Hoskins and Garfield Saunders.
Marcia Stromsmoe: One woman had a magnificent race season in the 60+ age category and her performances read like a blue ribbon list of adominant veteran athlete of B.C. Our female veteran athlete ran all eight Island Series Races finishing first in the F60 division 4 times and second in the other 4 races. She is a long-time, accomplished runner completing 68 Series races to date, winning 17 of them and collecting an Elite Age Group ranking for almost all of them. She has won the Alex Marshall Master of the Year 5 times and this is her first Rosamund Dashwood Veteran of the Year Award. Please acknowledge our Rosamund Dashwood Veteran of the Year, Marcia Stromsmoe.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight's winner has a huge appetite for running and racing. In 2009 he completed 38 races as well as two long trail runs at Hurricane Ridge and Juan de Fuca Trail. His running events sound like a Race Calendar as he rarely misses any events. He completed seven races of the Island Race Series with a personal best in Comox Half. He was first in the M50 age division of all 5 Gutbuster mountain races and winner of that Series. He had a M50 sweep of the 3 Thetis Lake races and Lions Gate Gunner Shaw cross country race in Vancouver. He ran three races in the Vancouver Island Cross Country Series, winning M50 age division. Besides the Series races, he ran many others including the Royal Victoria Marathon with a PB of 2:58:05. Three Half's - Oak Bay, Lands End and the Shawnigan-Kinsol, the TC10K, Lochside, Twilight Shuffle and PIH Boxing Day Run, eight charity races, Fletchers Challenge, Love of Africa, Terry Fox, Merrython, Goldstream Salmon Run, Run for the Cure, Run Through Time and New Years Day Memorial Run. He ran two "fun" mile races, the Courtenay 5th Street Mile and Kilted Mile at Topaz Park. He had one day in which he ran two races, the Salmon Run and Peninsula Cross Country, one week after RVM. He had double weekends - the Kilted Mile and Tzouhalem Gutbuster, the BC Cross Country Championships and Shawnigan-Kinsol Half Marathon, the Jericho Gunner Shaw and Oak Bay Firefighters Merrython. His busiest season was in the Fall with16 races in three and a half months. He exemplifies a tough competitor who means business and always gets the job done at a high performance level. Besides finishing a large number of races, he rarely misses a Saturday morning run at Thetis Lake, a Tuesday Night Workout, a mountain run or club run. He will run anywhere, at any time, at any location. He is a true leader and a Harriers running machine. He is definitely our Indestructible Man and has won this award four out of the last five years. The John Thipthorpe Durability Award for 2009 is presented to Gary Duncan.
Austin Willson, Brandon Willson, Chloe Hegland and Farisha Arensen: This year we have two top male juniors and two top female juniors. The boys are winning this award for the third consecutive year and one girl is a two-time winner while the other is being recognized for her first time. The male juniors ran six of the eight Island Series races including Pioneer, Cobble Hill, Hatley Castle, Bazan Bay and Sooke River. They placed in the top five in their age division every race and finished 3rd and 5th overall in the Series standings. Besides their appetite for many races including, Gutbusters and Gunner Shaw, they play soccer and run cross country for their school. Mom and Dad must feel like a taxi service at times with all the travelling to their son’s sporting venues. The two female juniors took different roads to success. The first dominated in triathlons and cross country while the second dominated in road races and track. One winner finished 2nd at the Youth Triathlon at UVic, 3rd at the Triathlon of Compassion in Esquimalt and had a good performance at the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna. She was first in her age class at all the cross country races with her school and ran well at the Pioneer 8K and Bazan Bay 5K. The second winner, at the age of 12, won the under-19 division at the Metchosin Days 5K, the Zone 91.3 Esquimalt 8K, the Sidney Days 5K, the Landsend 10K and the Black Press 5000. This year’s Stewart Fall Juniors of the Year are Austin Willson, Brandon Willson, Chloe Hegland and Farisha Arensen. They are the future of our running club.
Andrew Pape-Salmon, Simon Pearson, Sara Pape-Salmon and Elaine Galbraith: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be age group winners, but they are usually there competing, helping, captaining and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. We have selected two men and two women to receive this award tonight. Collectively, they ran many races for the club in 2009 including mountain races, cross country races, road races and relays. Our four Susan Reid Most Consistent Harriers are Andrew Pape-Salmon, Simon Pearson, Sara Pape-Salmon and Elaine Galbraith.
Sean Chester, Kevin Spahn and Shannon Coutts: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2009, out of more than 120 new club members, we have selected two males and one female winner with each taking a different path to race performances. One male winner achieved success on the track, at cross country and in road races while the other showed a steady and consistent improvement in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. Our female shining light dominated the Island Gutbuster series and excelled in cross country. The first male winner ran a 4:01 P.B. in Vancouver for 1,500 metres and was the overall winner, narrowly missing the course record, at the Harriers Boxing Day 10 Miler. He finished 5th at the Twilight Shuffle, 3rd at the Vancouver Gunner Shaw Challenge and ran with the winning Harriers Senior Men’s Team at the BC Cross Country Championships. The second male winner ran all eight races in the Island Series. He started in 24th place of 28 runners in his age class at the Pioneer 8K. He bettered that position to 17th place at Cobble Hill, 10th place at Cedar, 9th place at Hatley Castle and on to his best race of the year a 3rd place podium finish at Merville. His 2010 Series will be full of P.B.s at this rate of improvement. The female Bright Shining Light won the masters division in all four Gutbusters that she entered including Mt. Tsouhalem, Royal Roads, Mt. Douglas and Mt. Washington. She was crowned as Series masters champion. She also collected an F40 victory at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic. The three winners of the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award are Sean Chester, Kevin Spahn and Shannon Coutts.
Rachael Inglis and Kathleen Kane: In 2009 there were two race walkers that had outstanding years, one was a high school athlete that specialized in shorter distances and BC and Canadian Championship events and the other was a masters athlete that shone at 10K road races and Canadian and World Masters events. Our first winner won gold medals in the 1,500 metres at the BC High School Championships, the BC Athletics Championships and the Canadian Legion Youth Championships for 16 and 17 year olds. She walked 7 minutes 42 seconds for 1,500 metres at the BCs. She was a member of the Canadian Athletics Gold Medal Team in the U.S.A. vs. Canada RaceWalk Challenge and a member of the Provincial Gold Medal Cross Country Team. She was the top Female Juvenile athlete for Victoria Track and Field Club and the Most Outstanding Junior Athlete at Oak Bay High school. Our second race walk winner completed the RaceWalk Victoria 10K in 1:09:59 and the Times Colonist 10K in 1:11:02 to place first in both events. She was second at the Canadian Masters Championships in 33:59 for the 5,000 metre race and recorded a 9:22 for the 1,500 metre race. At the World Masters Championships, she took fourth in the 5,000 metres in 31:54 and walked a P.B. in the 10,000 metres with a time of 1:06:43. Many of her performances throughout the year were personal best efforts. Our two athletes receiving the Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year Award tonight are Rachael Inglis and Kathleen Kane.
Joanne Rosen: Both our male and female winners tonight had brilliant victories at the 13.8 mile Kusam Klimb, billed as one of North America’s toughest races climbing over 5,000 feet and both set new course records with times of 2:26:51 and 2:53:25. This was definitely the highlight of their year as there were 165 men and 173 women to finish this gruelling event. Our female trail runner, at 50 years old, was top master runner at both the Victoria and Vancouver Gunner Shaw 10K races with times of 44:18 and 43:45. She was also the first female overall at the Gavin Fletcher 10K Trail Challenge in Nanaimo on Mt. Benson. Both our male and female winners took to the grass and won the Kilted Mile as part of the Highland Games celebrations.
Shane Ruljancich: Both our male and female winners tonight had brilliant victories at the 13.8 mile Kusam Klimb, billed as one of North America’s toughest races climbing over 5,000 feet and both set new course records with times of 2:26:51 and 2:53:25. This was definitely the highlight of their year as there were 165 men and 173 women to finish this gruelling event. Our male trail runner of the year also had outstanding victories at the Buntzen Lake 5 Peaks Half Marathon, where he won the race by over 18 minutes in 2:18:01 and at the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon in Bellingham in 1:32:32. He won the Solo Division of the Thetis Lake Relays by running the entire 20K and finishing 6th overall of the 141 teams in 1:10:27.
Jeff Hunt: I am extremely pleased to introduce a new perpetual award tonight as recommended by the PIH executive. It is called the Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award, and the recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership. Tonight’s winner has been steadily improving the whole year, especially since he started by coming back from what looked like a serious injury. He recorded personal bests in quite a few races, including the Shawnigan Half Marathon, 1:24:17, as well as lowering his impressive Juan de Fuca 47k trail time by 24 minutes down to 6 hours and 1 minute. Over the last 3 years, he is the only person in Canada to run the four major trails on Vancouver Island: 77K West Coast Trail, 60K North Coast Trail, 40K Nootka Trail and 47K Juan de Fuca Trail. He ran PBs for all of them and completed each one in less than one day. He also raced very well at the Elk/Beaver 50k, and the 63K Great Walk from Gold River to Thasis. Most recently he has set new PBs of 29:39 at the Pioneer 8K and 37:20 at the Cobble Hill 10K. He is a regular at the Tuesday Night Workouts and has moved from the middle of the field to our leader of the pack for most workouts. Please join me in congratulating the Harriers Members’ Choice for High Achievement Award presented to Jeff Hunt.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Courage to Come Back Award - Art Beck: Goes to a club member who has shown the Courage to Comeback after a serious injury, illness or accident. In the past we have recognized Adam Lawrence, Charlie Ireland and Les MacNeill for their courage to return to running after serious bicycle accidents for Adam and Charlie and a very serious beating of Les in Papau, New Guinea. In 2009 one of our Saturday Morning Thetis Lake regulars and our Thursday Morning Group regulars was diagnosed with blocked arteries to his heart. He is a valuable club volunteer annually at the Pioneer 8K and the three Thetis Lake races. After open heart bypass surgery in 2009, he has slowly but steadily resumed to restore his health and fitness level to the point today where he has returned by walking with the Thetis Lake Group and Thursday Morning Gang. I am very happy to present the Courage to Comeback Award to Art Beck.
Excellence in Adventure Racing - Doug Doyle and Sonja Yli-Kahila: Excellence in Adventure Racing. This involves multi-discipline racing, combining kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, urban running, orienteering and mountain running. Our male winner had a remarkable 6th place finish in the Solo Division of the Cumberland Mind over Mountain Adventure Race in September. His finishing time was 5 hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds and this placed him 9th overall of more than 300 individual and team racers. He also had a strong performance at a six-day mountain biking competition. Our female winner was 4th in the Solo Women’s Division at the Squamish Mind over Mountain Adventure Race in May. Her disciplines included trekking, biking, orienteering, rappelling and running. Her time was 8:02:49. She also had strong performances at the Kusam Klimb, the Buntzen Lake 5 Peaks Half Marathon and the North Face Endurance Challenge in Bellingham by finishing second in her age class. The winners of Excellence in Adventure Racing are Doug Doyle and Sonja Yli-Kahila.
Excellence in International Competition - Simon Whitfield: Excellence in International Competition. His renowned sprint finish was featured on June 27 in Des Moines, Iowa at the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup. In what seemed like a replay from the Beijing Olympic Games, four men came into the finish straight together side by side: Germany's Jan Frodeno, Beijing’s gold medalist, Australia's Brad Kahlefeldt and New Zealand's Kris Gemmell. Unlike Beijing however, our Harrier would cross the line first with an elated roar from over 8,000 spectators, one second ahead of his chasers in a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 43 seconds, and claiming triathlon's top payday and the most exciting finish in the history of triathlons. After a photo finish review, the third of the season, it was determined Australia's Brad Kahlefeldt just nipped the tall German at the line for second with Frodeno in third, both in 1:49:44. Gemmell finished fourth in 1:49:45."That was some payback for last year, in a sporting sense," said our winner at the finish. "I wanted to get one over on Jan after last year's Olympic Games. I always want to win the races the other guys want to win. First thing I'm doing is buying this amazing toy house for my daughter. She's been running around the front yard at home and really inspired me." Our Harrier collected $200,000 for his win that day in an event that offered $1,000,000 in prize money paying 75 deep in both the men's and women's divisions. The winner of Excellence in International Competition is being recognized for the second consecutive year and it is Simon Whitfield.
Extraordinary Distance Achievement Award - Peggy Sherwood: Special recognition for Extraordinary Distance Achievement Award given to a club member that has run and walked over 100,000 kilometres during the past 16 years. She also belongs to the International Volkssport Club where members run or walk predetermined routes throughout Victoria, Vancouver Island, North America and many other countries in the world. These distances are recorded in personal logbooks and every 5,000 kilometres your logbook is sent to the Volkssport Head Office where the distances are verified and entered into a worldwide database and you receive a badge. She has run and walked more kilometres than any other Canadian in this club and is the oldest member. Last year she did a 100 mile march at 25 miles a day for 4 consecutive days with the military in Holland while wearing combat boots and a 25 pound backpack. She surpassed the prestigious 100,000 kilometre mark at the Cedar 12K race on February 7 and continues to run and walk working towards her next goal distance of 150,000K. Please acknowledge the 2009 winner of the Extraordinary Distance Achievement Award, Peggy Sherwood.
Harriers Fittest Couple - Gord and Juliette Christie: Harriers Fittest Couple. We have well over a dozen fit couples within the club including candidates such as Shane and Sonja, Jason and Taeko, Andrew and Sara, Chris and Binder and many others. I am going to be brief now as you will hear of their more specific accomplishments later in the program when they receive another major perpetual award. They excelled in the Island Series, significant Victoria and Vancouver races and at the BC and Canadian Cross Country Championships. I am pleased to announce the Harriers Fittest Couple for 2009 – Gord and Juliette Christie.
Most Disciplined Return to Racing - Keith Mills: Most Disciplined Return to Racing in 2009. In 2005 a young, gangly Esquimalt athlete emerged on the scene and joined the Harriers. He was inexperienced to running, rough around the edges and achieved some mediocre results at various races. He was so frustrated with his efforts that he quit the sport for four years. However, last year he returned and turned his whole life around. He started with the Tuesday Night Workouts and quickly moved to the front of the group. He enlisted Jim Finlayson to be his personal coach, and started a structured training program with high intensity track and hill workouts and increased mileage substantially. He cut out the beer, improved his eating habits, read all the books on sound training, found stability with a new girlfriend and started a remarkable comeback - to a level where he wasn’t merely shaving seconds from his 10K personal bests; he was chopping 6 minutes off them. He had a brilliant race at the Black Press 5000 where on the final corner, with 100 metres to go, he outkicked Jon Brown and Lucy Smith to win a thrilling track race at Oak Bay. In Jon’s defence, he was pacing Marilyn Arsenault, but a picture is proudly pasted to our winner’s fridge of him passing the legendary Mr. Brown on the final turn before the finish line. It is attached to his plaque. We are extremely pleased to acknowledge Keith Mills for the Most Disciplined Return to Racing in 2009.
Triathletes of the Year - Melanie McQuaid and Mike Janes: Triathlete of the Year and we are delighted to announce two new first-time recipients. The female winner excelled in XTerra Triathlons in the United Stated while our male winner excelled at local triathlons on Vancouver Island. The female triathlete won 5 out of 6 USA Cup races starting with victories in Las Vegas, for the West Cup in 2:42:08, at Battle Creek, Michigan for the Midwest Cup in 2:20:26, at Pelham, Alabama for the Southeast Cup in 2:24:15 and continued to on win the East Cup, the Northwest Cup and place third overall at the 2009 World XTerra Championships in Hawaii. She placed first overall at both the Stewart Mountain and Bear Mountain races. Our male triathlete was second elite finisher, third overall, at the Triathlon of Compassion in Esquimalt with a time of 57:26. He was second overall in the Sprint Division at the New Balance Half Ironman at Elk Lake in 1:02:36 and took the overall victory in his finest race of the year at the Sooke Spring Triathlon in May where he improved his time by over five minutes to lead the 185 finishers to the line in 1:06:34. On the roads he dropped 6 and a half minutes off his Comox Half Marathon time and 5 minutes off his Cedar 12K time. The 2009 Triathletes of the Year are Melanie McQuaid and Mike Janes.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Mr. Blabbermouth of the Year - Chris Kelsall: The first comical award is called the Mr. Blabbermouth of the Year and it goes to the Chatline Champion. We know that BBK used to be the Fluff Queen leaving everyone in her dust. She threw up 168 posts in a single day while at work! This year’s blabbermouth award should go to Kill Mill, but nope, it goes to The Exaggerator who collectively managed to offer us 821 posts under numerous aliases such as Dr. Wetcoast, Dr. Global Instability, Mr. Unreliability, Dr. Flotrack, Dr Exaggerator and many fake names. He holds the all-time record of 13,108 posts. For his efforts we are pleased to offer a new book entitled “A collection of Unfortunate but True Names” so he will never run out of aliases. Some interesting ones on the cover that he may wish to use in 2010 are Dr. Morecock, Mr. Fartwell, Seymour Pussy, Jeanie Talia and Dr. F. Off. 2009’s biggest blabbermouth goes to Christopher Kelsall.
Mr. Fashion Statement Award - Simon Pearson: The third funny acknowledgement is called the Mr. Fashion Statement Award and it goes to an individual judged to wear the Most Ridiculous Headwear during a race or training session. He has worn hideous cow horns at the Thetis Relay, stupid dangling balls for a Christmas spin at the ACL and an unsightly crown and another event. Whenever there’s a theme, our man is outfitted for the celebration with something bizarre on his head. Tonight we have three more garments to add to his wardrobe. For the Olympics, we have a new “Go Canada” hat and for St. Patrick’s Day, we have a new tie and a beer mug hat for him to wear at the Green Mile starting at the Monkey Tree. Our winner of the Mr. Fashion Statement Award is Simon Pearson.
Mr. Stumblebum Award - Garth Campbell: Next is our Mr. Stumblebum Award which goes to the Harrier most likely to fall down during a training run or a race. He has tripped in the Stewart Mountain race, the Gunner Shaw race and even stepping over the curb when starting a training run. He dislocated a shoulder while running the Kusam Klimb, struggled in to finish 4th overall only to be whisked away in an ambulance for repairs. Falls and injuries were commonplace when Mark Colegrave won this award 15 years ago for stumbling over the speed bump at the start of a club run in the Beaver Lake lot. Mr. Stumble, whenever he can, has missed many races and many months of his training due to clumsiness. The plate on his award says, “This is an authentic Thetis Lake fir tree branch, simply slip your foot under it and fall down again!” Our Mr. Stumblebum Award is presented to Garth Campbell.
The Doctors' Nightmare Award - Lara Wear: The final humourous certificate is called the “Doctors’ Nightmare Award” and it goes to the most injury-prone runner in the club. This runner is known to show up at Thetis Lake with two ankle braces, both knees heavily taped, a sling on her right shoulder, a cast on her left wrist, a back brace, expansion tape on her forehead and a full body cast ready for a run. She can bring on a new injury as soon as she steps out of the car. She has mastered the art of tripping, falling and crashing into trees to the point that she can predict the precise spot where it will happen, the time it will happen and which ankle she plans to sprain or arm to break. Her plaque is inscribed with the following message: “This certificate entitles the bearer to 6 complimentary visits with a Physiotherapist, 6 visits with a Massage Therapist, 6 visits with a Chiropractor, 6 visits with a Sports Therapist, 6 visits with a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, 6 visits with an Acupuncturist, and one free assessment by a Psychiatrist.” The Doctors’ Nightmare Award goes to Lara Wear.
Cheryl Murphy, Shane Ruljancich and Gary Duncan: Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner – 2008 We are honoured tonight to introduce an incredible athlete that has been selected as the Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner for her fourth consecutive year. It was a slam dunk in 2008 with this individual achieving the best racing results of her life. For her efforts she has also been named as the BC Athletics Senior Road Runner of the Year. Of the 17 road races she entered in 2008, she won 14 of them outright. This included half marathon victories at Vancouver, San Bernardino, Lands End, Shawnigan Lake and Las Vegas. She debuted at the marathon by running 2:40:12 in Albany, Georgia, good for second overall, and winning the Royal Victoria Marathon in 2 hours, 43 minutes flat. She also dabbled in multi-sport events by winning the Vancouver International Half Ironman Triathlon and finishing 6th in the highly competitive World Duathlon Championships in Belgium. She ran personal best times for 5K, 8K, 10K, 12K, and both the half marathon and full marathon distances. Our first men’s Most Valuable Runner raced well all year long in every type of race imaginable. He won the M30 division of the Island Series by running 6 races and having his best effort at the Bazan Bay 5K where he set a P.R. of 16:10. He followed that up with a personal best of 33:44 at the TC10K. He won the 5-race GutBuster Series and finished first overall in the Hare and Hounds race at Thetis Lake Park. He ran well at Gunner Shaw in both Victoria and Vancouver and finished second at the Cumberland Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race. His highlight of the year had to be his victory at the Sayward Kusam Klimb where he outclassed the field to win this 13.8 mile extreme mountain race that climbs over 5,000 feet and involves much snow and difficult footing. His margin of victory was an amazing 13 and a half minutes over the second place finisher and he topped the field of 321 finishers. He broke the course record by 9 minutes. The second male Most Valuable Runner, like our female winner, had the best racing year of his life. At 50 years old, he is only the third runner, besides Maurice Tarrant and Mike Ellis, to achieve this award as a veteran in over 23 years since the trophy was introduced. He recorded lifetime personal bests of 17:44 at Bazan Bay 5K and 36:52 at the TC10K. He set personal bests at 5K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 15K, half marathon and marathon. Every one of his 7 Island Series races was a personal course record. He set a Series points high at Sooke River and ran his best-ever road race at the Land End Half Marathon. He was the top veteran at the GutBuster Series and won his division at the Bear Mountain Hill Climb, Layritz Trail Pursuit, Kilted Mile, Times Colonist 10K, Oak Bay Half Marathon, Do it for Dad, Lands End Half Marathon, Juan de Fuca Duathlon, Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon, Bear Mountain 10K, Thetis Lake Relay, Twilight Shuffle, Stewart Mountain 10 Miler and Bazett Farm Cross Country. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the three outstanding Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners for 2008 – Cheryl Murphy, Shane Ruljancich and Gary Duncan Shane Ruljancich and Gary Duncan - Tony Austin Photo
Norm Tinkham and Angela Plamondon: Alex Marshall Master of the Year – 2008 We have always been considered as a strong masters club, and with tonight’s two winners, there is no doubt that this tradition will continue for many years to come. Our male winner completely destroyed the M45 division in many provincial and national championship events. He finished first overall in some races beating all other age groups. It has been his finest year as a master runner. He was first master at the Run the Ridge 5K at Maple Ridge, first at the Remembrance Day Masters 8K at Stanley Park, first master at the BC Cross Country Championships at Brocton Oval, first master at the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, first master at the 10K Nike Human Race in Vancouver and first master at the Royal Victoria Half Marathon in a blistering time of 1:10:47. This placed him fourth overall of the 4,268 finishers. Our female master of the year ran 6 races in the Island Series with her best performance coming at Cobble Hill where she scored 765 points. Her other 5 races were very consistent where she averaged 655 points and finished second in the F40 division to the overall Series Champion, Marilyn Arsenault. Living in Sooke, this Harrier fittingly won the masters division at the Sooke River 10K in April and the Great Sooke Foot Race 12.3K in September. She was first master at the Mount Doug GutBuster and was a strong team member in securing the gold medal for our club at the BC Cross Country Championships in October. It is a pleasure to introduce the two Alex Marshall Masters of the Year – Norm Tinkham and Angela Plamondon Angela Plamondon - Sandi Heal Photo
Craig Payne, Mike Arensen, Mark Ritchie, Sonja Yli-Kahila and Julie van Veelen: Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner – 2008 With a large club of 494 members and with the vast amount of runners currently improving, we have selected two women and three men to be designated as our Most Improved Runners for 2008. All five are winning the award for their first time. Our first male winner ran all 8 Island Series races and improved in every single one of them. His best race was at the Bazan Bay 5K where he improved his time by over a minute from 2007 and over three minutes from 2006. He was second in his age division at Stewart Mountain and ran the Thetis Lake Relay solo to finish fourth. The second male winner ran 7 Series races and progressively improved at every outing. His best race was at the Sooke River 10K where he ran 42:12. He improved that time to 41:51 at the TC10K and finished 14th at the Esquimalt Triathlon of Compassion. The third male winner ran 6 Island Series races and improved from 668 points to 745 points with his best performance coming at the Cobble Hill10K where he won a bronze medal in the M40 division. He was 4th master at the Gunner Shaw in Victoria and 3rd master at the Gunner Shaw in Vancouver. The first female winner specialized in trail races finishing 4th at Stewart Mountain and 5th at Jericho Beach. She helped the Senior Women’s winning team capture the Inter-Club Challenge. Her best race was the Westwood Lake GutBuster where she finished 2nd in her age division and achieved her first-ever podium performance. The second most improved female made a huge leap forward by running all 8 Series races and moving her overall F30 position from 5th in 2007 to 1st in 6 of the 8 Series races. She recorded personal bests on three consecutive weekends lowering her times at Sooke River, Sun Run and the Times Colonist 10K. This year’s Robin Pearson Most Improved Runners are - Craig Payne, Mike Arensen, Mark Ritchie, Sonja Yli-Kahila and Julie van Veelen Craig Payne, Mike Arensen, Mark Ritchie, Sonja Yli-Kahila and Julie van Veelen - Tony Austin Photo
Mike Emerson: Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award – 2008 The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award is presented to the hardest working Harrier who has provided unparalleled and unconditional service to our club. He is the backbone of PIH when it comes to hosting successful races. He is the first one to deliver equipment to a Harriers race, mark out a course and be the last one there at the end of the day to tear-down, clean up and return the equipment. He is first on the scene for the Pioneer 8K, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Lake Relay and Stewart Mountain Cross Country races. He also drives a cube van full of signs for the Royal Victoria Marathon spending five days delivering materials to the Conference Centre or the start/finish line, then back to the storage lockers. It is his second time winning this award; he also won it in 2006. We thank him tonight for his unselfish, conscientious and continuous contributions to the club as our top volunteer. The winner of the Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award is - Mike Emerson Mike Emerson - Tony Austin Photo
Brian Connon, David Hoskins and Garfield Saunders: Maurice Tarrant Male Veteran of the Year – 2008 We have selected three 60-plus men to be named as Veterans of the Year. Our first male winner started his 2008 campaign by winning the M60 division in the Island Race Series. He placed first in every event. His highest two point scores came in the two longest races of the Series, the Comox Half Marathon and Merville 15K, scoring 722 points at both races. He ran very well at the BC Cross Country Championships with a gold medal, placed second at Gunner Shaw and took first place in the M60 division at Sidney Days and Stewart Mountain. The second male winner showed a tremendous improvement in the Series moving from 619 points at the 2007 Pioneer 8K to 652 points at the 2008 Sooke River 10K where he ran 41:41. He lowered his P.B. to 40:48 at the TC10K and narrowly missed going under 40 minutes at the Lands End 10K with another P.R. of 40:00 to win the M60 division. The third male veteran of the year had a versatile appetite for racing and ran 7 Series races, the Kusam Klimb, BC Cross Country Championships, both Gunner Shaw races, the Thetis Lake Relay, Bazett Farm and is planning to go after the M70 record of the Royal Victoria Marathon this year. He won the M70 division of the Series and his best race was Merville 15K where he scored 605 points. He won 4 gold medals at the BC Seniors Games in distances of 10K, 5K, 1500 metres and 800 metres. Please acknowledge the Maurice Tarrant Male Veterans of the Year – Brian Connon, David Hoskins and Garfield Saunders David Hoskins, Garfield Saunders and Sandy Anderson - Tony Austin Photo
Sandy Anderson: Rosamund Dashwood Female Veteran of the Year – 2008 Our winner of the Rosamund Dashwood Female Veteran of the Year placed fourth in the F65 division in the Island Series, including her best race at Bazan Bay where she scored her highest points total of the 6 races she completed in 2008. She completely dominated her age division at the BC Summer Games in Prince George, excelling in track and field events by winning the high jump, long jump, discus, shot put, weight throw, pentathlon and many track distances. She collected 12 gold medals and one silver. Rumour has it that the BC Summer Games actually ran out of medals, and this Harrier is probably the reason why. She needed a wheelbarrow to bring her awards home to Victoria. Please acknowledge the Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood Veterans of the Year – Sandy Anderson David Hoskins, Garfield Saunders and Sandy Anderson - Tony Austin Photo
Gary Duncan: John Thipthorpe Durability Award – 2008 The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight’s winner has a huge appetite for racing; his racing schedule reads like our Harriers Event Calendar. He completed 47 races in 2008 and had zero DNFs. This is the definition of a non-fragile runner. His schedule included four weekends where he ran two or more races. In January, he ran the Harriers Memorial 10K and the YMCA 10K on the same day. In June, he ran 4 races in 8 days including For the Love of Africa, Do it for Dad, Chemainus Twilight Shuffle and the New Balance Half Ironman. In September, he ran the Goldstream Salmon Run 5K and the Peninsula Cross Country 6K on the same day. In October, he medalled at the BC Cross Country Championships on a Saturday, then medalled again at the Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon on the Sunday. In December, he took a M50 gold at the Vancouver Gunner Shaw 10K on Saturday and notched the overall victory at the Oak Bay Firefighters’ Merrython 8K on the Sunday of the same weekend. Since he joined the club 6 years ago, he has run over 250 races; that’s an average of 42 per year without injuries, excuses or complaints. He exemplifies a tough competitor who means business and always gets the job done at a high performance level. Besides finishing a large volume of races, he rarely misses a Saturday morning run at Thetis Lake, a Tuesday Night Workout, a mountain or club run, anywhere, at any time, at any location. He is a true leader and a Harriers running machine. He is definitely our Indestructible Man and has won this award four out of the last five years. The John Thipthorpe Durability Award for 2008 is presented to - Gary Duncan Gary Duncan - Tony Austin Photo
Austin Willson, Brandon Willson and Farisha Arensen: Stewart Fall Junior of the Year – 2008 This year we have two top male juniors and one top female junior. Our two junior boys, both 12 years old, come as a repeat twin-pack. Their aunt, Sandy Auburn, brought them to Thetis Lake for a Saturday run three years ago and they have been Harriers racers ever since. They each competed in 6 Island Series races, usually running close to one another. Their best race was at the Cedar 12K where they collected the silver and bronze medals in the M15 division. They finished 7th and 9th overall in the series in the M15 age division – an excellent showing considering they were only 12 and running against 15-year olds. They ran Gunner Shaw, the Mt. Doug and Mt. Washington GutBusters and the Hare and Hounds run. The female winner did 4 Island Series races with her best performance being a fourth place finish in 41:17 at the Pioneer 8K. She is 11 years old and was running in the 15 and under division. Ever improving by attending some Tuesday Night Workouts, last week she finished the Pioneer 8K five minutes faster than she ran it in 2008. She finished fourth in the Esquimalt Triathlon of Compassion and recorded her best race of the year at UVic where she earned her first-ever gold medal by winning the Victoria Youth Triathlon. This year’s Stewart Fall Junior of the Year Award winners are - Austin Willson, Brandon Willson and Farisha Arensen Austin Willson, Brandon Willson and Farisha Arensen - Tony Austin Photo
Julie van Veelen and Garth Campbell: Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award – 2008 The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may or may not be age group winners in the Island Series, but they are usually competing, helping and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. Our female winner ran all 8 races in the Island Series with six first place finishes in her age division. Her best race was the Bazan Bay 5K where she achieved 768 points for a 19:40 performance placing first of 35 in the F30 category. She performed well at the Esquimalt Triathlon of Compassion and the Sidney Days 5K. The male winner ran 5 Island Series races and continued to improve in his age class and overall position with each race. His best performance also came at the Bazan Bay 5K where he achieved 744 points for third place in the M45 division. He was 7th master at Gunner Shaw and did most of the GutBuster Series where he won the master’s crown claiming a gold medal at Mount Douglas. He was second overall at the Squamish Adventure race. I am pleased to announce that the Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award goes to - Julie van Veelen and Garth Campbell Julie van Veelen and Garth Campbell - Tony Austin Photo
Todd Nowack and Charlene Waldner: Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award – 2008 The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2008, there were 96 new club members and we have selected one male and one female winner with each taking a different path to success. The male winner excelled in Mind Over Mountain Adventure Races consisting of mountain biking, mountain running, kayaking, canoeing, trekking and orienteering. He finished second overall in September at the Squamish MOMAR and was the champion at the Schick Extreme MOMAR at Shawnigan Lake in July. He also ran very well in cross country events where he finished 10th in his age division at the Gunner Shaw 10K Classic and 5th at the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge. The female Bright Shining Light winner ran 6 of the 8 Island Series races and took second in her age division in the first three races and first in her age division in the remaining three races. Her highest 2008 points performance was at the Prairie Inn Pioneer 8K where she ran 31:42. She placed 4th in the Gunner Shaw 10K and 3rd in the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler. She boasts a 2:46:01 marathon time set in Chicago in 1990. It is my pleasure to present the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award to - Todd Nowack and Charlene Waldner Todd Nowack - Tony Austin Photo
Kathleen Kane: Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year – 2008 A new member in after joining the Harriers following the 2007 TC10K, our race walker of the year placed 2nd in her age class in RaceWalk Victoria in February. She was 7th overall and 2nd in her age division at the TC10K and the first female walker to finish the Sound and Silence 10K. At the Sidney Days 5K she was 2nd race walker and perhaps her best performance came at UVic where she finished first in the all-comers category of the Canada/USA Junior RaceWalk Championships. The Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year Award is presented to - Kathleen Kane Kathleen Kane - Tony Austin Photo
Lara Wear: Our second non-perpetual award goes to a club member who has excelled in cross country events making this discipline her specialty in 2008. She won her age division in the Frontrunners GutBuster 5-race Series and was the second female overall. She raced well at Royal Roads, Mount Douglas, Mount Tzouhalem, Mount Benson and Mount Washington. She travelled abroad to England and was fourth female finisher, second in her age class, in the Chevy Chase Fell Run clocking 3 hours and 56 minutes in a rugged mountain race. Besides her bronze medal in the Fletchers Challenge 12K in Nanaimo and her silver medal at Jericho Beach, her highlight had to be winning the 13.8-mile “are you tough enough” Kusam Klimb in Sayward amongst a record field of 161 women and 160men. The 2008 Trail Runner of the Year is - Lara Wear Lara Wear - Tony Austin Photo
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in International Competition - Simon Whitfield and Jon Brown: We have some international-class athletes amongst the Harriers and tonight we recognize two of them for their performances on the world stage. The first provided the most thrilling moment of the Beijing Olympics as he charged to the lead in the final 100 metres of the triathlon. After a 1.5K swim and a 40K bike ride, it all came down to the lightning fast 10K run. His electrifying sprint to the finish took him from fourth to first place with 15 seconds go. He pushed favourite, Javier Gomez, of Spain, off the podium and bolted ahead of Australia’s Bevan Docherty and German Jan Frodeno. In the end the 26-year old Frodeno surged to retake the lead and claim the gold medal by a few seconds. Our second world-class Harrier ran the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon in Japan in 2:12:29 to finish ninth overall and, more importantly, he achieved the A+ Canadian Standard and earned a berth on Team Canada competing at the World Marathon Championships in Berlin this August. It is his hope to break the 34-year old Canadian Record of 2:10:08 set by Jerome Drayton at Fukuoka in 1975. It is a pleasure to announce the two 2008 winners of Excellence in International Competition – Simon Whitfield and Jon Brown Jon Brown - Tony Austin Photo
Harriers Award of Excellence - Bob Reid: This is a special award that we are giving this year. It is being presented to a Harrier who consistently gives his time and energy to help the club to grow and achieve excellence. He is the mainstay of our club. Since his retirement in 2001, his enthusiasm and focused energy have: • Supported and promoted growth in the club from 375 members in 2003 to 495 members as of today. • He has been the catalyst to help our club to excel in encouraging and supporting runners at all levels who are interested in participating in the sport, whether they are competitive or social athletes. • He has changed what was a masters running club to a diverse organization which has members of all ages competing in local races. • He has actively sought out many high performance athletes, offering to them the support and services of the club, and by doing that ,has built the reputation of the Prairie Inn Harriers both provincially and nationally, and we are now known as a “Club to Join” by elite athletes across Canada. However that has not stopped him from recruiting runners at all levels who are just beginning to show interest in the sport. • His love of the sport is infectious, and so he has been able to surround himself by others who are also happily willing to volunteer their time and creativity to make this a truly exceptional running club. • He has taken on the mission to make road running a more significant player on the BC Athletics scene. This is proven by him being named the BC Athletics Executive of the Year for 2008. I must admit that I am in awe of his tenacity on this front. He has made significant inroads in this track and field entrenched organization. He knows he has a better vision and just won’t give up. • He is knowledgeable, opinionated, fair, inclusive and highly respected in the running community. He is our rock – the patriarch of our club. And most of all, his love of and commitment to the sport and the Prairie Inn Harriers is unparalleled. The winner of the Harriers Award of Excellence is Bob Reid. Bob Reid - Tony Austin Photo Harriers Award of Excellence - Presented to Bob Reid in recognition of his commitment to excellence and athlete support for high performance, competitive and social runners and for his enthusiasm to make the Prairie Inn Harriers the finest running club in Canada.
Harriers Citizens of the Year - Buddy Bhandar and Sandi Heal: On August 8, a 59 year old woman, from Othello, Wash., and her four-year-old granddaughter, were tubing on the Wenatchee River in Washington State during a family camping trip. What started as a pleasant float along the river quickly turned into a life-and-death struggle when the pair, whose tubes were hooked together, hit a strong current and lost control of their tubes. The woman suffered a massive heart attack in the water desperately hanging onto her tube while trying to get her granddaughter to safety. Under the crushing pressure of the heart attack, the woman was hypothermic and unable to call for help. She whispered to her granddaughter to pray. Instead the granddaughter called out for help. Buddy Bhandar heard the child and immediately grabbed a lifejacket and tube and dove into the swift-flowing frigid river. It took him about 15 minutes to reach the distressed pair and drag the granddaughter back to shore but the water was so rough that the woman could not hold on and she was swept downstream. After securing the granddaughter safely on land with his wife, Cathy, Buddy swam after the woman and successfully pulled her back to shore. His sister, Kismet, called the paramedics who came immediately and they whisked the woman off to the hospital where she underwent open heart surgery and lived. As of today she has made a full recovery and thanks her lucky stars for her “guardian angel”, Buddy Bhandar, who saved her life and saved her granddaughter’s life. On November 11, after the Thetis Lake Relay, many of the Harriers teams stopped at the Six Mile Pub for a meal and a beer to relive the success of the day. A friend left the pub with Sandi Heal and while in the parking lot, she felt some itching on her lip but didn’t think much of it. What she didn’t realize was that was the first sign of an extreme allergic reaction to some of the food she had eaten. Sandi was driving and the friend was her passenger. On the ride home the itching turned to intense heat on her face and the friend experienced extreme nausea and stomach cramps. Her face and throat swelled to the point that she could hardly breathe. This all happened within a matter of five minutes. Sandi, being a nurse, knew something was desperately wrong and immediately pulled into the Chevron station at Tillicum and the Highway. She called 9-1-1 and said it was an emergency. Three ambulances arrived within minutes, with an advanced life-saving team, and the paramedics started I.V.s going and administered necessary medications while driving her to the hospital. Her friend said everything was a blur and she truly thought she was about to die. One paramedic later told Sandi that her friend would not have survived if Sandi had chosen to drive her to the hospital herself, rather than calling 9-1-1. She would have suffocated. Shortly after, her friend made a complete recovery and she and Sandi are running together again. It is my utmost pleasure to present a beautiful vase to two Harriers for their quick-thinking, heroic actions in 2008. The inscription says, Prairie Inn Harriers – Citizen of the Year – For a heroic life-saving act of courage. Please acknowledge our two Citizens of the Year, Buddy Bhandar and Sandi Heal. Buddy Bhandar and Sandi Heal - Tony Austin Photo
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Marg Melvin: To date, we have eight Harriers lifetime members – Bruce “Gunner” Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid, John McKay, Ken Bonner, Maurice Tarrant and Garfield Saunders. Tonight we are delighted to add a ninth lifetime membership to a female entering the previous men’s-only club. This individual has been a Harriers member for 30 years and was instrumental in establishing the Hellions team that ran in many Vancouver Island and Haney to Harrison Road Relays. They were a fun-loving group of women who always enjoyed team events. As a master runner, she was always very prominent, frequently medalling in many Island Series races. She was our club Newsletter Editor from 1982 to 1994 and is a former Club President and Race Director of the Pioneer 8K and the Arbutus 8K. She has represented the Harriers on the Board of Directors of the Royal Victoria Marathon. Currently, she steps forward to lend her experience at the finish line of the Gunner Shaw 10K and the Pioneer 8K. We are very extremely pleased to induct Marg Melvin into the Prairie Inn Harriers Lifetime Membership Club. Marg Melvin - Tony Austin Photo
Harriers Mountain Runner of the Year - Jason Terauchi-Loutitt: A new member in 2008 dominated the mountain running scene by capturing the 5-Peaks Series title and a Canadian Championship. He finished first overall at Buntzen Lake Half Marathon, winning by a staggering 16 minutes in 1:55:09. He also took a gold at the Whistler Endurance Mountain Race and a bronze at the Cypress Mountain Race. Showing his versatility, he won the Canadian 10K Snowshoe Championships, also held at Cypress Mountain. He finished first at the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge with a new course record by two minutes. On the road, he collected victories at the Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon and Spring Classic 5K held in Vancouver. He placed third overall in the Royal Victoria Marathon, third at the Comox Half Marathon, second at the April Fools Half Marathon and anchored our Harriers team to a silver medal performance in the BC Cross Country Championships at Stanley Park. Frequently racing challenging back-to-back events on a weekend, he’s probably one of the most non-fragile runners in the club. We are pleased to announce our 2008 Mountain Runner of the Year – Jason Terauchi-Loutitt Jason Terauchi-Loutitt - Tony Austin Photo
Harriers Photographer of the Year - Tony Austin: We start the program with eight Non-Perpetual Awards which are presented for outstanding achievements in a variety of areas, many of which don’t occur every year. The first is a special recognition for photography at most of the seven races which the club hosts annually, including our biggest events like Pioneer 8K, Gunner Shaw and the Thetis Lake Relay. There is a gentleman who gives his time generously by taking pictures and capturing the true spirit of Harriers events throughout the year. We are grateful for his contributions to help make our events the most respected and premiere races in Greater Victoria. Please acknowledge our 2008 Photographer of the Year – Tony Austin
Harriers Triathlete of the Year - Gerry Etcheverry: Next we announce our Triathlete of the Year. This guy was a rookie two years ago in the three-sport circuit and broke in with a bang. In 2008, he bettered his 2006 New Balance Half Iron and Canadian Ironman performances. Starting with the Coeur d’Alene Ironman on June 22, he finished 134th overall and 8th in his M45 age division in 10 hours, 36 minutes, 32 seconds. The most important part of his race was qualifying for the Ford Ironman World Championships on October 11 in Hawaii. 70,000 athletes compete for 1,600 spots annually at these championships and he earned a spot in Coeur d’Alene. When he went to the Kona Big Show he battled strong head winds, side winds and 108 degree temperatures in the bike portion, which is his strongest discipline. He had a good swim and a steady run and at the end of the day, he crossed the line in 10:26:10, good for a 10-minute Ironman personal best. He is the cheerful host of the popular Anti-Coaching Laboratory opening his doors for club wind-training sessions four times a week throughout the winter. Please acknowledge our 2008 Triathlete of the Year – Gerry Etcheverry Gerry Etcheverry - Tony Austin Photo
Cheryl Murphy, Lucy Smith, Steve Osaduik, Shane Ruljancich: We are indeed honoured tonight to introduce two incredible athletes that have been selected as the Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners for their third consecutive year and two other exceptional athletes who are winning the award for their first time. Our first women’s winner was the Island Series overall champion and for the third consecutive year. At the Comox Valley Half Marathon she finished in 1:18:12 for a personal best Series time. She was the 6th female overall, 4th in the F35 division, in 34:48 at the Vancouver Sun Run. She then won the Kool Half for the third consecutive year running a lifetime personal best half marathon time of 1:17:46. Other road race wins included the Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle in 22:47 and The Zone Esquimalt 8K. As the weather improved in spring she switched her focus to triathlons, and took the bronze medal at the inaugural Victoria International Half Iron Triathlon at Shawnigan Lake with a time of 4:45:45. She was then the second individual finisher overall at the inaugural Sooke International Half Ironman Triathlon. Defending Ironman Canada champion Jasper Blake won the event in 4:16:41 and her time was 4:36:09. Even more impressive is the fact that her half marathon run time of 1:22:59 was faster than ALL of the individual men and women in the competition, including Jasper Blake. She won the gold medal as first woman and finished 11th overall at the Self Transcendence Triathlon, the oldest Olympic Distance triathlon in Canada, in a time of 2:11:32. She then upped her racing distance to the most grueling event of all. She was 5th female, 61st overall, in 9:59:20 at Subaru Ironman Canada in Penticton. That performance qualified her for the Ford Ironman World Championship on the big Island of Hawaii just six weeks later where she finished 30th in the elite women’s ranks with the 322nd fastest swim, the 17th fastest bike and the 13th fastest run! She finished off her year in typical style by winning the Run Through Time 5K on New Year’s Eve in 17:07, beaten only by the top-4 men. Our second women’s winner also excelled at a variety of events and a variety of distances and on every type of terrain. She broke the course record by 22 seconds in the Bear Mountain Summit Challenge hill run. In 10K road races, she was 4th female, 62nd overall, in 33:51 at the Vancouver Sun Run. Two days after her 40th birthday, she dominated the women's field by winning the Times Colonist 10K for her sixth TC10K victory, with a time of 34:24. Running only her second race as a master, she won the over-40 division of the prestigious Lilac Bloomsday 12K race in Spokane, Washington. She placed a remarkable 11th of over 22,000 women in the field. She had an outstanding run at the 29th annual Freifhofer's 5K Run for Women in Albany, New York, where she was top master with a time of 16:32. There were 2,887 female finishers in one of the most prestigious road races in United States. She has won seven Canadian Cross Country Championships, six Canadian Duathlon Championships and three Canadian 10K Road Running Championships. This year she added her first Canadian Long Course Triathlon Championship to her long list of accomplishments by winning the Persona Desert Half Iron Race in the sweltering heat of Osoyoos with a winning time of 4:56:56. At the long triathlon distance she was 9th female, 120th overall, in 10:18:30 at Ironman Canada. She set the women’s course record of 1:16:11 at the Royal Victoria Half Marathon, lowering her own previous mark, set in 2003, by one second. She was also top master, top Canadian and finished 22nd overall in the female field at the ING New York City Marathon with a time of 2:48:35. At the Gunner Shaw 10K cross country, she was 16th overall out of the record 464 finishers in a time of 34:43 and became the first masters' female to win the race outright. In 2007 she was selected as the BC Athletics Master of the Year. Our first men’s winner had yet another year of dominant race performances on the local and national scenes. He only ran one Island Series race in 2007, but it was a good one as he won the Pioneer 8K in 24:18. He was first overall and won the 1-mile split prime at the competitive St. Patrick’s Day 5K at Stanley Park. He finished second to Jim Finlayson after a hard-fought see-saw battle at the Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon. He was first overall for the fourth time at the Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle. His time of 19:32 made him the winningest runner in the history of the event. He was fifth overall and top Canadian in 1:06:26 at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, three days following his victory at the Twilight Shuffle in Chemainus. He won his second consecutive Royal Victoria Marathon in 2:20:14 as he continues to build towards an attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He won the 37th annual James Cunningham 9.5K Seawall Race in Vancouver to complete back-to-back great performances on the same weekend. He led a large field of 888 finishers to hit the tape in 29:52 on Sunday for the gold medal in Vancouver, while settling for a close silver medal behind Simon Whitfield on Saturday at the British Columbia Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Harriers for the 2nd year in a row. He ran 49:35 on the hilly 15K Stage 3 to pace his Peninsula Runners team to the overall victory at the Haney to Harrison Road Relay. He was on the cover of the April edition of Impact Magazine with the heading reading, “From 5K to the Marathon, this runner Wins Everything!” That says it all. This is his fourth consecutive Most Valuable Runner honour. Our second men’s winner of the Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner raced well all year long in every type of race imaginable. In the Island Series he finished 7th in the overall standings and 2nd place by only eight-tenths of a point to Brad Cunningham in the M30 division. He improved his best series points score from 756 all the way up to 791. He obviously revels in the challenge of gnarly trail races and one of the highlights of his impressive year was the overall victory on the 11 kilometre course at the Mt. Doug Gutbuster. His time was 48:43, nine seconds faster than runner-up Brad Cunningham. It was not only his first-ever GutBuster victory, but it was also his first win over Brad this year. He had placed an impressive 9th overall at the Iron Knee 25K mountain run in Vancouver one week earlier. He was first overall in one of the most challenging races this area has ever seen – the 14 ½ mile Kusam Klimb in Sayward. His time of 2:38:12 is comparable to what he could run in a marathon, which attests to the difficulty of the Kusam course. He finished seventh overall at the Westwood Lake Half Marathon Gutbuster and more importantly clinched the overall Series Championship Title for 2007. He ran a personal best of 34:33 for 10K to finish third overall at the Land’s End 10K. At the Thetis Lake 20K Relay he showed a very gutsy effort by running the first lap for his team in 17:16, then subbing in and running the last lap due to a missing team member and nailing another great 5K circuit in 17:24. His team finished third overall in 1:10:40, second in the senior men's division. He finished the year with one of his best performances: second overall to Stefan Jakobsen in the Stewart Mountain 10.5 Mile Challenge. Stefan hit the line in 1:06:11 and our winner’s time was 1:08:06.
Gary Duncan, Bruce Deacon. Dee Ogden: We have always been considered as a strong masters club, and with tonight’s three winners, there is no doubt that this tradition will continue for many years to come. Our first men’s winner has already been up here earlier. He has had an outstanding year in performance, persistence and dominance. Of the 40 races he completed, he was outstanding in the Island Series, finishing 2nd in the highly competitive M50 division. He has run 67 Island Series Races so far, 7 of them in 2007. Of the 7 races he collected 4 gold medals, two silvers and a bronze. He ran 7 course personal bests in the Series, won the Master’s Gutbuster and Triple Crown titles and saw his best-ever placement in all 40 races. Our second men’s winner was top master at Harry’s Spring Run Off in Vancouver and top master, in 31:00, at the Vancouver Sun Run. He was also the top master, finishing fourth overall in 31:31 at the Times-Colonist 10K. He was the top master at the ING 10K National Championships in Ottawa finishing 17th overall in 31:16 to hand Steve Boyd his first-ever defeat as a master in over 40 races. He won the master’s division and was 13th overall at the extremely popular Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota winning the master's division by 3 minutes, 44 seconds over another Kenyan, Gideon Mutisya. He ran 2:21:07 in Victoria in 2004, retired from marathoning, then came out of retirement to compete as a master and ran 2:23:02 in Minnesota three years later. He turned 40 on December 5, 2006 and set a master's course record in winning the Royal Victoria Half Marathon in 1:08:02. He was 17th overall, top master and top Canadian, at the ING New York Marathon with a super time of 2:24:19 in November. He was selected as the 2007 BC Athletics Master of the Year. The female winner turned 40 in 2007 and instantly sent a wake-up call to other female masters. Her goal was to finish in the top 10 in all six Island Series she raced, and she not only accomplished that, but she won the F40 division outright with a career-high of 675 points. It was an exciting finish as she battled tooth and nail with Holly Schmidt, of Lions Gate Road Runners, to win the title by a slim 1.2 points. In order to do so, she had to win her final three consecutive Series races which she took the gold medal at Bazan, Merville and Sooke. She was also the top master at Oak Bay Kool Half, Landsend Half, Sidney Days 5K and the Langford Road Mile. She is the Newsletter cover girl.
Chris Callendar, Paul Christopher, Garth Campbell and Dee Ogden: With a large club of over 430 members and with the vast amount of runners currently improving, we have selected one woman and three men to be designated as the Most Improved Runners for 2007. All four are winning the award for their first time. Our first male winner ran 6 Island Series races with his highest point score being 706. He finished 4th in the 25-29 age category standings with 688 points. His best Series race came at the Sooke River 10K where he was 2nd in his age category with a time of 38:28, his best finishing position to date. He lowered his 8K time from 33:27 at Pioneer to 30:00 at Esquimalt. The second male winner was a former Team West Coast member and, since he joined the Harriers in 2004, his times have rocketed downwards. He ran all 8 Island Series races and finished 7th in the M50 age division with 594 points, his best ever placement. At Bazan Bay, he scored 600 points for the first time in 20 Series races as a Harrier, slicing 1 minute and 7 seconds off last year's time and cracking the M50 top ten for his first time. He has lowered his half marathon time from 1:48 at Comox to 1:41 at Royal Victoria. Our third male winner is an avid trail runner, road racer, mountain biker and Mind Over Mountain Adventure Racer. He does them all well and continues to improve by leaps and bounds at every discipline. At Stewart Mountain he had a great race to finish as second master, 8th overall, in 1:14:15. His 8K time has improved from 30:53 at RVM to 29:44 at Pioneer. Our most improved runner amongst the women entered the masters’ ranks this year and set many new PRs including 5K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 15K and half marathon. She ran 6 Island Series Races in 2007 and won the F40 division with 675 points. She collected gold medals at Bazan, Merville and Sooke. Her best point score in 2007 was 681 at Bazan Bay. She claimed top master’s honours at Sidney Days 5K and the Langford Road Mile.
Randy Jones: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award is presented to the hardest working Harrier who has provided unparalleled and unconditional service to our club. He is the backbone of PIH when it comes to hosting successful races. Not only did he race regularly for the club, as evidenced by his 77 Island Series finishes, but he took over the direction of the Pioneer 8K in 2008 after overseeing the Stewart Mountain 10 Miler for three successful growing years. In his first year while leading the Pioneer he brought many new ideas and enhancements to the event including fresh committee members, corporate sponsorship, prize money for top competitors, a Wille Dodge lead vehicle, four excellent photo albums and perhaps the best food display of any Island Series race. Besides directing the Pioneer, he even managed to run the race and take pictures along the way. He is also instrumental in the success of the Royal Victoria Marathon and Times Colonist where he sits on the organizing committee and is responsible for equipment set-up and take-down on the race courses. His 77 Island Series races ranks him 12th all-time against all other runners on Vancouver Island. He is an avid mountain climber and keeps meticulous records. We thank him tonight for his unselfish, conscientious and continuous contributions to the club. He was selected as our Most Improved Runner in 2006 and this is his second Dedicated Performance award. I’m sure there will be many more!
Brian Connon and John Woodall: Our first winner of the Maurice Tarrant Veteran of the Year started his 2007 campaign by running 7 of the 8 races in the Island Race Series. He placed first in his age group in every one. His highest three point scores came in the three longest races of the series, the Cedar 12K, Comox Half Marathon and Merville 15K, hitting 704 points as his series high at Merville. He easily placed 1st in the M60 division overall. Immediately following the series he ran the Times-Colonist 10K and again placed 1st in his age group in 39:42. He won his age group at the Sidney Days 5K on Canada Day in 19:01, just 5 seconds off his time from Bazan Bay. Summertime brought our first winner to the track, culminating in excellent performances at both the 5,000 and 10,000 metre distances at the World Masters Games in Riccione, Italy. Later in the year he turned his attention to cross country, first winning his age group at the BC Cross Country Championships, then finishing 2nd in his age group and 9th overall in the age-graded results at the Remembrance Day Masters 8K in Stanley Park. He capped his year with a brilliant run at the tough Stewart Mountain 10-mile cross country, where won the M60 division in 1:20:01, good for 26th overall of the 184 finishers. Our second Maurice Tarrant Veteran of the Year award winner is in the same age group as Maurice Tarrant and he dominated the gold medal ranks in true Tarrantian fashion. He placed 1st overall in the M75 division in the Island Race Series and did so by winning his age group in all eight races. His best run was a 48:14 at the Sooke River 10K. He also won his age group at the Do It For Dad 8K at Royal Roads in June and he continues to be a stalwart member of the Thursday Morning Group.
Maree Kennell and Sandy Anderson: Our first winner of the Rosamund Dashwood Veteran of the year returned to competition in 2007 and placed 2nd in the F65 division in the Island Series, including her first ever series age group victory at Bazan Bay, and three second place finishes in her six races. She improved her point score from 505 points at the Pioneer 8K to a series-high of 526 at the Bazan Bay 5K. She has shown continued improvement already in 2008 with three consecutive age group victories and a new high of 542 points at the Cobble Hill 10K. Our second winner of the Rosamund Dashwood Veteran of the year placed 5th in the F65 division in the Island Series. She shaved 2 minutes, 48 seconds off her 2006 time at the Pioneer 8K, but road races were just a warm-up for what lay ahead. She was dominant at the BC Summer Games in Nanaimo, excelling in track and field events, winning the high jump, long jump, discuss, shot put, pentathlon and many track distances and road races. She collected 9 gold medals and one silver. That’s more medals in one competition than any other runner could win in the entire 4-month Island Series. Rumour has it that the BC Summer Games actually ran out of medals, and this Harrier is probably the reason why.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight’s winner has a huge appetite for racing, completing 40 races in 2007, including four weekends where he ran two or more races. In January he ran the Harriers Memorial 10K, the YMCA 7K and the Running Room Resolution 8K all on the same day. In September he ran the Goldstream Salmon Run 5K and the Peninsula Cross Country 6K on the same day. In October he medalled at the BC Cross Country Championships on a Saturday, then medalled again at the Shawnigan Half Marathon on the Sunday. In December he took a M50 gold at the Vancouver Gunner Shaw 10K on Saturday, then snatched the overall victory at the Oak Bay Firefighters’ Merrython 8K on the Sunday of the same weekend. Since he joined the club 5 years ago, he has run over 200 races; that’s an average of over 40 per year without injuries, excuses or complaints. He exemplifies a tough competitor who means business and always gets the job done at a high performance level. Besides finishing a large volume of races, he never misses a Saturday morning run at Thetis, a Tuesday Night Workout, a mountain run or a club run, anywhere, at any time at any location. He is a true leader and a finely-tuned running machine that ran personal best times in 2007 for 5K, 8K, 12K and 15K. He won his age division in the Island Series and collected the most medals and achieved his highest-ever position in almost all 40 races. He is definitely our Harriers Indestructible Man and has won this award in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Austin Willson, Brandon Willson, Ben Kingstone and Kaitlyn van der Werff: This year we have three top male juniors and one top female junior. Our first two juniors come as a twin-pack. Their aunt Sandy Auburn brought them to Thetis Lake for a Saturday run two years ago and they have been Harriers racers ever since. They each competed in 6 Island Series races, usually running with one another. At Mill Bay one took the bronze home and the other finished fourth and then they reversed their wins at Cedar. They finished 7th and 8th overall in the series in the M15 age division – an excellent showing as they were only 11 years old at the time. Our next top junior male competed in 3 Island Series races in 2007, winning a bronze at the Pioneer 8K in the M16-19 division and then finished 4th at the Hatley Castle 8K, doing the unthinkable by running Hatley faster than he ran Pioneer, a much easier 8K course. He excelled at the Royal Victoria 8K where he won the silver medal in his division with a time of 28:05. He also ran very well in the BC Cross Country Championships and was near the front in all of his school cross country races while running for Shawnigan Lake School. Our top female junior came to us in 2006 with Elaine Galbraith who met her through Victoria's big sister program. She and Elaine ran in the Thetis Lake Relays as a big and little sister team, each doing two laps of the course, and she ran her first Gunner Shaw Cross Country race this year. She ran well at the TC10K in the spring and the Royal Victoria 8K in the fall. She won the gold in the F16-19 at Bazan Bay with a time of 24:21. In addition to running as a Harrier, she also volunteered for the Royal Victoria Marathon finish line crew so that she could cheer on big sister Elaine as she completed the marathon on the first-place Harriers Team.
Wendy Davies and Elaine Galbraith: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be age group winners in the Island Series, but they are usually there competing, helping and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. Our first winner was injured for the early part of the year and was only able to compete at Mill Bay on the roads where she placed 8th. She turned her focus to cross country and had a brilliant fall season of racing. She took a F45 silver medal at both the Provincial Cross Country Championships in Victoria and National Cross Country Championships in Guelph, Ontario, and helped anchor her master women’s team to a Canadian Championship Title. She captained the ‘Harriots of Fire’ master women’s team to a first place finish at the Thetis Lake 20K Relay. Our second winner was a member of the Thetis Triple Club by competing in all three cross country races. She was a member of the winning mixed team at the Royal Victoria Marathon and placed 4th as part of the Twin Sisters Relay Team at Thetis. She did all eight Island Series races in 2007 with her best performance being at Hatley Castle where she placed 7th in the F40 division. Her biggest improvement came at Bazan Bay where she dropped her 5K time by 4 minutes and raised her point total from 507 to 584 over one year.
Ming Kang, Craig Payne and Joanne Rosen: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2007, out of more than 100 new club members, we have selected two males and one female winner with each taking a different path to success. The male winners excelled in road races, cross country and mountain races like Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain the Kusam Klimb. One male showed steady improvement in the Island Series by running 6 races and moving up from 654 points at his second race at Mill Bay to 689 points at his final race at Sooke River. He jumped from 14th place in the M25 division at Pioneer to a remarkable 3rd place at Sooke. Already he has shown a 4 minute improvement at his Mill Bay/Cobble Hill 10K time by lowering it from 41:22 to 37:28 in one year. Our second male winner ran the 2006 Series unattached, then joined the club early in 2007. He ran all 8 Series races and saw an instant improvement in his times. He vaulted from 44:36 at Sooke River to 37:50 within a year, a 6 minute, 45 second improvement and an increase of 108 points. At Bazan Bay, he even did better. His points bolted from 577 to 699 and his time plunged from 22:33 to 18:36. He ran brilliantly at Kusam and Gunner. Our female winner still doesn’t know how good she really is. Jumping into cross country and road races with no experience, she achieved instant accolades by being top master and taking gold medals at Thetis Relay and Stewart Mountain and a bronze at Gunner Shaw. She was the Triple Club overall master female champion. On the road circuit in the Island Series, she has already claimed three F45 silver medals in three races so far this year. Considering Series master Champion, Nancy Baxendale, is just ahead of her speaks well for her outstanding road performances. She has lowered both her 8K and 10K personal best times by 4 and a half minutes this year over last year. All three candidates will only get better in 2008 and I am sure that they will be nominated for other prominent awards in future years.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Courage to Come Back Award - Charlie Ireland: The second non-perpetual award goes to a club member who has shown the Courage to Comeback after a serious injury or accident. Last year we recognized Adam Lawrence and Les MacNeill for their courage. This year Charlie Ireland had a very serious bicycle accident. He was hit by a car only a few short blocks from his home smashing his helmet and head on the road. He was in hospital unconscious and in a coma for 4 days. Little by little he regained strength and memory to today, four months later, where he is looking forward to returning to running and working again at the age of 72. The Courage to Comeback Award goes to Charlie Ireland.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Maurice Tarrant: To date we have six Harriers lifetime members – Gunner Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid, John McKay and Ken Bonner. Tonight we are delighted to add a seventh lifetime membership which is long overdue. This individual has been running for our club for 28 years including 228 consecutive first place finishes in Vancouver Island races. Ponder this for a moment. 28 years of racing, 228 straight victories in his age division with never a defeat. There may not be another runner at any age, in any country, at any time that will achieve this record of racing excellence. Add to the fact he has set 46 Canadian master age class records in every single distance ranging from one mile to the marathon. He is an eight-time winner of the Alex Marshall Master of the Year Award and has previously been named the Harriers Most Valuable Runner and Veteran of the Year. In 2004 a perpetual trophy was named in his honour and in 2005 he was inducted into the Frontrunners Walk of Fame. He is a world-class veteran and, at the age of 78, he is an inspiration to all of us with his racing supremacy and leadership of the Thursday Morning Retired Group runs. There is no doubt that tonight’s winner is the greatest master runner ever to sport a Harriers singlet in the 30 year history of our club and no one will ever match his perfection, performance or longevity in the sport. We are very extremely pleased to induct Maurice Tarrant into the Prairie Inn Harriers Lifetime Membership Club.
Harriers Sponsor of the Year - Phil Nicholls of Island Runner: For the first time in 30 years, we would like to present a new award called the Sponsor of the Year. It goes to the local business which is most helpful in supporting Harriers-hosted races. For the last three years, our sponsor has brought outstanding Adidas shirts and prizes to our three races at Thetis Lake Park. In doing so, the Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay and Stewart Mountain have posted record fields every year and have grown to become the largest and most popular cross country Series in British Columbia and perhaps in Canada. In comparison, the Lower Mainland has an 8-race Series covering the full 12 months which draws a total of less than 500 adult runners. The Thetis Lake Series drew 1,248 finishers in a mere four weeks in November. It is primarily due to the partnership with our sponsor that we can give out two technical shirts at Stewart Mountain to all Triple Club members and offer an attractive hooded sweatshirt to every volunteer that helps at the Thetis races. We are extremely pleased to acknowledge Phil Nicholls of Island Runner as our Sponsor of the Year.
Volunteers of the Year - Ken Smythe, Sylvan Smyth, Garfield Saunders, Mike Emerson, Gerry Etcheverry: Special recognition for volunteering at most of the eight races which the club hosts annually including our big events like Pioneer, Elk/Beaver, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relay and Stewart Mountain. There are five gentlemen who gave their time generously in key roles throughout the year. We are honoured and grateful for their contributions to make our events the most premiere ones in Greater Victoria. Please acknowledge the 2007 Volunteers of the Year.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Chatline Posters of the Year - Sandi Heal and Carlos Castillo: Chatline Posters of the Year and it goes to the Chatline Champions. We know that BBK used to be the Fluff Queen leaving Exaggerator and Dr. A. in her dust. She threw up 168 posts in a single day while at work! This year’s blabbermouth awards go to Sandster and Jackal who collectively managed to offer us 1,368 posts and win by a landslide. At the end of the year they were only two measly posts apart. We are happy to give Sandi Heal and Carlos Castillo some post-its and a poster to acknowledge their prolific posting prowess.
Chatline Wheedler of the Year - Mark Ritchie: Chatline Wheedler of the Year Award. It’s hard to believe that someone would quit Facebook, he calls it Crackbook, to sign up to the PIH Chatline, now known as Chatbook, so he could ask question after question. So far this year our wheedler has posted 220 times, each with a machine-gun approach to inquiring about every possible thing including what to wear to a race. This year’s award goes to a curious new member, Mark Ritchie. Mark gets an autographed booked called “Running in the Zone” with answers to anything he ever wanted to know about running.
Directionally-Challenged Award - Wendy Davies and Joanne Rosen: Directionally-Challenged Award. It goes to two individuals who could run the same route every day for four consecutive weeks at Thetis Lake and still not know where they are, where they were or where they’re going. In fact as soon as they step out of their car in the parking lot, they’re lost! If one is falling behind and comes to a Thetis trail fork, we frequently hear a scream, “Which way, which way?” Thank god we taught her to stop yelling “Help” as we thought she might be hurt. The second directionally-challenged individual is a fastee and sometimes likes to take the lead. When she approaches a fork, she also calls out, “Which way, which way?” Her trailing trail guide, G, answers her back, “Go left, go left.” She promptly turns right instead and drags the whole pack with her the wrong way. Patiently, G responds with “Your other left!” For our two lostees, we are delighted to offer a map of Thetis Lake Park, a map of the world, a map of Vancouver Island, a map of Greater Victoria, a map of where their house sits on the street which they live, a map on how to get to the nearest grocery store and a map on how to get the from their bedroom to their bathroom for a pee in the middle of the night.
Energizer Bunny Award - Bob Reid: You are hereby declared one who never quits. Your persistence, determination, and endurance are inspirational because: • You came back from hip surgery before the year was up to run the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic • Survived a trip to LA where your car broke down and was broken into • Trained a new puppy • You made it through a year of having a tenant in your suite • Coached the TNW crew • Rejoined mid-pack group on Saturdays at Thetis • Led numerous mountain, holiday and dog runs • Led the HACKER series and sucked wind on the hills at the start • Championed many causes for the betterment of Road Running in BC – especially working through the bureaucracy of BC Athletics, often frustrated, but rarely losing your temper, to gain ground for road racing in what is a primarily track and field organization • Organized two successful BCXC Championships • Directed many races and announced at others • Assisted elites with their plans and goals • Your motto of late has been – Keep Positive, but Keep Pushing… • You've done so much for the Harriers, your friends and others. You're amazing! The winner of the Energizer Bunny Award is Bob Reid!
Most Miles Run Before Birth - Claire Morgan: Our fifth and final light-hearted award is for the Most Miles Run Before Birth and, you guessed it, the award goes to a pregnant club member who refuses to give up running until the day her baby is delivered. Tonight’s winner even joked that if she happened to get lost in Thetis Lake Park, she might have to name the baby after one of the park trails like Trillium or McKenzie Creek or Lewis and Clark. She has been an inspirational leader for the “middle group” for 8 ½ pregnant months at Thetis and is due on February 29. We are pleased to offer a new pair of running shoes to baby Trillium compliments of her proud mother Claire Morgan. Long may he run!
Queen of Divas - Dee Ogden: We have some ladies in the club who are classy dressers, especially before, during and after races. They are pure divas. Necklaces, belly-button rings, black evening gloves, lipstick, mascara, stylish running skirts, ankle bracelets, arm warmers and hair extensions are just part of their “race uniform” before toeing the line. Tonight we want to recognize the Harriers Queen of Divas. Once she changes out of her running attire and into her “post-race awards” uniform in the school gymnasium, our Diva Queen looks good enough to attend a cocktail party at the Lieutenant Governor’s mansion. To add to her racing ensemble, we are pleased to offer a new diva uniform for Island Series races to Dee Ogden.
Cheryl Murphy and Steve Osaduik: We are indeed honoured tonight to introduce two incredible athletes that have been selected as the 2006 Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners for the second consecutive year. The female winner won the Island Race Series for her second straight year and had super races at Pioneer, 3rd, Mill Bay, 2nd, Cedar, 2nd, Bazan Bay, 1st and Sooke River, 2nd to capture the crown. She absolutely dominated the F35 division with an average of 843 points and winning by a staggering 106 points in her age class. She also repeated as Royal Victoria Half Marathon Champion and Oak Bay Kool Half Marathon Champion in 2006. She placed in the top ten of an elite field of women at the Florida Ironman full distance triathlon. Our male winner has had the year of his life. He was selected as the BC Athletics Road Runner of the Year and Cross Country Runner of the Year. In fact, I don’t believe that any other runner in Canada can match his 2006 racing resume. He won the Island Series Championship for the 5th time in 6 years by winning all 5 races he entered. He won the Times Colonist 10K for the third consecutive year. He won the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Edmonton and won the 27th annual Royal Victoria Marathon in a course record time of 2:16:49. He ran for Team Canada in the World Cross Country Championships in Japan and was the highest Canadian finisher in the North American, Central American and Caribbean National Cross Country Championships in Florida. Of the 16 road races he entered last year, he won 15 of them outright. He collected victories at one marathon, four half marathons, four 10Ks, three 8Ks and two 5Ks. He set personal bests times of 14:16 for 5K, 23:39 for 8K, 29:57 for 10K and 2:16 for the marathon. He was second overall in the BC Cross Country Championships hosted by the Harriers at Lambrick Park. He is an amazing athlete and has had a stunning year of racing.
Joan McGrath, Angela Plamondon and Gary Duncan: We have always been considered as a strong masters club, and with tonight’s three winners, there is no doubt that this tradition will continue for years to come. The men’s winner has been up here earlier. He has had an outstanding year in both performance and persistence. Of the 46 races he completed, he was outstanding in the Island Series, finishing 5th in the highly competitive M45 division. He has run 60 Island Series Races so far, 7 of them in 2006. His best effort last year was the Oceanside 10K where he collected a bronze medal. He won the Layritz Trail Pursuit outright and ran extremely well in the Gutbuster Series, the Island Cross Country Series and the Thetis Lake Triple Club Series. The first female winner was the top master in the Island Series and was second female overall in points for 2006. She is a half marathon specialist by winning the master’s division at the Oak Bay, Comox, Scotiabank and First Half half marathons. She was the top female runner at Comox Valley and Hatley Castle and set an F45 course record at Pioneer. The second female master of the year won every single one of the 9 Island Series Races in the F40 division. She was the top female finisher at the Great Sooke 12K Foot Race, the Oceanside 10K and the Sound and Silence 10K.
Camie Bentham, Sandi Heal, Randy Jones and Cory Horner: With a club of our size and with the amount of runners currently improving, we have selected 2 women and 2 men to be designated as the Most Improved Runners for 2006. The first female winner took gold medals at the Landsend 10K and the Mount Doug 5K Gutbuster. She was second to the overall winner, Cheryl Murphy, in the F35 division of the Island Race Series by running great times at Pioneer, Mill Bay, Cedar, Bazan Bay and Sooke. She recorded her personal best performance of 41:15 at the Times Colonist 10K in April. The second female winner also had a top-notch Island Series by running P.B.s at most races including Pioneer, Mill Bay, Cedar, Bazan Bay and Sooke. She finished 2nd to Cathy Rung in the F30 division of the Series, her highest-ever placing and points ranking. She took a gold medal at the Esquimalt 8K and silver medals at Landsend 10K and the Songhees 5K. Ironically, like our other female winner, her personal best of 41:56 was also recorded at the 2006 Times Colonist 10K. The male winners both excelled at ultra distance races. The first one placed 5th overall in the Coast to Coast Foot Roast 50K in September. He shaved 80 minutes off his previous year’s time. One week earlier he lowered his Great Lake 56K Race around Cowichan Lake time by a remarkable 90 minutes to finish 22nd of 500 in 6 hours, 26 minutes. He has run 69 Island Series Races to date including huge improvements in all 9 races in 2006. The second male winner finished 10th overall in the Kusam Klimb, his first-ever endurance, mountain run at Sayward on Northern Vancouver Island. His time was 3 hours, 14 minutes. He was 3rd in the M25 division of the Island Race Series with excellent times and improvements at Mill Bay, Cedar, Hatley Castle, Bazan Bay, Sooke River and Oceanside. His best Series race was Bazan Bay where he collected a bronze medal in his age group and recorded his highest points total of 662.
Garfield Saunders and Mike Emerson: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award is presented to the hardest working Harrier who has provided unparalleled and unconditional service to our club. They are the lifeline and the backbone of PIH when it comes to hosting races. The Dedicated Performance Award is going to two Harriers this year, who not only race regularly for the club, but are the first ones to step forward to help manage our 10 events annually. They mark the courses for all three Thetis Lake races, take down the flagging and are the last ones to leave after clean-up. They bring their trucks for equipment pick-up and bring it all back after the races are over. They also help at major events like the Royal Victoria Marathon and the Times Colonist 10K by delivering signage, race supplies and equipment. If we didn’t have two great Harriers like these, there would be no Pioneer, Gunner Shaw, Songhees, Elk/Beaver or Thetis Relay races. We thank them tonight for their unselfish and continuous valuable contributions to the club.
Brian Connon and John Woodall: The first male winner returned to racing after a 5-year layoff and won 7 out of 8 Island Series races in the M60 division. His best effort was Oceanside where he scored 703 points. He also won gold medals for the Prairie Inn Harriers Racing Team at the provincial and national cross country championships. The second male winner was a model of consistency in the M70 division of the Series. He took 5 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze and averaged 563 points for his 7 Series races. His best effort was a first place M70 finish at Bazan Bay where he achieved 575 points.
Daphne Panter: Our female winner medalled in the Seattle Half Marathon and finished fifth in her age class in the Island Race Series. Her best race was the Bazan Bay 5K, good for 574 points, but she also had excellent efforts at Pioneer, Mill Bay, Cedar and Sooke.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly flying the Harriers colours, whether it be duathlons, road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight’s winner did it all and more in 2006. He ran 46 races and achieved a high standard in every one of them. That only leaves him with 6 free non-racing weekends. He started the year with a quad by doing the Run Through Time on New Year’s Eve and followed it up with the Running Room Resolution 8K, the Harriers Memorial 10K Run and the YMCA Annual 10K Run on New Year’s Day. He is definitely our Harriers Ironman for 2006.
Camille Janicki and Ben Kingstone: Our top junior male competed in 4 Island Series races in 2006 and finished 4th in the M16 to M19 division. He took a bronze medal at Hatley Castle and a silver medal at both Merville and Oceanside. Two of his strongest performances of the year were the Ladysmith Cops Crunch 8K where he was the top junior and 3rd overall of 217 finishers and the Edge to Edge Half Marathon where he was again the top junior and 3rd overall of 171 finishers. He competed very well on the Prairie Inn Harriers Junior Racing Team at the provincial and national cross country championships. Our top female junior of the year finished 3rd in the F15 division at the age of 12. She was 4th at Pioneer recording 639 points, her highest Series total. She was a gold medallist at Mill Bay with 604 points and took a bronze at Bazan Bay with 634 points.
Susan Jones and Garfield Saunders: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to the male and female who represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be an age group winner in the Island Series, but they are usually there competing, helping and supporting the Harriers in many events throughout the year. The female winner did the TC10K, the Oak Bay Half Marathon and has completed all three Island Series races so far this year. She is a regular at the Tuesday night workouts and the Saturday morning Thetis runs. The male winner finished 5th in the M65 division by running Pioneer, Cedar, Hatley, Bazan, Sooke and Oceanside. His best Series race was Hatley Castle where he won a silver medal. He, too is a regular at the TNWs, the Thursday Morning Group runs and with the Saturday Thetis gang.
Marie-Claude Poirier and Shane Ruljancich: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2006, out of more than 100 new club members, we have one male and one female winner and each has taken a different path to success. The male winner excelled in road races, cross country and mountain races. He won the Merrython 8K in December and took a silver medal at Hatley Castle and a bronze at the Mt. Tzouhalem Gutbuster. He ran 6 Island Series races and finished 5th in the highly competitive M30 division. He also ran on the winning Harriers team in the Royal Victoria Marathon. Our female winner shone at triathlons, duathlons and the New Balance Island Race Series. She was 4th female in the Self Transcendence Triathlon in August with a great time of 2 hours 21 minutes and was first female overall at the Cowichan Challenge Triathlon in July. She was also the top female in the Juan de Fuca Duathlon in September. She managed 5 Island Series races and recorded her highest-ever points rating of 735 at the Oceanside 10K, clearly her best road race where she won the gold medal in the F25 age division and was the 5th female overall.
Helen Jaques: The Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year is winning this award for the third time. She is the heart and soul of Prairie Inn Race Walkers and coordinates the weekly workouts at UVic. She promotes the sport of race walking and gives presentations for all interested new people. Between her seminars, she still finds time to compete in such events as the Sidney Days 5k where she received a gold medal in 2006. Other races where she enjoys race walking include the TC10K, Bazan Bay and Songhees 5Ks and the Sound and Silence 10K.
Ken Bonner: The winner rode 31,085 miles this year, that's 50,025 kilometres for you metric geeks. Think of it - 50,000K in the saddle. That is more kilometres than most of us drive our cars annually. To put it into perspective, he rode for over 2,000 hours in 2006 for an average of about 5 and a half hours every single day. Along the way he won 5 consecutive BC Randonneurs ultra bike races with distances of 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1,000 kilometres. The 1,000K race took 4 days to complete with only a few 10 minute naps en route. Indeed he is an amazing man on a bike and in July this year he is about to try to break the Guinness world record and cycle across Canada in a time bettering the current record of 13 days, 15 hours. I'm sure he will do it.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Courage to Come Back Award - Les MacNeill and Adam Lawrence: This award goes to two men who have shown the Courage to Comeback after a serious injury. Both have rebounded nicely and are now enjoying successful Island Race Series results. Les MacNeill was savagely beaten and left for dead in Papau, New Guinea a few years back and Adam Lawrence suffered a tremendous bike crash in the Juan de Fuca Veledrome, breaking his clavicle, an arm and he received several lacerations. They both persevered and bounced back with grit and determination. They are role models to all of us.
Harriers Lifetime Membership Award - Ken Bonner: To date we have five Harriers lifetime members – Gunner Shaw, Alex Marshall, Ken Smythe, Bob Reid and John McKay. Tonight we are delighted to add a sixth. This individual has been running for our club for 28 years including the inaugural Royal Victoria Marathon in 1980 and the first Island Race Series in 1983. He is the only person of the tens of thousands of runners to complete all 27 RVMs. He has run 25 consecutive years of the Island Series Races and has finished over 150 marathons while sporting a Harriers singlet. He has performed at a high age class level at hundreds and hundreds of races over three decades. We are very pleased to introduce Ken Bonner to receive a Prairie Inn Harriers Lifetime Membership.
Harriers Triathlete of the Year - Gerry Etcheverry: Triathlete of the Year: This guy was a rookie to the three-sport circuit and broke in with a big bang. He finished 8th in his age group at the New Balance Half Ironman and Elk Lake in June with a tremendous time of 5 hours, 3 minutes. This triathlon debut qualified him for Ironman Canada in August. At the Subaru IMC National Championships in Penticton, he did even better by finishing the gruelling 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run in 10 hours 43 minutes to finish 172nd overall of 2,300 athletes. He was 13th of 247 in the M45 age division. There is no doubt that this keener will go on to perform well at the Ironman World Championships this year in Hawaii.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Chatline Poster of the Year - Wendy Davies: Top Poster of the Year goes to the Chatline Champion. We know that BBK used to have a lot to say on the Chatline as did Exaggerator and Dr. A. But this year’s blabbermouth award goes to Twisted who managed to throw up 860 posts and win by a landslide. We are happy to give Wendy Davies some post-its and a poster to acknowledge her posting prowess.
Mr. Reliability Award - Gary Duncan: The Mr. Reliability Award: This individual can definitely be counted on. He shows up at all the races, all the club meetings, all the TNWs, all the Gutbusters, all the social events, all the Saturday Thetis runs, all the mountain runs, all the seminars and anything related to Harriers running. He also gets a Daytimer Calendar to record how consistent he has been throughout the year.
Mr. Un-Reliability Award - Christopher Kelsall: The Mr. Unreliability Award goes to this club member who promises to be at all events but never seems to make any. He is invisible. We are giving a Daytimer Calendar to this year’s winner so that he can put his appointments in a book, then conveniently forget them. He said he was coming tonight, but you guessed it, he isn’t here to receive his award.
Top Dog of the Year - Garfield Saunders (Petra, Pasha, Abby): Top Dog of the Year Award: It’s hard to believe that Sandi put a post on the Running Forum for a dog run at Thetis and 17 canines and 10 owners showed up for the inaugural event. It is sure to be an annual one. Dogs are regulars at Thetis on Saturdays and each master is proud of their 4-legged companion. This year’s award goes to one of the best dog owners, Garfield Saunders.
Jim Finlayson, Steve Osaduik, Cheryl Murphy and Meghan Day: There are two Harriers men and two Harriers women who have established some outstanding racing credentials that may never be matched in future years. 2005 was an epic journey for each and every one of them. Consider this. The two male Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners collectively won the Royal Victoria Marathon, the Times Colonist 10K, the Vancouver International Half Marathon, the Vancouver Island Race Series Championship, for the fifth time, the Oak Bay Kool Half Marathon, the Fila Rock Solid 8K, the National Marathon Championships in Ottawa, Mill Bay 10K, Hatley Castle 8K, Cedar 12K and the Dave Smart Beer Mile with a world record time of 5:12. Both men ran on the bronze medal Harriers team in the Canadian Cross Country Championships. The two women Most Valuable Runners won the Royal Victoria Half Marathon, the Twilight Shuffle 4 Miler, the Juan de Fuca Duathlon, Pioneer 8K, Bazan Bay 5K, Cedar 12K, Cadboro Bay Triathlon, Sooke River 10K, Panorama Triathlon, Songhees 5K and Mill Bay 10K. Fittingly both of them finished in a dead heat at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Vancouver to propel the Harriers senior women�s team including Lucy Smith , Tina Connelly, Nancy Baxendale and Nancy Tinari to a gold medal performance. We are indeed honoured tonight to introduce four incredible athletes that have been selected as the 2005 Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runners - Jim Finlayson, Steve Osaduik, Cheryl Murphy and Meghan Day.
Steve Bachop, Nancy Baxendale and Marcia Stromsmoe: We have always been considered as a strong masters club, and with tonight’s three winners, there is no doubt that this tradition will continue for years to come. Our male Master of the Year won the Gunner Shaw 10K outright, for his fourth victory at Thetis Lake. He was the top master in the BC Cross Country Championships and third in the Canadian Championships, to anchor the Harriers to a gold medal team performance. He was the top master at the Pioneer 8K and the Twilight Shuffle. Our female Master of the Year ran a personal best in virtually every distance she raced focussing four brilliant half marathons, including first place finishes at Comox Valley , Vancouver Scotiabank, Calgary Stampede and Royal Victoria. Our second female Master of the Year ran 26 races, winning her division in most of them, and collected a silver medal at the World Masters Games and a gold medal at the Canadian Cross Country Championships. The older they get, the faster they run. It is a pleasure to introduce the three Alex Marshal Masters of the Year - Steve Bachop, Nancy Baxendale and Marcia Stromsmoe.
Dave Jackson and Daphne Panter: The male and female Robin Pearson Most Improved Runners took different paths to glory in 2005 and both finished with a banner year, perhaps their best ever. Our male runner focussed on long distance events running a personal best of 2:24 at the California International Marathon and winning the Shawnigan Half Marathon, the Thetis Lake Relay 20K Solo Division, the Sidney Days 5K and finished second to Jon Brown in the Royal Victoria Half Marathon. He recorded personal bests in 3K, 5K, 10K, 15K, 20K, half marathon and full marathon. Our female winner shone at the Island Series races where she improved her times in seven races, winning her age division at Oceanside and recording her highest points total ever at Bazan Bay. She was also the top runner in her age class at the Gunner Shaw 10K Cross Country and the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge. It is a pleasure to introduce our Robin Pearson Most Improved Runners – Dave Jackson and Daphne Panter.
Susan Norrington, Randy Jones and Sandi Heal: The Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award is presented to the hardest working Harrier who has provided unparallel and unconditional service to our club. They are the heart beat, the lifeline and the backbone of PIH. As I look out into the crowd of 100+ people and observe the 29 years of rich Harriers history, I think of friendship, and I think of three people who stand tall by representing you in bringing people with a common interest together. They are my friends, and they have made you friends with each other. The Dedicated Performance Award is going to three Harriers this year, who not only race regularly, but are the first ones to step forward to manage and stage an event. They always help with race registration, course layout, awards presentations, finish line duties, set-up, clean-up, tear-down and just about any other job it takes to make a successful race. They give their time unselfishly and regularly to make all of our annual ten Harriers events run smoothly. They are on the organizing committee and the Board of Directors for the Victoria International Running Society, the Victoria Marathon Society, the Vancouver Island Runners’ Association and they are key players in the Times Colonist 10K, the Frontrunners Island Race Series, the Royal Victoria Marathon and the Hudson’s Bay 10K besides significant Harriers races such as Pioneer, Gunner Shaw, Songhees, Thetis Relays and Elk/Beaver Ultras. It is my pleasure to introduce three individuals from our large family of 368 Harriers, who provide leadership, friendship and a strong sense of togetherness and pride to make our club one of the finest athletic organizations in the country. They are your PIH Board of Directors and they are on centre stage tonight presenting you with your awards. The winners of the Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award are Susan Norrington, Randy Jones and Sandi Heal.
Herb Phillips, Bill Scriven, Maurice Tarrant: When it comes to veterans, over 60 years of age, there is no better club in the universe than the Prairie Inn Harriers. We initiated this award last year to honour two of our very best veterans, Maurice Tarrant and Rosamund Dashwood. This year we have had three men and one woman who have been simply outstanding by establishing many provincial, national and world records in their respective age categories. One male winner has set an incredible 48 Canadian Age Class Records, including 11 last year. Our second male winner is running close to world record marathon times for a 65 year old. He ran 2:47 at the Newport Marathon and 2:52 at the Victoria Marathon. Our third male winner excelled in road races and triathlons including excellent performances at the New Balance Half Ironman in Victoria, the Canadian Championships in Penticton and the World Triathlon Championships in Hawaii. Please acknowledge the Maurice Tarrant Veterans of the Year – Herb Phillips, Bill Scriven and Maurice Tarrant.
Sandra Bastedo: Our female winner set 5 B.C. records and 3 Canadian records in 2005. She also collected a gold medal World Masters Games in Edmonton and the BC Seniors Games in Duncan. Please acknowledge Rosamund Dashwood Veteran of the Year – Sandra Bastedo.
Kevin Searle: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or the most miles, while proudly wearing a Harriers uniform, whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. Tonight’s winner did it all in 2005. He ran six Island Series races, five GutBuster races, Sound and Silence 10K, Sidney Days 5K, Times Colonist 10K, Shawnigan Half Marathon and many other races. In most events, he was a top master. His highlight had to be last month where he ran a personal best of 2:41 at the California International Marathon to cap off an incredible year of personal best performances in every race. The John Thipthorpe Durability Award is presented to Kevin Searle.
Robbie Cracknell: It is no surprise to introduce this young, talented gentleman. Not only has he captured the Stewart Fall Junior of the Year in 2005, but he won the award in 2004 as well to join Chad DePol, Zack Whitmarsh and Graeme Benn as the only two-time male winners. He competed in six Island Series races in 2005 and finished first in his age class in all six races including personal best performances at every distance. He recorded an outstanding 35:40 at the TC10K and finished first as a junior at the Royal Victoria 8K. His best two races in 2005 had to be the Hatley Castle 8K and the Gunner Shaw 10K, both extremely difficult courses, where he nailed a top ten finish overall in each race at the age of 15. For the second consecutive year, this year’s Stewart Fall Junior of the Year is Robbie Cracknell.
Dee Ogden and Gary Duncan: The Susan Reid Most Consistent Harrier Award is presented to the male and female who represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year. They may not be an age group winner in the Island Series, but they are usually there competing in all nine races as well as many others events throughout the year. The female winner won this same award in 2003 while the male winner won the Durability Award in 2004 and the Most Improved Runner in 2003. They have a healthy appetite for racing with the female completing 25 races in 2005 and our male winner notching an amazing 45 races. I am pleased to announce the Susan Reid Most Consistent Harriers – Dee Ogden and Gary Duncan.
Louise Proulx and Gerry Etcheverry: The Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is given to a first year Harrier to signify our Rookies of the Year. In 2005, out of 100 new members, we have one male and one female winner, and fittingly, they are partners in all of our activities. From mountain runs, to cycling, to Island Series races, to club social events, to Gutbuster races, to wind training, to virtually every training run that the Harriers do weekly, you will always find these two joining in. They bring enthusiasm, spirit and a friendly, positive attitude to all PIH events. It is my pleasure to present the Bob Reid Bright Shining Lights for 2005 to Louise Proulx and Gerry Etcheverry.
Pat Denby: The Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year is winning this award for the second consecutive time. In 2005 she had some outstanding achievements at the World Masters’ Games in Edmonton with a silver medal in 5,000 metres and a bronze in 10,000 metres. In the BC Senior Games, she earned a silver medal in the 10,000 and a bronze in the 5,000. This year she also organized and led a walking group for the CNIB, of which she is a member. Please acknowledge the Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year – Pat Denby.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in Adventure Sports, Cycling and Triathlons - Isao Hirayama: Excellence in Adventure Sports, Cycling and Triathlons
Excellence in Graphic Design - Sandy Stewart: Excellence in Graphic Design for Club Jackets and Newsletters
Excellence in High Performance Coaching - Ron Bowker: Excellence in High Performance Coaching
Excellence in International Competition - Jon Brown: Excellence in International Competition, Personal Best Performance – London Marathon 2:09:31
Excellence in Volunteering - Rick Wilton: Excellence in Volunteering
Excellence in Website Design and Management - Sylvan Smyth: Excellence in Web Site Design and Management
Meghan Day: She won the Pioneer 8k in a time of 28:13 beating her 2003 time by 1:32. That time places her 7th on the BC Athletics 2004 Women’s 8k rankings. Her 781 points is the highest she has achieved in 2 years of Series races with her previous high, also set at Mill Bay, being 748. She ran 5 Island Series races and won 4 of them. She set a new course record at the Sooke 10k with her finish in 35:23 breaking the old 2003 record by 3 min. She was first in her age category for overall series standings (F30-34) and was the overall female Series winner. She ran the Vancouver Sun Run, then ran the TC 10k placing 4th female with her time of 35:28. Her Mill Bay time was her fastest 10k time this year and 10 seconds faster with 35:18. She ran the Westwood Lake GutBuster in a time of 52:09 earning her 12th place overall and first female. She ran the Mt. Douglas GutBuster in 55:05 capturing 5th place overall and first female. She won the open Female Gutbuster mountain race series title. She won the women’s race in the 25K Half Knacker Wilderness Race at the end of May with a time of 1:46:11. She won the women’s race at the Twilight Shuffle 4 mile with 22:11, good for 8th place overall out of 800 runners. She went to the 2004 North America Central America Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Team Championships/Vail Hill Climb – placing top Canadian in 63:02 and 5th in her age group. She was the top Canadian in the women’s race at the 2004 World Mountain Running Trophy in Italy in September. She was 32nd out of 81. She won the Royal Victoria Half Marathon women’s race in a time of 1:18:01, good for 12th place overall! Her time places her in 5th on the BC Athletics 2004 Women’s Half Marathon Rankings list. For her performance in this race, she is listed as 10th on the 2004 Canadian Half Marathon Rankings list. She placed 5th at the BC Cross Country Championships to qualify for the BC team. She earned 16th place with her effort at the Canadian National Cross Country Championships in Toronto in November. She won the Stewart Mountain 10-mile Cross Country women’s race and finished 11th overall in 1:12:22. She is clearly uncontested for our Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner for the second consecutive year.
Steve Osaduik: He participated in the World Cross Country Championships in Belgium in February. He won top spot for overall male in the Vancouver Island Race Series when he completed 6 races, finishing first in 4 (Pioneer, Cedar, Hatley, Sooke). 909 was his highest point score ever since starting the Series in 1995 and came with his performance at the Sooke River 10k, one of the most challenging Series courses where he seems to thrive on the hills. He was first in his age category for overall series standings (M25-29) and ran the Pioneer 8k (24:54), Mill Bay 10k (31:37), Cedar 12k (37:23 – new course record), Hatley Castle 8k (25:26), Bazan Bay 5K (15:02), and Sooke River 10K (30:19 – new course record). His Pioneer 8k time places him 4th fastest in BC for 2004. He was top Vancouver Island finisher and 5th overall at the Vancouver Sun Run in 30:18 and accomplished a personal best in a field of over 60,000 runners with many elite Kenyan athletes. He then followed up with a win at the TC 10k in April in a time of 30:30. His Sun Run time, places him 4th on the BC Athletics 2004 Men’s 10k Rankings list. He shared first place with Ian Hallam in the Mt. Tzouhalem GutBuster race in April. He won the Energy Capital & National Half Marathon in Edmonton on May 16 in a fantastic time of 1:06:40 and traveled to New Delhi, India to participate in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships held in October. His time of 1:06:40 places him 6th in the 2004 Canadian Half Marathon Rankings list. He ran the ING Ottawa marathon placing 11th, third Canadian in a marathon debut time of 2:24:25 on May 30. He won the Twilight Shuffle 4-mile in 19:25, and the Songhees 5k in 15:37. He placed first in the New Balance Invitational Cross Country race at Beacon Hill Park in 25:29. He won the Royal Victoria 8k in 25:18 in October. He ran on a two-man team with Kevin Friesen and smashed the Thetis Relay's course record. They became the first team to run the 12 miles in under an hour. He placed 29th in the Canadian National Cross Country Championships in Toronto, Ontario in December. He ran 36 races in 2004 from road running at all distances to cross country national and international championships to mountain racing to steeplechase and 1.500 metre track events and won most of the races he entered. For many of the local events, he latterly destroyed the field. 2005 will see him with a breakthrough race at the Las Vegas Marathon and trying to qualify for the Canadian Mountain Racing Team at the world championships in New Zealand and the Half Marathon World Championships in France. He will also tackle the Canadian Cross Country and 10K Road Racing Championships, the TC10K, the Sun Run, the Series and a number of mountain races.
Debbie Scott: She was first in her age category in the series standings (F45-49) and was the overall female master’s winner in the Island Series. Her highest point score came at Bazan Bay 5k with 742. She won six consecutive races and set F45 course records at Central Saanich Pioneer (30:14), Hatley Castle (30:54), Bazan Bay (17:42), Sooke River (37:34), Merville (57:41) and Oceanside (new course record for her age category by 4 minutes by running 46:14). At the Sooke 10k, she was the third female across the line and lowered the F45 course record by over 4 minutes with a time of 37:34! She was the first female overall at the Merville 15k and easily won the Bob’s Bonus Buds. She co-captained the winning High Mileage PIH Team for the charity fundraiser Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay and championed some fundraising efforts of over $4,500 towards the cause with Sabina Reska. This year she was inducted into the UVic Hall of Fame for her top Canadian middle distance running and performances on Team Canada at the Olympics. She is a former winner of the New York Mile, the Sun Run, the Times Colonist 10K, Shawnigan Half Marathon and the Pioneer 8K, where she still holds the course record set 18 years ago. 2005 will see her return to the Sun Run as a top ranked master and will see her participation in the Canadian Cross Country Championships.
Kevin Searle: He ran 6 Series races and placed 5th in his age category in perhaps one of the toughest divisions. His highest point score of 780 came in the Comox Valley Half Marathon in a time of 1:18:32, beating last year’s time by 56 seconds. He had the best Series placing this year at the Comox Half. In April, he ran 2 - 10k’s finishing within one second of each other; Sooke 10k in 36:07 and the TC 10k in 36:08. He ran the Mt. Doug GutBuster in 59:11 earning 12th place. In the process, he beat last year’s time of 1:04:34. by a staggering 5 minutes, 23 seconds. He ran well at the Twilight Shuffle, Lochside, Do it for Dad 10K, and the Gunner Shaw 10k Cross Country. He ran two Half Marathons this year with two 7th place finishes at Lands End in 1:18:30 and Shawnigan Lake in 1:20:12. He won Shawnigan two years ago while running as a master. He was the top master in the Newport marathon in Oregon and placed third overall in 2:47:28. He ran in the Royal Victoria Marathon later in the year in a time of 2:46:54 and was 13th overall. At the Stewart Mountain 10 mile XC, he was 13th overall and 1st master with a time of 1:13:45. He drives down from Shawnigan every Tuesday night to participate in the TNWs, where he is a group leader. 2004 was clearly his best year ever for training and racing at all distances.
Marcia Stromsmoe: She did all 9 of the Island Series races and won her age division for the F55-59 class. Her highest points score came at the Cedar 12k with 612 in a time of 54:43 beating her 2002 time by 40 seconds. At Oceanside 10k, she broke her age category record by 4 minutes with her time of 46:14!! She ran 45:50 at Mill Bay this year, and had a great Bazan Bay 5k time of 21:49. She did well in the TC 10k, Lochside 10k, Prostate 10k, Sidney Days 5k, Twilight Shuffle 4 Mile, Songhees 5k, Creepy Crawl 5k, Stewart Mountain 10 mile CC and the Boxing Day 10 mile Handicap. She participated in the BC Seniors Games in Penticton winning: - Silver in the Women’s 10KM Road Race, 55 – 59 in 49:36 - Gold in the Women’s 1500M in 6:36, 5000M in 22:46 and 800M in 3:18 She ran 3 Half Marathons this year; Comox in 1:43:38, Lands End in 1:42:08, then Shawnigan Lake in 1:38:34, her best performance of the three Halfs. She was 1st in her age category in all three races. She ran the RVM 8k to a spectacular time of 35:43, her best 8k time this year. She is a regular at training on Tuesday nights and Thursday mornings where she leads the pack.
Sandi Heal: She ran 6 Island Series Races and placed 8th overall in the F30-34 Series standings. Her highest point score in the series came with a 607 at the Mill Bay 10k in a time of 45:25. She ran Bazan Bay in March in 22:20, then ran the exact same course in the Sidney Days 5k in July finishing in 21:16, a personal best for this distance. She did the long course at the Mount Douglas GutBuster limping in just behind Stephanie Hess at the line after fracturing an ankle on the decent from the third summit climb. She ran her first Half Marathon in October with an outstanding effort and a time of 1:36:47 at Shawnigan Lake. She was part of the 3rd place Senior Women’s team, “PIH – Dashing Diva’s” for the Thetis Lake 20k Relay. She ran the Gunner Shaw 10k Cross Country race and improved on her 2003 time by over 3 minutes with her time of 48:18. Her best category place finish this year came in the Songhees 5k and the Stewart Mountain 10 mile Cross Country race where she improved to 4th place at both races. She ran the Boxing Day 10 mile Handicap Run and was 7th place overall, and 3rd female. She finished the year with two excellent performances at the Run Through Time and the Harriers Memorial Run.
Stefan Fairweather: He joined the Harriers in April 2004 and quickly became a regular and a leader at the Tuesday Night Workouts. He completed 2 Series races; Merville 15k (56:29, 8th overall) and Oceanside 10k (36:50, 19th overall). At the Creepy Crawl, he had a great run to finish 3rd overall in 15:21 after leading Jim Finlayson and Graham Cocksedge for most of the race. This was clearly his best performance in 2004 as he joined Victoria’s elite. He dabbled in a variety of distances and terrain: - Prostate 10k – 6th place, 35:45 - Sidney Days 5k – 6th place, 16:56 - Lochside 10k – 6th place, 34:31 - Songhees 5k – 4th place, 16:35 At the Saltspring Splash 10k he finished second overall with a time of 35:41, then improved on his time at the Richmond Flatlands 10k by running 34:00 flat, good for 5th place overall. He ran the Comfortably Numb 25k on the mainland in a time of 2:01:09 and was tied for 1st place. He ran two Half marathons this year with two 3rd place finishes at Lands End in 1:14:07 and at Shawnigan Lake in 1:15:54. He ran all three GutBuster races and improved on his placing moving from 14th place overall at the Mt. Tzouhalem GB, to 5th place at the Westwood Lake GB, to a 4th place at the Mt Doug GutBuster. He captained a H2H team – “PIH - Swamp Trotters” with Steve O, Anthony, Kevin, Graham, Odie and a handful of other lads. Their team placed 4th overall out of more than 300 teams.
Sandi Heal: Never before in the 27 year history of the Harriers, or the 19 years since these perpetual awards have been presented, has any one individual won two awards in the same year. That is about to change in 2004. As a general rule, the club executive selects the most significant award to give to a person if they are eligible in two categories. This allows a wider range of club members to be acknowledged for their efforts. She joined the club with energy and enthusiasm in 2003 and has kept up that positive and friendly spirit for each and every event that she has participated in or helped with, which are substantial. She compiles meticulous TNW, SSS, MOEM and Thetis Lake reports and her flare for writing and excellent personality and humour spill over into the Newsletter, the Chatline and virtually every form of club communication. The entire membership looks forward to her regular offerings. She is the first one to step up to the plate for assignments like coordinating the Exposition for the marathon, and presenting awards at Songhees, Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relays, Stewart Mountain and many other Harriers-hosted events. She helps with registration, race results, packet pick-up and just about everything else that is needed to make a race efficient, popular and successful. She does it unselfishly and professionally. She participates with a zest for improving in road races, cross countries, relays and mountain wilderness events. When some older race results were not available electronically, she was the first to volunteer to key in the poorly legible paper copies of thousands and thousands of finishers. Thanks to her efforts this year, all 15 years of the Times Colonist 10K and all 20 years of the Gunner Shaw are now in digital fashion and on the Harriers web site. She single-handedly did the 2004 Gunner Shaw results, a record year of 364 finishers and they were on the web site within hours of the last finisher crossing the line. She continues to be the most regular club member at the Tuesday Night Workouts and seldom forgets a name when she files her entertaining weekly report. One Tuesday, we reached over 60 participants and she got all the names right including the five dogs. What a photographic memory. She brings a warm personality and a good nature to virtually every Harrier interaction and these attributes rub off on all others to make them better runners and better people. She is fun and friendship personified. As she is our Secretary, and was part of the Executive in determining the award winners, we had to trick her this year into thinking Bob was to win this award. There is no doubt that she has given her heart and soul to the club in 2004 and is clear-cut dedicated performer. She has done it all. It is a delight to have her as part of the Harrier family and it is a pleasure to present the Ken Smythe Dedicated Performance Award to Sandi Heal.
Jim Sargent: He won his age division in the Island Series standings in 2004 by running 6 of the 9 Series races. At the Pioneer 8k, he ran an incredible 46:22 to break the Canadian M80-84 8K record by over 7 minutes and he won his age group! His highest point score came with his run at the Mill Bay 10k in a time of 57:57. He is the most amazing 80 year old runner in Canada. His 5K time of 28:16 at Bazan Bay broke Richard Coulson's previous M80 course best of 40:54 by an unbelievable 12 minutes, 38 seconds! He also set a new Canadian age class record by six and a half minutes. The previous M80 mark of 34:46 for 5K was held by Jack Galbraith of Ontario set on September 17, 2003. He now holds Canadian records for 8K, set at Pioneer in January, and 5K set at Bazan Bay in March. He ran the Songhees 5k in a time of 29:19, placing 88th overall and easily winning his age division.
Maurice Tarrant: This years recipient ran 6 Island Series races, winning his age division in the Series standings. He had his highest point score at the Merville 15k with 638, and beat 2 of last years race times with his performances at the Pioneer 8k and Bazan Bay 5k. He is listed in first position on the BC Athletics 2004 Men’s 8k Rankings for his Pioneer 8k time of 35:29, and is listed third on the 2004 Canadian 10k Road Rankings list for his TC10K race time of 43:16. At the Oceanside 10k, he was presented a commemorative plaque from the Harriers and speech for his 200th first place age group finish in Island Series races since 1985. No other master runner will accomplish this feat. He ran three Half Marathons this year: Lands End, Royal Victoria, and the Shawnigan Lake. The Royal Victoria Half Marathon yielded the best time for 2004 (1:35:54), earned him top spot in his category for all three races, and put him at the top of the BC Athletics 2004 Men’s Half Marathon Rankings list. He still holds the record for 70+ in BC. His best half marathon time was run in 2000 (1:33:30). He has won the Alex Marshall Master of the Year and unparalleled seven times, holds over 30 national age class records and is considered as the greatest master runner in the history of the Prairie Inn Harriers.
Sandra Bastedo: Her Songhees 5K time of 21:28 is a new B.C. W60 record breaking West Vancouver's Lenore Montgomery’s time of 21:38 set June 2, 1991. She was second master overall even though she was 20 years older than most of them at Songhees! She was 44th overall and first in her age category. She ran 45:47 in the TC10K and easily won the F55 age division out of 335 women in that age class. She finished and incredible 594th overall out of 8,319 participants that reached the line, beating nearly 8,000 of them. In the Royal Victoria 8k, she was 93rd overall, 12th female, and 1st in her age division. With her time of 34:12, she set a BC Best for the 8k F60-69 category. She ran consistently fast and steady as part of the winning PIH team in the Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay. She is a regular at the Thursday Morning Group and frequently run the Tuesday night and Saturday morning training sessions where she is a true leader.
Gary Duncan: The John Thipthorpe Durability Award goes to the club member who ran the most races or most miles, while proudly wearing a Harriers uniform whether it be road races, relays, cross country or mountain running events. He’s run 35 races this year. . . .and where there’s a race. . .there’s this big guy at it doing his very best! He placed third in his age division in the Island Series Standings, M45 division and ran 7 of the 9 races. At the 8k distance, he improved from 31:39 in 2003 to 30:11 in 2004 (an improvement of 1 min. 28 sec.). At the Hatley Castle 8k, he finished in 30:47, good for 33rd overall and second in his M45 age category. At that point, it was his highest finishing position in any Island Series race after 8 years of competition and 40 races. His highest point score came at the Merville 15k with 726 points. He was in the 700’s all season long. In the TC 10k, he was 89th overall, 4th in M45 in 38:21 for his best TC 10k time ever! He collected top master at the GutBuster Series awards for his performances at all three GutBuster events and saw huge improvements in all three race times from last year. - Mt. Tzouhalem GB - 1:04:10, 11th overall of 125 finishers and was top master Westwood Lake GB - 3rd master, 16th overall; he made a 7 minute, 5 second improvement. - He ran 57:50 at the Mt. Doug GB and was 9th overall. His time in 2003 was 1:01:45. He ran just about every race on Vancouver Island but had excellent performances in some special places: - In August, he ran the Borrowdale Fell Race in Rosthwaite, UK. It has 6500ft in elevation and is comprised of 17 miles. He finished 246th out of 404 in a time of 4:39:50. - He ran 2 Half Marathons this year: Land’s End Half Marathon where he was 18th overall in 1:28:14, the Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon where he was 12th overall in 1:25:17. He beat last year’s Shawnigan Half time of 1:28:04 by a whopping 2 minutes 47 seconds! - On the same morning, he ran the Creepy Crawl 5k then the Dash for Diabetes 5k. He ran 17:27 in the Creepy Crawl, and then 18:39 , good or 1st place, in the Dash For Diabetes just one hour later. - He ran extremely well at Thetis in three consecutive cross country races within a month including Gunner Shaw, Stewart Mountain and the Thetis Lake Relay. He capped 2004 off and started 2005 in outstanding fashion by completing the quad, that is four races in less than 24 hours to celebrate the New Year. Starting with the 5K Run Thru Time at UVic, he completed the 8:00 a.m. Running Room Resolution 8.6K Run, the 10:00 a.m. Harriers Memorial Day 10k, then the 1:00 p.m. YM-YWCA New Years Day 10k. He still showed up for the Harriers New Years party that afternoon! Above all he had fun doing this large volume of races and recorded personal best times for 4 Miles, 5K, 8K, 10K, 12K, 15K and the Half Marathon. How much more could one accomplish in a year?
Robbie Cracknell: He ran a personal best of 37:18 at the Times Colonist 10k in April this year. He ran 6 Series races and was first in his age category for the Series Standings in the Under 15 category. His highest points score came at the Bazan Bay 5k with 738 and a time of 17:48. He ran High School Cross Country with the Seniors this year even though he’s still a Junior. He ran in 5 out of 7 the local High School meets placing 2nd in the Grade 10 division in the first two races, 5th place in the all boys division at the UVic Vikes New Balance Invitational at Beacon Hill Park. Another 2nd place finish came at an invitational meet at Beaver Lake, this time in the Boys - Grade 11/12 category. He is in grade 9 and is competing against boys three years older than him. He then ran in the Island Championships placing 8th out of 173. This qualified him for his first ever BC Provincial Cross Country Championships. He placed 122nd out of 288 and gained valuable experience. He ran the Gunner Shaw 10k CC improving his time this year by almost 4 minutes to 35:52 and an 18th place finish. He ran the Stewart Mountain 10 mile Cross Country race in 1:11:47, placing 10th out of 97 finishers which earned him a first place in his age category. This is his longest race and best race he has done to date. For the first time ever, he finished just ahead than last years Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner, Meghan Day.
Bill Scriven: He ran 5 Series races and ended up with a 5th place finish in the M60 Series standings. At the Merville 15k, he came 2nd in his age category and achieved his highest point score of 653 with his finish of 1:05:07, beating last years time by over 3 minutes! He ran the Mt. Doug GutBuster in 1:10:41. He ran two Half Marathons this year, Lands End in 1:41:26 good for 72nd place overall and first in his age category. He followed it up with an outstanding time at the Shawnigan Half Marathon with a 39th place finish overall and a time of 1:36:31. He ran the Gunner Shaw 10k XC placing 99th overall in a time of 43:11, 1:19 better than last year’s time. At the Stewart Mountain 10 mile XC, he was 40th and was first in his age category with a time of 1:27:02. He ran the Boxing Day 10 mile Handicap in 1:12:07. He did well in the Self Transcendence Triathlon placing 64th overall, 47th male, 1st in M6064 category in a time of 2:35:16. He has been very successful in many other triathlons over the last 2 to 3 years. He has represented the club well and consistently throughout the year in road races, cross country events, triathlons, mountain races and adventure runs. He is a regular with all Harriers training groups on Thursday mornings, Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings at Thetis.
Lindsay Pellow: She ran the Sidney Days 5k in 21:18. She collected 3rd place in the open women’s division in the GutBuster Series for her performance in two of the three trail races. She ran Westwood Lake and also ran the Mt. Doug GutBuster in 1:07:50 earning a 5th place in the open women’s category. She improved her time by over 5 minutes over last year’s time on the same course. She won a gold medal as the top open female in the E/B 50k Ultra and 2nd female overall with a time of 4:46:23. This year she achieved 606 points at the Pioneer 8k then stepped it up to a Series high of 625 points at the Comox Half with a time of 1:37:57. She was 142nd overall, 4th of 22 in the F30 division. She followed it up with the Shawnigan Lake Half Marathon beating her PB with a time of 1:36:05. At the Kusam Klimb 23K, she was 22nd overall and 3rd female in a time of 3:45:04. She placed 12th at the Silver Tip 50k in a time of 5:38:08. She was the 4th female and 1st open female. She ran the Half Knacker 25k and was 3rd out of 15 in the women's under-30 division in 2:26:08. She ran the Gunner Shaw 10k CC and improved her 2003 time by 4 over minutes to an on fire 42:55. She was part of the 3rd place Senior Women’s team, “PIH – Dashing Diva’s” for the Thetis Lake 20k Relay. She ran the Dirty Duo 25K and was 19th overall out of 61 finishers with a time of 2:52:01. To top her year off, she ran the Stewart Mountain 10 mile XC where she was 37th overall, 5th female, and 3rd in the F30 category with her time of 1:24:57. She also did the Boxing Day 10 Mile Handicap, the Race Through Time and the Harriers Memorial Run.
Anthony Estey: He joined the Harriers at the beginning of June 2004 and immediately jumped to the front of the pack at all training sessions and races, even though he was only running once or twice a week. He ran the Westwood Plateau GutBuster race in Nanaimo after registering for the short course, only to have Bob Reid change him to the long course, he changed himself back just before the gun went and then a course marshal led him astray back onto the long course. He became lost on the top of the mountain and recovered for 4th place overall with a time of 49:50. He led for most of the race before stumbling off course. He ran the Twilight Shuffle, Comfortably Numb 25k, then Sidney Days; three races in 8 days with a third, first and first to his credit against some very strong fields, especially at Chemainus and Sidney. He finished 3rd overall of 800 runners in the 20th annual Twilight Shuffle 4 Miler with a time of 20:41. Three days later, he won Whistler’s Comfortably Numb 25K wilderness trail run. He had never run more than 2 times a week in his training and had never run beyond 11K in a race or training run. He finished in a tie for first place with team mate Stefan Fairweather in 2:01:09. Five days later he stood on the starting line of the Sidney Days 5K poised for his first overall road victory and trophy. He led from start to finish and, in the end, he ran 15:53 despite going off course for 15 seconds, good for a course record and a 33 second victory over last year's winner Hugh Trenchard who finished 2nd in 16:26. He ran a blistering two laps on his Thetis Lake 20k Relay team to anchor them to a 3rd place finish. Two weeks later he ran the Gunner Shaw CC placing 5th overall and 2nd in his category in a time of 33:43.
Camie Bentham: She joined the Harriers at the end of May 2004 and quickly became a regular at the TNWs starting at Mt. Doug. At the Twilight Shuffle 4 mile, she placed 52nd and 5th in her age category with her time of 26:23. She ran away at the Songhees 5k with her time of 20:53. She ran an awesome Royal Victoria Half Marathon in October with a time of 1:36:05. That put her 230th O/A, 43rd female, and 13th in her category. She brings a positive energy and a smile to all the workouts and 2005 looks very bright!
Megan Huzzey: She won a gold medal at the USATF World Cup Race Walking Trials in the Women’s Junior Division 10K Road Race in April at Kansas with a time of 50:23. On July 16th, she participated in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy where she was 14th in the 10,000m Women’s Race Walking event in a time of 49:25.50. She lowered her personal best time by 57 seconds and she was the top finisher from North and South America. She earned her third consecutive win at the Canadian Junior Track and Field Championship in the women's 10K race-walk by clocking 49:49 in Saskatoon in late July, just 34 seconds off the Canadian Junior record of 49:15.
Pat Denby: She started racewalking 3 years ago at age 62, and has been active all her life in sports, especially racquetball. An eye degeneration problem made it hard to continue with her regular sporting activities. She is currently legally blind but that has not stopped her enthusiasm for competing. She won the local RaceWalk Victoria 5K in March. She placed first in her age division in 1500 metres and 5K at the Seniors Games for the past two years. She competed in the Canadian Championships in Calgary and placed first in two events in her age class and first overall in the 5K racewalk.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Excellence in International Competition - Jon Brown: Excellence in International Competition He has set blistering world-class times in many of the local races over the past four years including numerous wins and course records at the Pioneer 8K, Mill Bay 10K, Lochside 10K and Royal Victoria Marathon. Who could ever forget his brilliant 1:02:31 at the Royal Victoria Half Marathon, a course record by six minutes and a 10 minute margin of victory. It seemed that the only other person who could challenge him on that day was the police motorcycle escort as he frequently passed his lead cyclist. He won the Mill Bay 10k in 2004 with a time of 29:41 establishing a new overall course record by 30 seconds. The previous record of 30:11 was set by Dave Campbell in 1989 and stood for 16 years. He won the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June with an outstanding time of 1:03:50. He ran a 2:13 at the London Marathon this year, and was 15th overall. He was named to the UK marathon team to compete in the Athens Olympics, his second consecutive Olympic marathon after finishing 4th in Sydney. He placed 4th in Athens with a time of 2:12:26 and was clearly the strongest of all competitors in the second half of the race where he moved from 50th position to 4th in the world. Perhaps Bejing in 2008 will bring an Olympic medal to this well deserving individual. He will be 37 and perhaps this will be his first and last championship marathon as a Canadian. We wish him luck. Clearly he is the highest achieving, top level, world-class performer ever to run for the Prairie Inn Harriers and the Sheffield Athletic Club. It is an honour to have him involved with us tonight.
Excellence in Running and Leadership - Kelvin Broad: Excellence in Running and Leadership He ran 5 Series races with his best point score being captured at the Comox Valley Half Marathon in 1:10:23. He was 2nd overall and top master. His time of 1:10:23 broke the 1999 course record. He was the top master at Pioneer 8k – 26:19, 5th place overall and was the male master’s winner for the Island Series. He dominated the master's division by shattering the Hatley Castle M40 course record (by 50 seconds) with an outstanding time of 26:22, good for fourth overall of the 500 finishers. He ran 33:06 last year at the Mill Bay 10k, and stepped it up to 32:27 this year to set a new master's course record, by 33 seconds, and finish 7th overall in a highly competitive field. The previous master's record of 33:00 was set by Vlad Pomajzl in 1988, the very first year the course was moved from Cherry Point to Mill Bay. That mark stood for 17 years until he wrote his name in the MB record book. He has been instrumental in the development of mountain racing in Canada, where he directs the Canmore Challenge annually. He has managed Canadian Teams in Vail, CO in a North American Challenge and a qualifying race leading to the World Championships He managed the Canadian team that went to the World Mountain Racing Championships in Italy this year and managed the National team in Alaska last year besides competing as a master. He has prepared all the Marathon Training Programs for the RVM event and frequently answers questions on marathon and half marathon training as he is a five-time Royal Victoria Marathon winner. He is a true leader as an athlete, manager, motivator and administrator.
Ian Hallam: This year’s most valuable male runner was Mr. Versatility where he ran road races, cross country races and mountain races and did them all extremely well. He placed 2nd in his age category to Brodie Guild in the M30 division of the Island Series. Perhaps his best Series race was Mill Bay 10k where he collected 809 points with a time of 34:05. He was the overall open Champion of the Island GutBuster Series and won the inaugural Mt Doug 12K race hosted by the Harriers. He competed in the Whistler and Canmore where he placed 4th and was named to the Canadian Team which went on to run in the World Championships in Girdwood, Alaska. He had extremely brilliant races at Songhees (16:35) and Gunner Shaw (34:03) where he placed second overall to mountain racing team mate and training partner, Steve Bachop. And he continues to get faster. He placed 6th at the Pioneer 8K in 26:21, whereas he was 10th last year in 27:31. He is heading for another outstanding Series in 2004.
Meghan Day: There is no doubt whatsoever who our top female club member is in 2003 as she ran at the highest level at many events in competitive fields and consistently finished in the top three. She won the Island Series outright in her very first year of competition and won the F30 division. Her highest points (749) came in the Mill Bay 10K where she finished in 36:49. She followed that up with a 36:51 at the Times Colonist 10K in April where she won her age class. She finished 1st in her age division at Merville, Hatley Castle and Mill Bay. She was 2nd at the Whistler Mountain Race and was the highest finisher on the Canadian Team at the World Mountain Racing Championships in Girdwood. One of her highlights had to be finishing a mere five seconds behind Royal Victoria 8k winner, Brigitte McMahon, the 2000 Olympic Gold medallist in the triathlon in Australia. She set a course record by winning the Gunner Shaw Cross Country 10K in 38:05. Like Ian Hallam, she is getting even faster in 2004. She won the Pioneer 8K in 28:13 where she placed 5th last year in 29:45, good for a 1 minute 22 second improvement. She is a regular on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and is truly the leader of our club workouts. Her strong work ethic has led to some incredible race performances throughout the year.
Bob Flindell: Our top male master has just completed his best Island Series since he has been competing. He ran 8 of the 9 Island Race Series and showed a 2 to 5 minute improvement throughout this year's races and he brought his Series race total to 28 races within the last four years. His major step forward this year came at the Hatley Castle 8K where he finished 1st in a very difficult M50 division in 32:00, a time very close to his Pioneer effort on a much tougher course. He collected his top points of 723 at the Comox Half Marathon in 1:24:38 where he finished 1st. His highest point totals came at Bazan Bay (711) and Sooke River (707) where he ran 38:59. In the Series M50 division, he was 2nd to Nigel Beattie but, for the first time, beat Bob Cook and Derek Kasper in the M50 standings.
Helena Watling: Our top female master also had the best racing year of her life and she’s been racing as a Harrier and a Hellion team member for some 8 to 10 years now. She was the top master in the Island Series, winning it with a personal best performance in the final race in Parksville. Her time of 40:35 at the Oceanside 10K beat her Mill Bay 10K time by 45 seconds. She was a model of consistency by collecting point totals of 665, 669, 669, 667, 669, and 679. She placed 1st out of 55 in the F40 division at Mill Bay and 1st of 52 at Oceanside. She also ran her first-ever sub-20 minute 5K at Bazan Bay by finishing in 19:42. She saved her best performance for last when she ran a PR of 3:17:24 at the Seattle Marathon to place 4th in the master women's division and easily enable her to qualify for the Boston Marathon which she intends to run this April. This has definitely been her top racing year.
Adena Cronk: Our second female most improved runner also had a breakthrough year in the F50 division. She ran 7 of the Island race Series to finish 9th overall in her age category. Her best race of the Series was the Bazan Bay 5K where she placed 3rd in 21:57. Her highest point total came at the Oceanside 10K in Parksville where she collected 603 points. She was the first in her age division at the Gunner Shaw Cross Country Classic in 47:47. She also won her age class at the Sound and Silence 10K in 47:07 and the Songhees 5K in 22:51. She continued to improve throughout the year and ran well at the Thetis Relay. It is quite fitting that her son, Michael, collected the Stewart Fall Junior of the Year in 2002 and in 2003 she collects the Robin Pearson Most Improved Runner.
Gary Duncan: Our most improved male runner clearly had the best racing year of his life. He improved by between 2 and 4 minutes in every distance and tackled a wide range of events. He did 8 of the 9 Series races and finished 3rd overall in his age category, his highest position. His best race had to be Sooke River 10K where he ran 39:15 to take 3rd place. He ran all three GutBusters on Vancouver Island and won the master's division overall. He did the Songhees, Gunner Shaw, Royal Victoria Marathon, Thetis Relays, Shawnigan Half Marathon, Lands End Half Marathon and ran them all to a personal best time. He finished the year by running three races within 18 hours and placing very well in the Run Through Time, the Harriers Memorial 10K and the YMCA New Years Day 10K.
Wendy Davies: We hade two candidates who qualified for the most improved female runner this year. The first one (Wendy) was a regular at the Tuesday night workouts and Saturday morning Thetis runs. She ran 8 of the 9 Series races and finished second to team mate Laura Leno in the F45 division. Her best Series race was the Merville 15k where she collected her highest point total of 663. She was top master at the Mt. Doug GutBuster and ran a personal best 1OK of 41:37 at Lochside. She placed second in the Gunner Shaw in 45:09 and second in the Songhees 5k in 20:22. She ran both the Thetis Lake Relay and the Haney to Harrison Relay and her teams placed 2nd in the master women’s division at Thetis and 4th in the open women’s division at Haney. She continued to improve for the entire year to the point where she finished 2nd to Olympian Debbie Bowker at the 2004 Pioneer 8k, running 32:14 this year after finishing in 33:37 last year.
Sandy Stewart: Our dedicated performance award goes to someone who has contributed much more than running to the club. He has contributed immensely to our image and our communications. He did manage to squeeze in the Oceanside 10K after a series of early-year injuries where he placed 7th in 39:39. In the past he was named the Most Improved Runner in 1999, the Most Valuable runner in 2001, but this is the first time he has received the Dedicated Performance award. He has been our Newsletter Editor for four years and has produced a first class, entertaining report. He designed the VIRA logo and many graphics for shirt designs at Pioneer and Songhees races. He also designed the graphics and layout for all nine Series entry form brochures and posters. We are looking forward to welcoming him back to the running scene in 2004.
Rob Smith: The durability award goes to the Harrier who ran the most races or the most miles for the club. This year's winner ran 6 races totalling 582 kilometres for an average distance of 97K per race. Amongst them there were the Western States 1OO-MiIer in California and the Cascade Crest 100 Miler in Washington. He ran a personal best of 23:21 at Western States to finish 73rd of 272. He was 8th at the Harriers Elk/Beaver 100k National Ultra Championships in May 2003. He ran the Chuckanut 50K in Bellingham and the Diez Vista 50K in Port Moody. In September, he finished his 6th ultra with a solid performance at the Cowichan Great Lake Walk. He has made some Tuesday night workouts and showed great “short speed” by running the 2004 Pioneer 8k in 34:24, good for 15th of 49 in his age class and 147th overall out of 573 finishers.
Graeme Benn: Our Junior of the Year ran seven Island Series Races in 2003. He placed third in the Under 15 Division. He ran an excellent UVic 5K in 20:03 and Bazan Bay 5K in 20:10. His most consistent races were 10K's where he did 39:53 at Mill Bay, 39:57 at Parksville and ran a P.R. at Sooke River, clearly his best race ever, a full two minutes faster than last year. It was at the Sooke River 10k where he finished first in his age group for the first time. This is the fourth consecutive year he has won this award which is more than any other Junior.
Dee Ogden: 0ur most consistent female ran all 9 races in the Island Series, one of few Harriers to do that. She improved from 16th in her age class in the first race to 6th in her age class in the last race. She finished 9th overall in the F35 division. Her best Series race was the Oceanside 10K where she collected 596 points. She placed 10th at the Mount Doug 12k GutBuster in 1:16:00. She ran the Royal Victoria Marathon in 3:56 and the Gunner Shaw in 49:08 good for 9th place. She ran 3rd in her age class at Songhees in 22:54 and supported all Harriers hosted races in 2003.
Claire Townsend: There is no question that one new runner who joined the Harriers this year did it all and did it well. She would be a very deserving candidate for the Durability Award but I think the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light is much more appropriate as she will never have the chance to win this one again. She ran 6 Island Series races and finished 2nd to Kathy Rung F25 age division. She was first in her age class at Merville, Mill Bay and Hatley Castle and ran consistently in all three 10K's, recording 41:49 at Sooke River, 41:57 at Oceanside and 41:40 at Mill Bay. She ran all three GutBuster races on the Island in Mt. Tzouhalem, Duncan, Westwood Plateau in Nanaimo and Mount Doug winning in Nanaimo and Victoria and thus winning the overall Series Female Championship. She wasn't finished yet. She placed first in the Panorama Duathalon and Self Transcendence Duathalon, placed 2nd in two 5 hour multi-sport adventure races in Ladysmith and Maple Bay which included mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, running and orienteering. She ran 4th in the Whistler Mountain race and went on to run the Canmore Challenge, make the Canadian Team and participate in the Mountain Racing Championships in Girdwood, Alaska. This is her second National Team honours which includes mountain biking and now mountain racing. She had strong performances at Gunner Shaw, Thetis Relays, and Haney to Harrison Relay where she recruited and anchored a 4th place team finish in the open women's division. She finished the year like Gary did by doing the Run Through Time at UVic, the Harriers Memorial 10K at Beaver Lake and the YMCA New Years Day 10K through Beacon Hill Park. All three races were within less than 24 hours of each other. I have to admit that she is one of my favourites and her tenacious work ethic has made her probably the most regular Harrier at the Tuesday Night Training sessions, the Saturday morning trail runs, the Sunday morning mountain runs and just about every other club run or race that happens throughout the year. As she is one of the most promising new members and is steering the club in the right direction. It gives me great pleasure to present the first Annual Bob Reid Bright Shining Light Award to Claire Townsend.
Rui Batista: There is a brand new award that I have donated to the club this year and it is long overdue. It is called the Bob Reid Bright Shining Light and it goes to our Rookie of the Year. I think most of you know that the Harriers experienced a huge growth year in 2003 with 115 new members, many of which played a huge role in the success of the club in the Island Series. Our male bright shining light started slowly and improved every single one of his 7 Series races. I noticed the very first time I met him at Thetis that he was a good hill climber and this strength component of his running came from making the national teams in both cycling and skiing. He hammered the Hatley Castle 8k in 31:57 which was 38 seconds faster than his Pioneer 8k time. Now just think about the degree of difficulty of Hatley over Pioneer. To run it faster is an incredible climbing feat of strength and endurance. He finished 4th in the M40 division of the Series after starting off in 13th position in the first race. His best two races were Bazan Bay where he finished 1st in 18:08 and Oceanside where he was 2nd in 38:30 to cap the Series off as a successful first effort. He was 9th master in Gunner Shaw and was second Solo finisher in the Thetis Lake Relay where he ran the full 20K as a one man team called Team Rooster. He also strong performances at the Sun Run and Songhees 5k.
Helen Jaques: Our first winner was tricked as she thought she was presenting an award to Linda Campbell. Instead, we have asked Linda to present the Glenn Jaques Race Walker of the Year to her. Helen started the Harriers Race Walking Program in 1997 and is very encouraging to all members. Since then she has shown strong leadership and received a Special Plaque for this in 2000. She has won the Elk/Beaver 25 Mile Walk twice in 1991 and 1997 and has finished top 3 six times. She directed the very successful Race Walk Championships in February. She also oversaw and coordinated the Canadian Race Walk Championships in August at UVic. She enthusiastically continues to lead weekly Racewalking clinics welcoming all newcomers.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Anita Carter: Our female Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner had an outstanding Thrifty Foods Grand Prix Series and also ran the longest and toughest stages in the Island Farms Road Relay and the Haney-Harrison Relay for the Hellions. She won her age division in the series and was our club’s top master but is it far more fitting for us to recognize her as our most valuable Harrier. She is our best runner this year. She ran 11 races including the Harriers 8K (34:08), Mill Bay 10K (42:44), Cedar 15K (1:06:32), Dallas Dash 10K (41:25), UVic 5K (19:56), Bazan Bay 8K (32:06), Garden City 10K (41:53), Hilltopper 8.8K (43:33), Sidney Days 5K (20:14), the Island Relay and the Haney Relay. She has a very efficient, effortless running style and has just completed a most successful year. Her highlight had to be finishing first in the Garden City 10K Women’s 40 to 44 division against 440 other competitors in that same age class. This was by far one of the strongest and deepest women’s categories in the race.
Sylvan Smyth: The male winner of the Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner ran 25 races this year, almost double the amount of the next closest Harrier. He was named most improved runner last year and continued to improve to the point where he finished first overall in the Metchosin Days 5K (17:30) and second overall in the Novalin Diabetes 8K (30:06), the Landsend 5K (17:54) and the On a Roll for MS 5K (17:44). Without reviewing all 25 of his races, it is worth mentioning some of his significant breakthroughs this year. He placed third overall in the Sri Chinmoy 2 Miler (11:17) at Beacon Hill Park and on the same day placed third at the Bazett Farm 7K Cross Country (33:16) race in Duncan. Other third overall performances were at the Firefighters 10.2K (39:37), the Hiltopper 8.8K (38:25) and the Thetis Lake Relays, 3rd team overall and running 17:22 for 5K. The highlight of his running year had to be kicking the ass of two "over-the-hill" 50 year old training partners, Bob Reid and Dan Harlow. He did this quite consistently. He also had to have great pleasure in captaining his Prairie Inn Second Fiddles to an upset win over the heavily favoured team of Mike Boissonneault, Gord Bonwick, Martin Dreyer and Rob Reid. Mind you it doesn’t hurt to have a ringer like Tom Michell run the first stage for the Second Fiddles. Other races in 1997 were Mill Bay 10K (42:27), Comox Half Marathon (1:25:18), UVic 5K (18:03), Merville 15K (1:02:15), Port Alberni 10K (38:24), Bazan Bay 8K (30:05), Garden City 10K (37:47), Arbutus 8K (31:05), Sidney Days 5K (18:04), Royal Victoria 10K (37:10), Turkey Trot 5K (18:26), Creepy Crawl 5K (17:39), Gunner Shaw CC 10K (39:09), Chiropractic 8K (29:50), Mad Hatter 3K (9:38) and Christmas Rush 5K (17:31)
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Linda Gibson: The Gunner Shaw Most Valuable female ran 11 races, three of which were half marathons, and placed first or second in her age division in 7 of those 11 races. She was second in the difficult women’s 40 to 44 division in the Thrifty Foods Series and won the Dallas 10K Dash and Cedar 15K races last year. Perhaps her highlight was consistantly improving in her half marathon times from 1:35 to 1:34:30 then to 1:34 in the Vancouver Half to claim third master overall. She is a dedicated member of the Hellions and and frequently runs the Island Relay and Haney-Harrison. 1. Harriers 8K 34:43 2nd 2. Dallas Dash 10K 43:47 1st 3. Cedar 15K 1:06:25 1st 4. Mill Bay 10K 43:09 2nd 5. UVic 5K 21:14 2nd 6. Garden City 10K 43:29 8th 7. Bazen Bay 8K 34:50 2nd 8. Elk/Beaver Relay 10K 48:46 2nd 9. Seattle Half Marathon 1:35:00 11th 10. P.R.R. First Half Marathon 1:34:30 6th 11. Vancouver Half Marathon 1:34:00 3rd
Rob Reid: The top male runner from the club ran 13 races in 1996, finished first in his age division 9 times, was the overall race winner 4 times, set 8 masters course records and 2 British Columbia age class records. He ran four marathons within a space of 12 months "jogging" Honolulu in 2:45, then finishing Boston in 2:33, Calgary in 2:31, then running his best time in 10 years in the Napa Valley Marathon finishing 3rd overall in 2 hours 27 minutes. His three half marathon times of 1:12:30, 1:11:40 and 1:11:30 broke a nine year B.C. record of 1:11:47 held by another Robert Hugh Reid set in the Harriers Victoria Half Marathon in 1987. Our Gunner Shaw Most Valuable Runner beat a fit and determined Phil Nicholls in the Arbutus 8K to finish 4th overall and hammered the Sidney Days 5K to finish 3rd overall in a very competitive field. Both of these local races saw him pushing his son, Keegan, in a baby jogger! Imagine that, running 26:57 for 8K while propelling a baby buggy. Keegan’s eyes were almost popping out of his head at the finish line which prompted me to ask the dad, "What’s wrong with your baby, - buggy??" It gives us great pleasure to honour this runner for his best running year since he arrived in Victoria nine years ago. I even remember his first series race in Port Alberni where he finished 3rd overall in 32:31. The only two runners ahead of him were National Team Members Paul McCloy and Dave Campbell. He has done so much in supporting many, many local races, was your Club President last year and still found time to direct and chair the Royal Victoria Marathon and 8K while raising a young family. 1. Panorama 5K 17:21 1st OA 2. Dallas Road Dash 10K 32:04 1st OA 3. Bazan Bay 8K 25:36 2nd (3rd OA) 4. Firefighters 10K 34:18 1st OA 5. Arbutus 8K 26:57 1st (4th OA) 6. Sidney Days 5K 16:30 1st (3rd OA) 7. Royal Victoria 8K 28:12 5th 8. Shawnigan Half Marathon 1:12:30 1st OA 9. Vancouver Half Marathon 1:11:40 1st (6th OA) 10. Deta Half Marathon 1:11:30 1st (2nd OA) 11. Honolulu Marathon 2:45 5th 12. Boston Marathon 2:33 6th 13. Calgary Marathon 2:31 14. Napa Valley Marathon 2:27 2nd (3rd OA)
Description: Initiated in 1986, a perpetual award is presented to the male and female most valuable runners of the year.
Biography: Gunner Shaw was one of the three founding members of the Prairie Inn Harriers in 1978. He was tragically killed in a car accident in 1984 at the age of 38. He was a club member for 6 years.
Description: Initiated in 1986, a perpetual award is presented to the top 40+ male and female master runners of the year.
Biography: Alex "Mother" Marshall is one of the three founding members of the Prairie Inn Harriers in 1978. He was an active member of the club for 12 years before retiring and moving to Lake Cowichan in 1990.
Description: Initiated in 1986, a perpetual award is presented to the male and female most improved runners of the year.
Biography: Robin Pearson is one of the three founding members of the Prairie Inn Harriers in 1978. He was an active member of the club for 4 years before being transferred to Qualicum Beach in 1982.
Description: Initiated in 1986, the dedicated performance perpetual award is presented to a member who has contributed much more than running to the club.
Biography: Ken Smythe was a long-time club member that has dedicated over 30 years of service to the club. After winning this award five times it was renamed after him in 1992. Ken passed away in 2011 at the age of 78 and was an active club member for 28 years.
Description: Initiated in 2004, this perpetual award honours the top male, 60 years and older, and is named after a great veteran club runner, Maurice Tarrant.
Biography: Maurice Tarrant joined the club in 1982 and has been an active member for 36 years. He is now 87 years old in 2017 and is one of the greatest master runners in Canada. He has set 65 national age class records and 8 world age class records during his time racing with the Harriers.
Description: Initiated in 2004, this perpetual award honours the top female, 60 years and older, and is named after a great veteran club runner, Rosamund Dashwood.
Biography: Rosamund Dashwood joined the club in 1985 and was an active member for 22 years until she passed away in 2007 at the age of 83. She was one of the greatest master runners in Canada and has set several national age class records and one world age class records during her time racing with the Harriers.
Description: Initiated in 1986, the durability perpetual award is presented to the Harrier who ran the most races or the most miles for the club during the year.
Biography: John Thipthorpe joined the club in 1979 and was an active member for 7 years before he was killed when a jack collapsed and the car he was working crushed him in 1986. He was 49 years old.
Description: Initiated in 1990, a perpetual award is presented to the top junior of the year, under 20 years old.
Biography: Stewart Fall joined the club in 1990 and was an active member for 17 years before passing away in 1994 from a brain tumor. He was 60 years old.
Description: Initiated in 2015, a perpetual award is presented to the top junior of the year, under 16 years old.
Biography: Bruce Deacon is a two-time Olympian in the marathon and a silver medalist in the PanAm Games. He joined the Harriers in 2000 and has been an active member for 16 years. He currently coaches the PIH Youth Team. He is 50 years old in 2016.
Description: Initiated in 1996, a perpetual award is presented to members that represent the club regularly and consistently throughout the year.
Biography: Susan Reid was Bob's wife for 25 years before leaving us in 1996 with leukemia at the age of 48. She joined the club in 1984 and was an active member for 12 years.
Description: Initiated in 2003, a perpetual award is presented to a first or second year Harrier member who contributed to the club in running and/or non-running endeavors. This is for "Rookie of the Year" candidates showing promise with the club.
Biography: Bob Reid is one of two club members who are still active after joining the club in the inaugural year of 1978. Besides a 42-year running career and an active 40-year membership, he has been on the Harriers Board of Directors for 36 years including 5 terms as president and 20 terms as treasurer. He turned 70 in 2017.
Description: Initiated in 1997, this perpetual award is presented to the top race walker in the club.
Biography: Glenn Jaques joined the club in 1985 and was an active member for 12 years until he passed away from a heart attack in 1997 at the age of 55. He started as a runner but later turned his skills to race walking where he coordinated the race walking contingent of the club.
Description: Initiated in 2008, this perpetual award is presented annually to the top male and female trail runners in the club
Biography: Dave Reed joined the club in 2002 and was an active member for 6 years before suffering from a stroke and leaving us in 2008 at the age of 54. He loved to run on the trails.
Description: Initiated in 2006, this perpetual award recognizes the top male and female cyclists in the club.
Biography: Gerry Etcheverry was the first recipient of this award in 2006 and donated the perpetual trophies for this award for future years.
Description: Initiated in 2009, this perpetual award recipient is nominated and chosen by our membership. In 2016 this award was renamed in honour of Sandy Auburn who passed away this year. It is now called the Sandy Auburn High Achievement Award.
Description: Initiated in 2012, this is a perpetual award recognizes the top male and female Harriers in the Vancouver Island Race Series.
Description: A perpetual award was initiated in 2012 in memory of Molly Reid. The trophy honours the champion of the annual Harriers Hounds 40 Metre Sand Sprint race.
Biography: Molly Reid joined the club in 2001 and was an active member for 11 years until she passed away in 2012. She was the first canine Harriers member and the first winner of the Harriers Hounds race. Currently there are over 20 canine members of the club.
Non-Perpetual Awards (Various Categories)
Description: These awards are not presented every year and are intended to recognize Harriers for service to the club, individual athletic performances, heroic achievements and multi-sport accomplishments during the year.
Comical Awards (Various Topics)
Description: There awards are given from time to time in some years to remember something funny that happened during the year.