Things didn’t look too good at 5:00am on New Year’s morning as a light snowfall was settling on the ground but by sign-on time for MIVA’s first time trial of 2012 the temperature had risen a few degrees and the roads were clearing. Seven stalwart souls showed up to start the sixteen kilometre time trial – the first and perhaps the only race to be held on the Duke Point Highway. Normally, there is an abundance of ferry traffic on this road, both leaving and arriving on Vancouver Island, as ferries draw up to the Duke Point terminal every two hours on a daily basis but last week, the Coastal Inspiration, one of BC Ferries’ super C ships, the largest double-ended ferries in the world, crashed into the loading ramp at Duke Point, causing severe damage to both the ship and the dock. This has resulted in the terminal being closed until further notice, probably for several months.
Race organizer Peter McCaffery was quick to seize the opportunity to run a time trial on the beautifully -paved Duke Point Highway which stretches just over nine kilometres from south of Nanaimo to the ferry terminal. Several runs were made on the road, picking out good locations for start, turn-around and finish. Seeing as this first event was on New Year’s Day and that one or more of the participants would posibly be recovering from too- enthusiastic New Year’s Eve celebrations, it was decided to finish the time trial before the beginning of the tough one kilometre hill at the start of the highway.
All the starters really liked the course but did find it even tougher than MIVA’s regular one on the Nanaimo River Road as there were stiff climbs both out and coming back from the turn. Rob Russell showed his good conditioning by beating ex-hockey player Warren Muir, who has been taking degree courses in Calgary since September, by almost one and a quarter minutes. Iain Hay was third, a further two minutes down and was followed in by Kristy Mighton, a further minute and forty-one seconds down.
NAME CLUB CAT TIME
Rob Russell MIVA MB 25′ 49″
Warren Muir Top Gear (Alta) S2 27′ 03″
Iain Hay MIVA MB 29′ 03″
Kristy Mighton MIVA W3 30′ 44″ 1st. woman
Patrick Burnham MIVA S3 31′ 57″
Drew Cooper MIVA MB 33′ 29″
Jacques Lavalliere MIVA S3 33′ 50″