January 14, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The first race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series – the Harriers Pioneer 8K – took place yesterday, Sunday January 13. The race started and finished at Saanich Fairgrounds, and was hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers (PIH). It was also the first race in the Timex BC Road Running Series.
Geoff Martinson (Newport Realty) won the race in 23:49. Second was Joseph Gray (Club Northwest) in 24:20 and third was Andrew McCartney (National Triathlon Training) in 25:02. Jim Finlayson (Prairie Inn Harriers) ran 25:10 to win the Masters category and set the second fastest Masters time ever.
Geoff Martinson won the race with a time of 23:49 – Photo By Tony Austin
A new women’s course record was set by Natasha Fraser (Prairie Inn Harriers) in 25:28 beating Debbie Bowker’s 1986 time of 26:08. Second was Sabrina Wilkie (Point Grey Track Club) in 28:15 and third was Catrin Jones (Frontrunners Athletic Club) in 28:26. Top female Master was Lucy Smith (Prairie Inn Harriers) in 28:45.
Natasha Fraser set new women’s course record in time of 25:28 – Photo By Tony Austin
“I was thrilled by the high performance runners from Vancouver and Washington that joined our elite athletes from Victoria,” said Bob Reid, Pioneer 8K Elite Athlete Director. “We kicked off the Frontrunners Island Race Series in style and set a benchmark of excellence for the Timex BC Series. Natasha Fraser was brilliant in breaking the 27-year-old course record of Olympian Debbie Bowker, lowering Debbie’s race record by an astonishing 40 seconds. Geoff Martinson also impressed me by winning the men’s race. He will go faster in future years and he is one of the most promising young athletes in Victoria. The Pioneer 8K men’s record could be his next year now that he has had a chance to experience the course.”
Both winners were pleased with their perfomances. “I was happy with race as it was a new 8km PB. I was chasing the course record but came up short. The conditions were fantastic for the race,” said Geoff Martinson.
“My goal was not to break the record at all. I laughed at the thought of breaking the record as my PB was 27:40 and the record was 26:08. I didn’t think it was possible so I totally surprised myself today! Was a great day weather wise and I was just feeling fantastic,” said Natasha Fraser.