Clifford Childs and Rachel Cliff go for Worlds qualification Claire Morgan takes provincial age-group record

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Christopher Kelsall

May 13, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Q’s Victoria Run Series’ first meet of the 2013 track season took place Saturday, May 11th at Oak Bay High School’s Jack Wallace Memorial Track.

The meet included two races each of three distances, 800 metres, 1500 metres and 5000 metres.

Clifford Childs, former University of Victoria Vike team captain flew in from Calgary, Alberta for a last chance opportunity to run 14:00 or faster to meet the World University Games Championship qualifying time. He finished short of his goal in 14:48.30. “I was on pace until the final few laps, but I knew it was a stretch to make it anyway,” said Childs after the race. Geoff Martinson who also happens to be a former Vike team member paced Childs for most of the 12.5-lap race.

Rachel Cliff took the ferry from Vancouver to also try for the FISU standard and also came up short on the targeted time of 16:00, finishing in 16:33.40. Cliff has competed in the provincial, national, North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) and World Cross Country Championships since October 2012, helping team Canada to a first overall finish at NACAC, finishing second at BC’s and fourth overall at the Canadian Championships. “I was feeling a little under the weather going in, but I gave it my best” she said after.

Claire Morgan, who represents the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club broke the BC provincial 35-39 age-group record of 17:48, she finished in 17:37.90. “I am pleased with the result, although it was not a personal best. It is a pleasant surprise to get the record,” said Morgan. The mother of two is a long-time Victoria runner who represented Canada and the inaugural World Mountain Running Championships and is a former competitive Mountain Bike racer.

The 800m elite men’s race featured star Vikes rookie Brendon Restall who won in 1:51.30, over teammate John Pratt who finished in 1:52.70 and Cole Peterson in 1:53.10. The only non-Vike competitor was 38-year-old Anton Rabien of Performance Running who finished with a big personal best in 2:04.80.

The elite men’s 1500m race featured five University of Victoria Vike team mates. Kyle Irvine returned from a prolonged absence due to injury with a victory, “It was a great return after being injured for so long, to come here and run a decent time, considering it was a first race back,” said a pleased Irvine, who completed the three and three-quarter lap race in 3:53.90. He was followed in by Cody Therrien in 3:56.40 and Patrick Psotka in 3:57.10 for second and third overall, respectively.

Julien Marceau of Performance Running finished first overall in the open 800m event, finishing in 2:18.30. He was followed in closely by Miryam and Rebecca Bassett of Nanaimo who run for Nanaimo District Secondary School. They finished in 2:18.60 and 2:20.60, respectively. Third female overall was Michelle Bernardo in 2:34.40, while second and third male finishers were Michael Barber 2:27.10 and 50-year-old Gary Duncan of the Prairie Inn Harriers, who finished in 2:32.60 with a furious kick. Barber is the son of former Commonwealth Games competitor Gary Barber.

The 1500m open race was won by 50-year-old Darren Skuja who represents the Comox Valley Road Runners. Skuja finished in 5:00.40 ahead of fellow 50-59 age-group competitor Gary Duncan with the Prairie Inn Harriers, who completed the distance in 5:16.90. Third place went to Michelle Bernardo in 5:20.70. Second and third female finishers were Nicole Struthers and Martha McNeely. Third male was Julien Marceau. Marceau, McNeely, Bernardo and Duncan raced all three distances on the night.

Anton Rabien won his second race of the night, going two-for-two with a half lap victory in the 5000m open event, finishing in 17:24.20 over Prairie Inn Harrier’s Christopher Callendar who finished in 17:33.60. Callendar and Rabien ran together for most of the 12.5 lap race before Rabien pulled away over the final 600m with a strong kick. Third male position was taken by long-time Victoria, BC runner Jim Barwise, who was also the first 40-49 master-age athlete to finish. The top woman was Etta Degnan in 19:55.40. From her efforts to beat the 20-minute barrier Degnan collapsed across the finish line.

Next meet is Saturday, May 25th at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium.