by Christopher Kelsall
March 16, 2014 (ISN) – Geoff Martinson and partnerBrittany Therrien hopped onto a seaplane in downtown Victoria. After a scenic 20 minute flight that offered vistas of coastal mountains and the gulf islands, they landed in downtown Vancouver’s Burrard inlet, which is back-dropped by the north shore mountains on one side and skyscrapers on the other.
Race morning they found themselves in the back seat of a 2014 Maserati Ghibli Q4. They were chauffered to the St. Patrick’s Day 5k start line in style. They emerged from the Ghibli in front of 1800 fellow runners, a little like royalty, ready for their final pre-race rituals. Martinson was prepared to perform like the Ghibli, except perhaps to not gun it off the line. He was fresh off a course record win, six days before, at the Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5k, where he led from the gun to the tape, unchallenged.
The race took place today under cloudy but mild conditions. Winners were Martinson, who finished in 14:24, Rachel Cliff of Vancouver with her 16:15 finish time. Both are new course records. Masters winners are a pair of Vancouver runners (40-plus), Catherine Watkins with her 17:11 and Kevin O’Connor with his 15:28.
Martinson settled into the back of the main pack of two Vancouver area runners, Rob Watson and Kelly Wiebe, who both train under Richard Lee in the BC Endurance Project, as well as the University of Victoria’s Kyle Irvine. Irvine also sat and waited within the first mile, as he was hoping, being a 1500 metre specialist, to win the first mile prize, which is $150. The first mile prize is available to the first person to cross the mile timing mat and finishes within one minute of the overall winner. Irvine did cross the mile timing mat first however, missed his opportunity by finishing in 15:26 to Martinson’s 14:24 – two seconds outside the allowable difference.
In contrast, Martinson, by holding back, managed a finish line sprint that saw him defeat Wiebe, who crossed the line in 14:28. Third went to BCEP training partner Watson who finished in 14:44, followed by Vancouver’s Ryan Brockerville, Theo Hunt, Dylan Haight, Patrick Psotka, Ben Weir, Tim Huebsch and Thomas Getty to round out the top-ten men. When Martinson was asked about the event he said, “They treat you very well here and the race is well organised. I even got a ride to the race in a Maserati.”
Rachel Cliff earned $1100 for her win, by combining the mile prize, winning the race and breaking the course record. She did this by defeating Natasha Wodak who finished nine seconds back. Trinity Western University’s Sarah Inglis, who hails from Scotland, finished in third position with her 16:51. She was followed in by Nanaimo’s Erin Burrett two seconds later. Burrett was coming off a come-from-behind victory from the Bazan Bay 5k, where she achieved a new personal best time of 16:35. Vancouver’s Sabrina Wilkiewas the final woman to cross the line under 17 minutes by finishing in 16:53. Bazan Bay 5k bridesmaid,Kimberley Doerksen of Gibsons, BC finished next in 17:01.
She was followed in by first place master Watkins, Erica Digby, Katherine Moore and Anne-Marie Madden to round out the top-ten women. Cliff said, “It was good to get the win, because going through the first mile, I thought I was a little fast, it was a good race today.”
Kevin O’Connor of Vancouver, at nearly 47-years-of-age, won in 15:28 over Victoria’s Craig Odermatt, who in rare fashion finished over the 16 minute mark with his final time being 16:06, to win the younger 40-44 master age-group. Third place master was 50-54 age-group competitor in Mark Bennett of Vancouver who won his age-class by finishing in 16:20 – a 41 second win.
O’Connor said, “I am happy with the time, one of my main goals this year is to take the Canadian 45-59 age-group record in the 10k, which is just over 31 minutes. I would love to get under 31 at the Vancouver Sun Run, which is the race I am aiming for.” He added, “This was my first race in five months, so it was good to get into a race situations to see where I am at.”
Like Martinson, Watkins was fresh off her Bazan Bay 5k (masters) win to make it back-to-back weekends and will continue with a third consecutive win attempt by racing the Modo 8k, which is a part of the Canada Running Series and will also take place in Stanley Park. Watkins finished ahead of her next competitor, Vancouver’s Darcie Montgomery who ran the race in 18:34. North Vancouver’s Tracy Wakaluk finished third master female in 19:05.
The BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5k takes place on a rolling route that starts on Pipeline Rd in Stanley Park and wends its way around the waterfront before turning back onto Pipeline – to form a circular route, then finally utilizes the Pavilion driveway for the finish. The flat and downhill start with a first mile time prize promises a fast start, but a long gradual hill to the finish tempers the potential personal best performances.
The St. Patrick’s Day event offers green beer and a post-race party that is unusual for a medium-sized road race (1800 finishers) with a packed post-race party, music, and many draw prizes, the event caters to runners of all abilities and pays special attention to the elite level. For age-group winners, they are awarded with Ryder brand sunglasses. The finish chute includes a digital display that lights up the finish area. Many of the finishers (of all abilities) were in full Irish regalia and green costumes. The event provides a demonstration to race directors of how race events should be organised.
Place Gun Time Race # Name City Divison Mile Time Chip Time
1 00:14:24 1 MARTINSON, Geoff Victoria, BC M2529 00:04:37 00:14:23
2 00:14:28 2 WIEBE, Kelly Vancouver, BC M2024 00:04:37 00:14:27
3 00:14:44 3 WATSON, Rob Port Coquitlam, BC M3034 00:04:36 00:14:42
4 00:14:54 9 BROCKERVILLE, Ryan Burnaby, NL M2024 00:04:41 00:14:54
5 00:14:54 36 HUNT, Theo Vancouver, BC M2529 00:04:39 00:14:54
6 00:14:58 32 HAIGHT, Dylan Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:40 00:14:57
7 00:15:03 68 PSOTKA, Patrick Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:40 00:15:02
8 00:15:04 94 WEIR, Ben Victoria, BC M-U20 00:04:43 00:15:03
9 00:15:05 35 HUEBSCH, Tim Vancouver, BC M2024 00:04:44 00:15:04
10 00:15:05 31 GETTY, Thomas Victoria, BC M-U20 00:04:42 00:15:04
11 00:15:05 20 DE SCHIFFART, Joel Nanaimo, BC M-U20 00:04:41 00:15:04
12 00:15:06 29 FRIESEN, Kevin Vancouver, BC M2529 00:04:39 00:15:05
13 00:15:08 14 BYLES, Adam Vancouver, BC M3034 00:04:44 00:15:07
14 00:15:09 1874 SYMONDS, Jeff Vancouver, BC M2529 00:04:40 00:15:07
15 00:15:20 84 THERRIEN, Cody Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:43 00:15:19
16 00:15:24 73 RICARDI, John Seattle, WA M2529 00:04:39 00:15:23
17 00:15:26 39 IRVINE, Kyle Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:35 00:15:24
18 00:15:28 61 OCONNOR, Kevin Vancouver, BC M4549 00:04:42 00:15:26
19 00:15:36 99 ZIAK, Jeremiah Vancouver, BC M3539 00:04:42 00:15:35
20 00:15:40 77 ROOTS, Logan Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:50 00:15:38
21 00:15:46 40 JIROT, Nicolas Burnaby, BC M3034 00:04:43 00:15:45
22 00:15:50 78 SCHIAVONE, Trevor Victoria, BC M2024 00:04:50 00:15:49
23 00:15:59 89 VOTH, Chris Abbotsford, BC M2024 00:04:50 00:15:57
24 00:16:05 628 ELDER, Evan Vancouver, BC M2024 00:05:00 00:16:01
25 00:16:06 54 MILIC, Michael Delta, BC M-U20 00:04:46 00:16:05
26 00:16:06 62 ODERMATT, Craig Victoria, BC M4044 00:04:51 00:16:05
27 00:16:06 30 GAY, John Kelowna, BC M-U20 00:04:46 00:16:05
28 00:16:12 11 BROWNE, Nicholas Vancouver, BC M3034 00:04:49 00:16:10
29 00:16:13 24 DONOVAN, Barry Vancouver, BC M2529 00:05:01 00:16:13
30 00:16:15 18 CLIFF, Rachel Vancouver, BC F2529 00:04:55 00:16:13
31 00:16:20 7 BENNETT, Mark Vancouver, BC M5054 00:04:52 00:16:18
32 00:16:20 74 RICARDI, Joshua Seattle, WA M3034 00:05:00 00:16:18
33 00:16:24 96 WODAK, Natasha Vancouver, BC F3034 00:05:00 00:16:22
34 00:16:25 70 REITER, Nathan Kelowna, BC M3034 00:05:00 00:16:23
35 00:16:25 53 MICHIE, Tom Kelowna, BC M2529 00:04:55 00:16:24
36 00:16:27 1868 JOHNSON, Robert Vancouver, BC M3034 00:04:59 00:16:24
37 00:16:39 1254 NAPIER, Chris Vancouver, BC M3539 00:05:02 00:16:37
38 00:16:45 1418 REID, Geoff Vancouver, BC M3034 00:05:01 00:16:43
39 00:16:46 48 LAPOINTE, Carsten Vancouver, BC M-U20 00:05:00 00:16:44
40 00:16:51 38 INGLIS, Sarah Langley, BC F2024 00:05:07 00:16:49
41 00:16:53 13 BURRETT, Erin Nanaimo, BC F3034 00:05:10 00:16:52
42 00:16:56 1203 MILLEN, Roy Vancouver, BC M3539 00:05:12 00:16:52
43 00:16:57 95 WILKIE, Sabrina Vancouver, BC F2529 00:05:15 00:16:55
44 00:16:57 42 KILLAM, Nathan Vancouver, BC M2529 00:05:15 00:16:55
45 00:17:00 51 MARSHALL, Adam Langley, BC