The Vancouver Island Race Series is offering a new team competition for the 2023 season, named the Island Series Cup.

The series has added a perpetual series championship based on the often-used cross-country-style reverse scoring system to award the fastest overall team.

Currently, the VIRA Cup (Vancouver Island Runners’ Association), which goes to the team that wins the age-group competition will continue as usual — it is a sought-after championship annually and requires as many club members as possible to race. The 2022 winner is the Ceevacs Running Club of the Cowichan Valley, which host the Cobble Hill 10K. They will be presented with the VIRA Cup championships trophy at the 2023 season kick-off on Friday, January 6 at Frontrunners Footwear at Yates and Vancouver. Mark your calendars if you are a season pass holder, sponsor, member of the media, or racing the Pioneer 8K two days later on January 8, as the event will also act as race package pick up.

How the reverse scoring system works

In each race, finishers earn points awarded as per the overall finish position within their gender. Top-6 runners on all teams score only, three women and three men. If your third man or third woman athlete finishes, for example, in 200th place, that person earns 200 points. Both male and female overall winners earn 1 point each for their respective club — the lowest team score wins.


Team A’s six scorersPointsTeam B’s six scorersPoints
1st overall (either gender)12nd overall (either gender)2
10th overall (either gender)103rd overall (either gender)3
20th overall (either gender)204th overall (either gender)4
30th overall (either gender)305th overall (either gender)5
40th overall (either gender)406th overall (either gender)6
50th overall (either gender)507th overall (either gender)7
Total points151Total points27

Team B wins with a lower score. Men and women are completely equal contributors to their respective clubs.

Now over five of their best races, if Team B happened to average those same 27 team points and that was the lowest average team score over the series, then they win this new team competition. 

Non-scoring runners can help to displace the competing team’s finishers from scoring higher simply by running faster, even though they may be out of the top three.

Currently, results are available and they include age-graded performance (%), World Athletics points performance rating, and VIRA Cup club competition points, a column will be added for the reverse scoring points earned.

Most Inspirational

This is a simple award with a smaller, but similar trophy as the VIRA and Island Series Cups. The recipient will receive a keepsake mug with their name, year and “Most Inspirational” honour included.

The rules are simple. If you see something happen that is inspirational — doesn’t have to be a victory — email and tell us about it. The board meets before the final race, the Bazan Bay 5K and decides on who the honour should go to.

Send in those suggestions!

The current honouree is Bruce Hawkes of the STARR team of Sooke. He is entering his 80s and has run 231 races entering the 2023 series.