Yemane Mulugeta from Surrey, BC (Oceanside Track and Field Club) and Jennifer Erickson (Speedfarm) won the 26th running of the Synergy Health Centre Bazan Bay 5K on Sunday. Mulugeta, just 17, clocked a 14:36 performance, while Erickson finished in the time of 16:41.
Mulugeta would have set the Canadian junior 5K road record with his performance, however, he is not yet a Canadian citizen. Jaxon Kuchar who competes for the University of Victoria Vikes and was representing the Victoria Endurance Track Club, earned that record with his 14:42, second place finish. Taking third was fellow Vike Gabe Van Hezewijk, another six seconds back.
The top master 40-plus athlete was Teferi Balcha with the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club. Balcha clocked a 15:05 performance.
Mackenna Fitzgerald (Speedfarm) took the second female position with her 16:51 run. Taking third was Jen Millar (Island Striders) in 17:30. She was also the first master.
The three lead runners worked together for the first 2.5K as there was a 20/kph headwind that gusted near the turnaround point. However, after taking turns sharing the lead, the race was on and it was on the way back with the tailwind where tactics were ignored and the pace dropped.
The Bazan Bay 5K is the finale of the Vancouver Island Race Series. The team awards, Island Series Cup and VIRA Cup were awarded. It was awarded to the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club. It was the club named Speedfarm that captured the first ever Island Series Cup.
Frank Towler was awarded the 1000-miles (of series races) honour which included a keepsake hat indicating 1000 miles or 1602 kms achieved. Towler who competes in the 75-79 division is now at 1011 miles.
The Most Inspirational honour was handed to Christine Thate with the Prairie Inn Harriers, as voted by her peers.
The Vancouver Island Runners’ Association and Vancouver Island Race Series raised nearly $6000 for the charity of choice the Victoria Hospitals Foundation; a cheque was presented to Danielle Mulligan Manager of Events for the foundation. Three-thousand nine hundred and six finishers were recorded during the eight-race series that start on January 8 and finished Sunday, April 23 with the Bazan Bay 5K.
Full results are available here.