The Vancouver Island Runners’ Association (VIRA) which operates the Vancouver Island Race Series (VIRS) in partnership with member clubs, has elected a new president and hired a new general manager.
Christopher Kelsall succeeds Louise Hodgson-Jones after six years as general manager of the series, as she steps aside gradually toward retirement. Kelsall has also taken over for Jonathan Foweraker as president of VIRA.
Kelsall started both positions on July 1, 2022, to manage the series which starts on Sunday, January 8, 2023. The first race as usual is the Harriers Pioneer 8K in North Saanich. The fixture typically doubles as the provincial 8K championships and is a member race of the BC Super Series. The Pioneer 8K is also the first race in Canada each year.
Kelsall is a sports journalist, former race director of the Victoria Run Series/Victoria Track Series, coach and is a 20-year member of the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club.
“I am pleased to take over for Louise, who has handed the role over to me with the series in great shape,” shared Kelsall. “And, the very capable hands of Jonathan, who stays on as past president. His continued leadership and experience are valuable to the board.”
The series continues into April with races in North Saanich, Sidney, Colwood, Sooke, Cobble Hill, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Courtenay. The Synergy Health Bazan Bay 5K in Sidney caps the 43rd annual race series and series awards on Sunday, April 16 or potentially Sunday, April 23 — in between the Vancouver Sun Run and TC10K.