Port Alberni, BC – April 2, 2023 – Sunday saw a triumphant return of the Port Alberni edition of the Vancouver Island Race Series. Previously known as the Paper Chase 10K and then 15K, the race not only has a new name, but a new course too: the McLean Mill 10K.
The race starts and finishes in the National Historic Site McLean Mill — a picturesque setting to be sure.
Keith Mills finishing second overall and first master (Prairie Inn Harriers). Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri.
The 2022 series champion Jonathan Walker (Esprit RC) won in the time of 33:36. Emily Bugoy (Mettle Heart Endurance) took her first race win in the time of 37:41, a two-minute and six second personal best. Both performances set course records, being the first time that the new course has been used.
“It was a good race, hillier than I thought, with a tough second half, but I am happy with the win.,” shared Walker. “I will be looking to improve my personal best which is 32:56 at the TC10K April 30 and running well at the Bazan Bay 5K on April 23.”
Asked how the race went, Bugoy, who cycled 45K from Coombs said, “My feet were numb from the ride. I hadn’t raced off the bike before. It took awhile to get comfortable. I am happy with the new pb.”
There was snow falling after the race — she rode back home to Coombs. Asked if she will be cycling to the next race, the Sooke 10K, she said, “yes, from Victoria though, not from Coombs.”
Finishing in second place was also the first 40-plus master Keith Mills (Prairie Inn Harriers). He clocked a 34:56 performance. Taking third was Chris Walsh (GCE South Island Runners) in 35:09.
The second female was Natasha Parsons in 38:05 (Badass Chicks Run Trails). Jill Ramstead (Ceevacs Road Runners) took third in 39:48, she was also the first master.
There was a record 404 finishers. The previous Port Alberni series’ record was 364 in 2010 when it was the Paper Chase 10K. The race had a successful return after taking a two-year pandemic pause.
The next race in the series takes place Sunday, April 9 in Sooke at the Westcoast Sooke 10K. As it happens on Easter Sunday, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids and a 1K kid’s run, which includes chocolate for every finisher.
Information about the race series is available at www.islandseries.org.