February 2, 2003, Richmond — The 2003 Timex BC Road Running Series got underway this morning with a very successful running of the annual Kajaks Run Inn Ice-Breaker 8k. Numbers were up from last year with over 250 competitors completing the route. The weather cooperated for a change and stayed dry with just a touch of fog, and a solid competitive field showed up to challenge one another.
In the men’s race, Jorge Parra and Colin Dignum blasted off the start line for a very fast first mile, leaving the rest of the field wondering when and if they’d come back. Following them in third place, Shane Bilodeau knew better and bided his time, catching them near the 3 km mark as they began to slow down to a more “normal” pace.
By halfway Parra and Dignum were feeling the effects of their early speed, and Bilodeau began to move ahead. They wouldn’t give up their lead easily, though, and though Bilodeau stayed ahead right to the finish (25:22), the other two weren’t far behind — Parra 7 seconds back, Dignum a further 6 seconds back in 25:29 and 25:35, respectively.
A “chase pack” of four made up of masters Ed Booth, Dave Reed, Larry Nightingale and open competitor Jaime Munoz stuck together until the last 500m or so when Booth inched ahead to nab fourth spot in 26:13. Reed, Munoz and Nightingale followed in close succession, the finishing kick determining who got there first. Only 2-3 seconds separated each of these finishers.
The women were led by defending Series champion Nancy Tinari in 28:18, well ahead of strong-running second place Stephanie Mills (28:41) and third place Liz Ramage (29:39). Tinari is in the masters category, so earned double honours by being first master and open winner.
Second female master was Jackie Holloway in 4th overall (29:53) with Cindy Rhodes of Kelowna claiming third master’s position in 30:24.
First junior male to complete the out and back route was Niels Hanson, age 16, in 31:11, while his female counterpart was another 16-year-old, Jessica Bruhn, with a 35:57 clocking.
Full race results can be viewed on the BC Athletics main site.
Series race #2 is coming up this weekend, Feb 9th: the Pacific Road Runners “First Half” 1/2 Marathon, starting at the Roundhouse Community Centre in False Creek at 8:30 am. Registration is closed as the 2000-runner limit was reached in early January. If you didn’t enter but want to be involved they always appreciate extra volunteers and enthusiastic spectators!