July 3rd – With four races to go it looks as though we may have repeat overall Series winners for both the male and female titles. Nancy Tinari has chalked up enough victories to stay in a class of her own, while Colin Dignum’s winning streak has moved him ahead of Norm Tinkham in the points race. But it’s not over yet, and Tinkham could still give Dignum a run for his money – literally – if he shows up for the remaining events.
Running Room Shaughnessy 8k
May 27, Vancouver – Overcast skies kept temperatures ideal for racing at the 2001 Running Room Shaughnessy 8k. As the field wound its way through the streets of this serene Vancouver neighbourhood, a battle was shaping up in the women’s division, with Nancy Tinari working hard to stay ahead of a newcomer, Ethiopian Leteyesus Berhe. Despite the fact that Berhe is about half her age, Tinari prevailed and crossed the finish line with a half minute advantage in 27:41, only 13 seconds over the course record she set last year. Third woman, in 29:57, was Nurten Tasdemir.
“That was a really tough race, really tough,” admitted Tinari as she caught her breath at the finish. Her overall finishing position was 10th, and 3rd overall master – only seconds behind Art Boileau (27:35) and Ken Bell (27:37). Second and third female masters were Leslie Black and Lori Spence, while Mike Moon rounded out the masters men top three.
The men’s field was led by Colin Dignum, who completed the course in just 25:35, followed in by Bertrand Plouvier in 26:01 and Luis Estrada in 26:22. Without Series points rival Norm Tinkham adding to his score, Dignum was able to move within 10 points in the overall rankings as a result of his win in Shaughnessy.
It seemed unbelievable but the 60-64 men’s category was not won by Herb Phillips in this event. Despite Herb’s excellent 31:45 performance, he took second to Ali Hamami who ran 30:09 to top the division. However since Hamami has only done the one race it looks like Herb doesn’t have to worry about losing his leadership position in the 60-64 Series rankings.
Fernando Pelzer (33:32) and Amanda Hall (36:39) led the junior men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.
For full race results see www.raceheadquarters.com.
Sandcastle City Classic 10k
June 24, South Surrey – New location, new course, cooler weather. As a result of the illogical decision by the City of White Rock to no longer allow the event to be held on their streets (why would they want the beachfront restaurants to miss out on lunchtime business from several hundred hungry runners?) the Sandcastle City Classic became a loop course up on the bluff this year. The great pancake breakfast remained as before, as did the kids’ Maniac Mile.
Though a number of top competitors chose to race in a large half marathon held the same morning in Vancouver, the men’s race turned out to be quite close for most of the distance. Colin Dignum was not feeling his best, so he let Neil Holm of Ucluelet lead the way and just hung on to the pace. At about 1 km to go, Dignum dug down and moved ahead to secure a win and move into the lead in the overall points race, crossing the line in 31:52 with Holm only seven seconds back. Luis Estrada repeated his performance at Shaughnessy with another 3rd place finish, in 32:39.
The top six finishers were all in the 30-39 age group; taking 7th and 8th were the first two masters, Ken Bell (33:51) and Rick Hickson (34:04), with Rob Barber taking third a few positions back, leading a group of six more masters men.
The top three women arrived in a group, led by marathoner Nurten Tasdemir in a time of 38:22, followed by Sheila Mullins and Lisa Hamelin in 38:37 and 38:43, respectively. The top three masters women were also closely spaced, with Leslie Black just five seconds ahead of Adele Wilson (39:20 to 39:25), and Lori Spence not far behind in 39:47.
Junior division winners were Marty Uhl in 37:59 and Kayla Rawling in 43:28.
Complete results can be seen at www.raceheadquarters.com.
Post to Post Canada Day 10k
July 1st, Vancouver – What do runners do for fun on a national holiday? Run 10km of course, with a live rendition of our national anthem to start them off right, and a piece of a giant Canada Day cake and great live music to conclude the festivities – all at the Post to Post Canada Day 10k.
The second edition of this Canada Post sponsored event was a new addition to the Series this year, and leader Colin Dignum took advantage of that fact to score another 30 points. It wasn’t an easy task – for the first 5 km he thought he was going to be racing for second place, as a speedy-looking Kenyan visitor led the field around the east end of False Creek. But near the halfway mark Dignum was able to pull up beside the leader and saw that he was tiring quickly. Dignum passed him easily and went hard for the next 3 km or so. Then he realized that Bertrand Plouvier was right behind him and not going away. Dignum decided to ease off slightly to save some energy for the final stretch. At 9 km he began to pour it on again, pulling away from Plouvier to a strong uphill finish in 31:59. Plouvier’s finishing time was 32:16, a minute ahead of Luis Estrada who finished third yet again in 33:17.
Joan McGrath dominated the women’s race with a strong 36:26, 2 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor Alison Rendell (38:27). Nurten Tasdemir rounded out the top three with a 38:45 clocking.
In the Masters division, Ken Bell (40-44) led the way with a 34:09 finish to crack the top 10 overall list. The next two positions and next two minutes saw two more masters and two more age groups, Dave McGivern (45-49 group, 35:07) and Nick Stark (50-54 group, 36:11). Leslie Black – who happens to be a Canada Post employee – dominated the women’s masters section, looking strong at the finish in 39:20 for fifth woman overall. Lori Spence took second masters position in 40:39, followed by Annette O’Brien in 42:15.
Race director John Moe’s son Spencer, age 11, took second in the Junior men’s division in 44:52, behind 15-year-old Kelvin Bei (44:15). Older brother Trevor Moe nabbed third in 48:42. (Their dad currently leads the 45-49 division in the Series.) Annelize Loots finished in 49:24 to lead the female Junior contingency.
See www.raceheadquarters.com for complete race results.