2009 Race Reports

As submitted by event directors

27th Annual Running Room Shaughnessy 8k — May 31, 2009

Perfect weather conditions and a very competitive field of runners contributed to a new men’s course record at the 27th Annual Running Room Shaughnessy 8K. Ryan McKenzie (30) of Victoria, an athlete sponsored by Running Room, took control of the race very early and destroyed the course record by 38 seconds winning in a very fast time of 24:12. The previous course record of 24:50 was established in 2004 by David Wambui.

Saucony sponsored athlete David Jackson (also from Victoria) finished in second place with a time if 25:12 with Ryan Day (Vancouver) finishing third in 25:50.

The women’s race was won by Rachel Ruus of Richmond in a time of 29:15 followed by Anne-Marie Madden (Vancouver) in a time of 29:56. Masters runner, Joan McGrath of New Westminster took third place in 30:02.

While the last weekend in May is usually one of the busiest race weekends of the year, the Running Room Shaughnessy 8K still remains the most competitive of all the races on that weekend.

Age Group Course Records

New Age group course records were also established by:
Ryan McKenzie (30) 24:12 M30-34
Herb Phillips (68) 31:41 M65-69
Maurice Tarrant (79) 38:34 M75-79

Age Graded Winners

Age graded race winners this year were Herb Phillips 31:41 (88.99%) and Joan McGrath 30:02 (87.41%)


The Running Room Shaughnessy 8K has a long tradition of being one of the featured races in the BC Timex Road Race Series. With the change in format of the 2009 Timex Series, the event is now also part of the Lower Mainland Road Race Series complementing not only the BC Timex Series but several other road race series in BC. In addition to that the Running Room Shaughnessy 8K also gets great support from the Vancouver Sun as part of the annual Vancouver Sun Run Series. That Series was created to encourage Vancouver Sun Run participants to continue running throughout the year.


This year BC Epilepsy came on board as the charity sponsor with the 5K Poker Walk. With the enthusiasm and help from Cindy Devlin and the BC Epilepsy Society the number of participants in the 5K POKER WALK more than doubled in 2009 helping to create a greater awareness of BC Epilepsy and with that more charitable donations. Participants in the walk rave about the scenic 5K course where walkers collect poker a poker card at every kilometre of the 5K route.

Mother’s Day 5k Spring Classic — May 10, 2009

A record 402 entrants soaked up the glorious Port Moody sunshine which lit up the 2009 Mother’s Day 5K Spring Classic on Sunday, May 10th and helped provide near-perfect conditions for race #11 in the Timex BC Road Running Series and #4 in the new Lower Mainland Road Race Series.

First home — out of 371 eventual finishers — was Kelowna’s Tom Michie, who held off strong challenges from White Rock’s David Palermo and Yue-Ching Cheng from Port Moody to breast the finishing tape in a time of 16:28. Palermo (16:38) who had set the early pace and Cheng (16:44) who led just after half-way, were in hot pursuit.

The women’s race was also a closely-fought battle, Port Moody’s Natasha Wodak claiming the overall title in a time of 17:55, just 10 seconds clear of Vancouver’s Anne-Marie Madden (18:05) — with Madden’s VFAC team-mate and fellow Vancouverite Katherine Moore just five seconds further back (18:10) in third… a PB by over a minute.

Bagging the overall and men’s age-graded title was the ever-youthful 68-year-old Herb Phillips (18:55) with a score of 93%, which also earned him the Dave Reed Memorial Trophy. Dave Stephens, 50, of North Vancouver, took second with 84%, following a smoking run of 17:22 which also earned him 11th place overall. Making up the podium for the age-graded men was 79-year-old Frank Kurucz of West Vancouver (24:49) with 83%.

In the women’s age-graded competition, Joan McGrath, 47, of New Westminster led the way with an impressive 86% after clocking a time of 18:40 — making her sixth lady overall. North Vancouver’s Lenore Montgomery, 78 years young, glided home to second place and 82% in a time of 28:31, while Port Moody’s Natasha Wodak, just 27, was tied with a clutch of other runners on 80%, but took 3rd spot by virtue of her overall win.

The Tiny Tots 100m dash and Kids 800m Fun Run, which followed the main event, both proved a big hit — as well as a great spectacle — rounding off an entertaining Mother’s Day morning in Port Moody. With $2 of every entry fee going to charity, the event’s host, Phoenix Running Club, was also able to raise over $800 for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC.

New start & finish a big hit at 32nd April Fool’s Run, Record numbers signed up

April 5, 2009 – The first real spring weather of 2009 coincided with the running of the 32nd Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run, to the delight of participants, volunteers and spectators. A record 537 people signed up to walk or run from Gibsons to Sechelt, as individuals and relay teams.

The super-fast elites of 2008 didn’t return this year, leaving the field wide open for a 1:10-1:12 runner to grab the top cash prize of $300. Past winner Graeme Wilson of Vancouver, the 2006 and 2007 champion, returned this year after some time off due to injury, and was never challenged on the way to a 4-minute victory in 1:12:40. Vancouver’s Ynuk Bosse was a solid second in 1:16:35, 43 seconds ahead of White Rock’s David Palermo who was thrilled with a personal best of 1:17:18.

Wilson led the other two through the first mile, then as they crossed the highway at MarketPlace IGA and headed down Pratt Road, Wilson began to increase his lead and never looked back. But it wasn’t an easy win. “Having not raced since July of last year, I kind of forgot how to really push it, and I’m glad I didn’t” said Wilson. “But still, I thought I would be a little quicker! Even though I thought I was running a conservative first half of the race, it was apparent that I still ran too fast for my current fitness level, as I really struggled up the long hill [Marlene Rd] leading to the highway, and then things went downhill from there – literally/figuratively!” Wilson also said he always finds this course enjoyable and hopes to be a little faster next year, “like three to four minutes faster”.

Bosse and Palermo stayed neck and neck for the first 4 or 5km, then Bosse made a move on the uphill portion heading back to the highway by way of King and Veterans. “David stayed on my heels up to 10 or 11k, before I really started to pull away from him” recalled Bosse. “I realized that I was not prepared for 21.1k yet. I really struggled (and probably slowed down) in the last 4 or 5k. But I’m happy with the outcome.”

Though Palermo kept Bosse in his view for almost the entire second half, he was unable to close the gap. “There were a few times when I was feeling quite tired, but the cheers from all of the friendly onlookers were enough to ease the pain of those undulating hills,” said Palermo. “I look forward to being right up there with Graeme and Ynuk next year. I really can’t say enough good things, it was my best race experience ever.”

On the women’s side, masters competitor Helen Ritchie edged out Vancouver Falcons teammate Rebecca Reid by just 8 seconds to take the top women’s open and masters prizes in 1:28:04 – good enough for 14th overall. Less than a minute behind Reid, Vancouver’s Janette Purdham took the final cash award by an even smaller margin, just 6 seconds ahead of North Vancouver’s Darcie Young. Demonstrating that getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t win races, all five of the top women were in the 40-44 age division.

Ritchie got off to a fast start, taking an early 15 second lead on Reid and Purdham after the first kilometre. She was hoping to run in the 1:26 range after having run 1:26:25 in the Comox Valley half marathon two weeks ago. “Two weeks between half marathons is a bit short, but I wanted to come to the Sunshine Coast and do the run regardless” said Ritchie. “I figured the race was very good preparation for the Ottawa Marathon which I’m racing on May 24th. It’ll be my first marathon since 1997.”

Ritchie continued to lead, staying on pace and passing through half-way in 42:40, but in the later stages things got a bit rough. “I wasn’t sure about my pace in the last 5 km because of the hills, but my splits show that I was fading fast!” said Ritchie. Meanwhile Purdham was helping Reid to maintain pace during the difficult middle miles. Ritchie remained ahead the whole time but on the final long downhill towards Wilson Creek, Reid began a hard drive to the finish, getting within 8 seconds of the leader but running out of pavement and opportunity before reaching the finish line. But there was no disappointment: “I was happy with my run, a PB [personal best] for me,” said Reid. Ritchie knew she had a narrow escape: “If the race were half a km longer, Rebecca could have easily been the winner,” she admitted.

Top male master and winner of an extra $50 cash was Mike Palichuk of Langley, finishing 4th overall in 1:21:09.

A new category this year was the Club/Team challenge. This was an opportunity for groups or clubs to compete as a team, with the fastest 4 half marathon times combined to determine the winner (minimum 5 team members). The hands-down inaugural winner was Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club (VFAC) with an average time of 1:24:27.

Full race results and race photos can be found at www.foolsrun.com/results.htm. 2010 date will be April 11.

St. Patrick’s Day 5k — March 14, 2009

Despite being the first event in the new Lower Mainland Road Race Series, the 2009 St Patrick’s Day 5k turned out to be a clean sweep for Vancouver Island runners. Scott Simpson took the win from a strong field, while female winner Cheryl Murphy smashed the course record taking home the course record bonus sponsored by Patricia Houlihan. The overall depth of the field was top notch with 26 runners posting a sub-17 minute 5k time, securing the St Patrick’s Day 5k as one of the fastest and most competitive 5k races in the Lower Mainland.

Fresh off another 5K win the previous weekend, Simpson ran away from the men’s field in the second half of the race, coming home in 14:42, just 3 seconds shy of the course record. Graeme Wells went out hard, putting distance between himself and the pack over the first mile (4:45.9) to earn the Gleukos mile bonus, but faded in the second half of the race, eventually finishing fourth. Another Victoria athlete, Kris Swanson finished second in 15:05, with local Jerry Ziak close behind in third in 15:07.

The first two women both bettered Marilyn Arsenault’s 2008 course record of 17:09. Kristina Rody was quickest away from the start, and picked up the mile bonus in 5:21. But Murphy was only a second behind, and soon took over top spot, running out a convincing winner in 16:54. Rody was second in 17:07, with Anne-Marie Madden some distance behind in third in 17:41.

Top masters were Kevin O’Connor (16:11) and Rita Ivanauskas (18:11).

But it wasn’t all about fast times as the bulk of the 949 registered runners and walkers dressed in green with some great costumes. All there to not only take part in the Granville Island Brewing after party but also raising funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association.