Despite the Sneakers being far from the island, last weekend was as fruitful as it was diverse for the local running club.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Sneakers were represented at the B.C. Masters Track and Field Championships in Kamloops by Sneakers co-founder Lynn Thompson.
Entering five events over two days — the 60-metre dash, 60-metre hurdles, 200 metres, long jump and triple jump — Thompson won four firsts and one second place and set two new B.C. age group event records in the 60-metre hurdles and the long jump.
On Sunday, six Sneakers travelled to Port Alberni for the Paper Chase 10K, which was recently revived after 15 years. It’s the seventh of the eight winter Island Race Series events.
All participating Sneakers reached the awards podium, beginning with Pat Peron earning second place in the male 60-64 age group. Jill Thompson was the second Sneaker across the finish line, shocking herself with a first place in the female 30-34 age group. Eric van Soeren was the third Sneaker to finish, earning a third-place medal in the male 65-69 age group.
Marion Young was the fourth Sneaker to cross the finish line with a fourth-place finish in the female 55-59 age group, followed shortly by Eric Ellis, the fifth Sneaker to finish, with a fifth-place finish in the male 70-74 age group. Julie van Soeren was the sixth finisher for the Sneakers, earning a ninth-place in the female 60-64 age group. The combined team points consolidates the Sneakers’ hold on sixth place out of the more than 60 teams in the winter race series.
The Cedar 12K next Sunday is the last of the eight winter Island Race Series events. At the completion of this race, not only will finishers in the race be recognized but the individual and team awards for the race series as a whole will be presented.
While the Sneakers team appears to have the sixth place in the race series sewn up, nine Sneakers are eligible for podium finishes in their respective age groups in the individual series competition.