CVRR AT THE AMERICAS MASTERS GAMES

Riding the excitement of the Rio Olympics, a group of Comox Valley Road Runners had excellent results while competing at the Americas Masters Games held in Vancouver August 27-September 3. The Games gathered more than 5000 of the best masters athletes in the world to compete in a number of events. The local Road Runners contested  the full spectrum of running events with distances ranging anywhere from 100 meters to a half marathon   of 21.1 km.

The opening day of the competition included a 10 km road race running loops on the UBC campus. The race was dominated by CVRR with Vince Brotherstone finishing 2nd overall and winning the  Silver medal in the M5054 age group in a time of 35:58. He was followed closely by Mike Bridges, 4th overall and Gold medalist in the M4549 age group in 37:02. The next Road Runner was Danny Keyes, 13th overall and Silver in M5559 in a time of 41:27. He was followed closely by Wayne Crowe, 15th overall and Gold in M6064 in 41:41. The local runners were not done yet as Bridges and Crowe raced in the 800 meter event only three hours later. Although not qualifying for the finals, they ran excellent races on tired legs finishing in 2:24, 4th and 2:36, 6th, respectively. They were joined by Keith Wakelin who ran a great race, finishing in a season's best of 2:29 and 5th M5559.  After a short rest Crowe then tackled his third event of the day, fighting off fatigue to qualify for the final of the 400 meter race with a time of 71 seconds. With “fresher legs” in the final the next day he managed to lower his time to 70 seconds and finished 6th in the 6064 AG. He was joined by Wakelin who fnished 5th in M5559 with a very fast 65 sec.

CVRR also represented well in the 5000 meter race on the track with Bridges, Keyes and Crowe all winning Silver medals in times of 17:52, 19:47 and 20:14.

Danny Keyes had fun testing his speed in the 100 meters against the big boys, including runners from Jamaica and the USA. He ran a fast time of 15.3 seconds but unfortunately was not quick enough to qualify for the finals.

In one of the most entertaining events of the week, Keith Wakelin set a BC provincial record in the 3000 meter steeplechase. In this event the runners complete 7 ½ loops of the 400 meter track, each of which has four 36 inch barriers as well as a water hazard to jump over. It is an event that requires skill, speed and endurance. Wakelin shattered the record in his first ever steeplechase and earned a Silver medal with an excellent time of 13:19. Wakelin concluded a very successfull meet by joining a team that took down the M5559 4x800 meter record with a time of 9:54. It was bittersweet however, as he was a member of the previous record setting team which included Keyes and Crowe.

The final running event of the Games was the Half Marathon, a 21.1 km road race that tested the endurance of the local runners who had already completed a number of events earlier in the week. In spite of this, Bridges, Keyes and Crowe all added to the CVRR total with  Silver medals for their efforts in times of 1:24:50, 1:30:44 and 1:31:41.

On a special note, local husband wife team Chad and Carlene Van Tongeren also competed in the track events. Chad took home Silver in the M3540 AG 400 meters in 54:06 and Carlene the Gold in W3540 1500 meters in 5:00:73.

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