James Richardson was the Ceevacs’ top male finisher and won the masters division at the Bazan Bay 5K, and Jill Ramstead was the club’s top female finisher. (Lois DeEll photos)

James Richardson was the Ceevacs’ top male finisher and won the masters division at the Bazan Bay 5K, and Jill Ramstead was the club’s top female finisher. (Lois DeEll photos)

Ceevacs Roadrunners win Island Race Series

First win for Cowichan club in nearly four decades of participation

For the first time in 37 years of running the Vancouver Island Race Series, the Ceevacs Roadrunners finished atop the standings when racing wrapped up last month.

“The club has finished second five times and third nine times, but never ever won before,” spokesperson Ken DeEll said. “This is only the third time since the series began that a club north of the Malahat has won.”

The final race, the Bazan Bay 5K in Sidney, was particularly special for the club as it had runners ranging from five to 95, with Benjamin Stultz being the youngest and Jim Silvester the oldest. Out of 124 current members of the Ceevacs, 53 took part in the last race of the series.

The eight-race series began with the Pioneer 8K on Jan. 7, followed by the Ceevacs’ own Cobble Hill 10K, the Cedar 12K, Hatley 5K, Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K, Comox Valley Half Marathon, Sooke 10K and the Bazan Bay 5K. Clubs are awarded points for top-20 finishes in each age group at each race.

The Ceevacs had the highest participation rate in the series, with 262 of the 2,860 total finishers coming from the Cowichan Valley club.

“Participation is what won the series for Ceevacs,” DeEll said. “In all, Ceevacs had 66 different members run from one to all eight of the races. Ceevacs had between 25 and 53 finishers at each race.”

More recently, the Ceevacs had a contingent at the Times Colonist 10K, and a group will be participating in the BMO Vancouver Marathon this Sunday.

“Ceevacs members don’t only run local races,” DeEll said. “Two members just ran the Los Angeles Marathon a few weeks ago.”

The club will host the Cowichan Challenge Triathlon at Fuller Lake on June 24, and the Cowichan Autumn Classic in Glenora on Oct. 21.

“Ceevacs is a running club with runners and walkers of all ages and abilities,” DeEll noted. “It is a socially minded club that not only runs, but also meets for coffee and snacks after many runs.”

Visit www.ceevacs.com for more information.