Langford in June is becoming the place to be among women looking to physically challenge themselves and hang out with hundreds of friends – some of whom they didn’t know before embarking upon the Victoria Goddess Run.
The fourth annual event, which once again offered some pampering at Bear Mountain in advance of Sunday’s opportunity to work hard, attracted more than 2,200 entries in half-marathon (21 kilometres), 10K and 5K distances, with nearly 1,700 finishing their chosen event.
“It was an wonderful day for all involved,” said race director, Cathy Noel. “Not only does this event bring out all levels of racers, from the elite to the first time runners, but it also raises significant dollars for the three charity partners: KidSport – Active Girls Program, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and Victoria Women’s Transition House.”
Visiting runners took two of the top three spots in this year’s races.
The half marathon saw 165 runners cross the finish line, led by Salmon Arm’s Chelsea Kaasa, who timed in at one hour, 38 minutes and 35 seconds and also topped the age 30 to 39 category. She finished slightly better than two minutes ahead of Suzanne Erickson of Duncan, whose time of 1:40.46 topped the 50-59 age category.
Rounding out the top five (with time and age category listed) were Victoria-area runner Sharene Foord (1:42.49, 40-49), Jenna Kurylo of Victoria (1:43.16, 30-39) and Lori Timpson of Thamesville, Ont. (1:43.55 40-49).
Anneke Feuermann of Victoria was fastest in the 19-under division, placing 83rd overall in 2:25.53. Top runner in the 20-29 division was Victoria’s Erica Walt, who timed in at 1:54.32, good for 12th overall, while Courtenay’s Diana Olsen was fastest among 15 runners in the 60-69 division, timing in at 2:04.32.
The 10K race was busiest of the three, with 806 runners crossing the finish line. Duncan’s Jill Ramstead topped the field with a time of 41 minutes, three seconds, which was also best among 225 competitors in the age 30-39 category. Next was Yana Hempler of Victoria (44:21, 20-29), followed by Jessica Loughead of Victoria (44:23, 30-39), Nanaimo’s Jane Campbell (44:35, 50-59) and Tiffany Wong of Ladysmith (47:03, 30-39).
Tops in the 40-49 age group for the 10K was Victoria runner Mena Westhaver, who clocked in at 48:42 (10th overall), while Annely Haglund of Campbell River was fastest in the 60-69 division at 53:32. Norma Scharbach of Victoria was one of four runners in the 70-79 category, finishing fastest in 1:18.40.
Among 714 entries in the 5K, Victoria’s Barbara Rober crossed first in 20:46, also winning the 20-29 division with her effort. Second overall was Binder Kelsall of Victoria (20:57, 40-49), followed by Victoria’s Sara Kelly (21:09, 30-39), Lesley Ballman of Victoria (21:17, 30-39) and in a tie for fifth, the Sooke tandem of Kinsey D’Archangelo (21:28, 19-under) and Tina D’Archangelo (21:28, 40-49).
Tops in the 50-59 category was Victoria’s Brenda Nemeth in 10th spot overall in 24:58. Linda DuToit of Victoria was first among 43 runners in the 60-69 category in 30:04, while Sylvia Macmahon of Victoria was fastest of 12 runners in the 70-79 division, timing in at 33:25.
The event also raised funds for KidSport’s Active Girls Program, the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and Victoria Women’s Transition House, for which $130,000 has been collected to date.