Spikes welcome at Beaver Lake cross country race

The cross country portion of the Q’s Victoria Run Series continues at Beaver Lake on Saturday, Sept. 13

Seventeen-year-old Daniel Hoyne of Vermont won the inaugural Beaver Lake Cross Country race on Saturday, Sept. 6.

It was the first of three September cross country events, the fall portion of The Q’s Victoria Run Series, which featured five track events throughout the summer.

The second cross country race is Saturday, Sept. 13, 1 p.m. at Beaver Lake Park.

The starts and finishes adjacent to the auxiliary parking lot at entrance to Beaver Lake Park.

U.S. import Hoyne won the season’s first race on Sept. 6, zipping around the two-lap, 4.5-kilometre course in 14 minutes and nine seconds. Promising junior triathlete Connor Foreman, 20, finished second. The a Claremont secondary grad was nine seconds back. Local entrepreneur Nick Walker of Frontrunners was third, 20 seconds back of Hoyne.

Local legend Lucy Smith was the top woman, as the former Canadian champ finished 10th overall with a time of 16:17. Julia Tschanz was second at 16:30 and Shawnigan Lake’s Nancy Baxendale was third (also capturing the women’s 50-59 category) with a time of 17:21.

The cross country races fill a gap in the heavy running schedule in Victoria says Victoria Run Series director Chris Kelsall, who is also a Saanich News advertising consultant.

“This is a spike friendly event with a set lap distance in accordance to the cross country rules and regulations,” he said. “There is a rich history of cross country running in this area and the response shows there is a desire for adults and youth alike to compete in an open cross country races.”

Nearly half of Saturday’s runners were under 20 years of age.

“With school out of session, we’re seeing high school athletes using this series to make up for lost time in the Lower Island cross country race season,” Kelsall said.

Proceeds from the series go to the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

The final race of the season is Saturday, Sept. 27.

reporter@saanichnews.com