New half marathon proposed for Oak Bay in fall

  • May. 11, 2011 10:00 a.m.

McNeill Bay Half gets conditional green light

Not once, but twice this year, thousands of feet will pound the pavement in Oak Bay for 21 kilometres.

Residents know about the Oak Bay KOOL Half Marathon, which gets underway Sunday morning.

But new this year will be the McNeill Bay Half, scheduled for Sept. 11.

The second race, expected to attract about 300 runners, is a displacement of the Land’s End Half, which ran for 14 years. The organizers of that run through Deep Cove passed the event on to Oak Bay resident Phil Nicholls of Island Runner, who intends to bring it closer to home this year.

Nicholls’ race was approved in principle by Oak Bay council Monday – provided he talk to Oak Bay police first about traffic disruption and safety issues.

“Runners will be advised to use sidewalks,” Nicholls told councillors.

In the interest of safety, that’s not enough, Coun. John Herbert replied.

“Is this a case of, if most people survive, you’ll do it again?”

Nicholls plans to organize traffic control with police and will use his connections to Oak Bay High to round up between 60 and 80 volunteers for the event, he said.

The route would start at the high school on Cranmore Road, veer left on Musgrave Street, take a right on Dorset Road, then another left on Midland Road before making its way to Beach Drive and staying right onto Sunset Avenue – then finish back at the starting point via the same route.

ecardone@vicnews.com