Scenic McNeill Bay Half Marathon returns for second year

Half Marathon 21 kilometres of scenery along water of Oak Bay

Before he was an Olympian

Before he was an Olympian

There will be no icy ponds to run through at this year’s McNeill Bay Half Marathon, no man-made obstacles other than 21 kilometres of scenery along the Oak Bay route.

The race is next Sunday, Sept. 9, beginning and ending at Oak Bay High. It’s the second year since relocating from the Peninsula, where it ran for 16 years as the Land’s End Half Marathon in Sidney.

“My races are old school,” said organizer Phil Nicholls. “As I call it, it’s an accurate and good value, and maybe out of the norm with the future of fitness compared to the new age (Tough Mudder type races) out there.”

Not that 21 clicks is easy. But Nicholls, a multiple winner of the Victoria

Marathon, is well aware the race calendar in Victoria, the Island, and across southern B.C. has plenty of options, some of them with a lot more than just running.

Nicholls also added a new five kilometre Litespeed distance added this year.

So to reward those who register is a door prize, a Quintana Roo triathlon bike for the half marathon runners and a Litespeed road bike for those in the 5km. Each bike is world class, worth thousands of dollars.

“Events used to be a lot lower key. The bikes are meant to tie into the multisport culture of today and the 5km really opens it up to non-fitness people, though the sport of running itself is still very much alive,” Nicholls said.

New this year, both the races will end with one-and-a-quarter laps on the 400 metre Jack Wallace Memorial track of Oak Bay High. There’s also a new turnaround on the half marathon course which will eliminate a couple of the hills.

Oak Bay High’s leadership group will be on hand as the some of the race profits will benefit the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock fundraiser, which the school’s students famously contribute to.

Last year Nicholls invited Dylan Wykes to run the McNeill Half, knowing Wykes had yet to qualify for London.

Wykes set a course record of 64 minutes, a tough number to crack. The race ended up being part of Wykes’ Olympic campaign. In April he qualified for the Olympics with Canada’s second fastest marathon ever.

This time last year Wykes was still on the rise, and then he was the top Canadian in London at 20th overall and has become Canada’s fastest modern marathoner, Nicholls said.

The Litespeed starts at 7:50 a.m., half marathon at 8 a.m. Register online at Islandrunner.ca or call 250-595-2378.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read