Runners take off from the starting point at Cherry Creek Community Hall during the annual 15K Port Alberni Paper Chase on Sunday, March 10. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Bastion runners win Port Alberni Paper Chase

15K run was the fifth race in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Bastion Run Club members Jackson Isnor and Jessica McKierahan were the champions Sunday, March 10 at the Port Alberni Paper Chase 15K.

Sunny skies greeted the 225 participants who ran the undulating, rural course that was hosted by Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Just 38 seconds separated the first three finishers, with Nanaimo’s Isnor hitting the tape at 55:05. Second and top master was Jerry Loeb from Campbell River in 55:17, and third was Eric White in 55:43.

“My main goal was just to run under an hour,” said Isnor. “This is the first time I have ever run the Island Series so I have not run some of the distances before. I felt really good today but I wasn’t expecting to come in first so it was one hundred percent above my expectations.”

McKierahan finished in 1:04:37. Second female was Yana Hempler in 1:05:36 and third was Marion Bryan from Comox Valley in 1:06:53, who was also the top female master.

McKierahan works part-time in Port Alberni and knows the course, running it occasionally on her lunch breaks.

“My goal was to run around 4:20/km and come in under one hour and five minutes, so I was pleased to be able to make that goal and take a couple minutes off last years’ time,” she said. “Yana Hempler ran a strong race as well so she pushed me to not let up, especially with all those rolling hills.”

The next race in the Vancouver Island Race Series will be the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 24.

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Runners take off from the starting point at Cherry Creek Community Hall during the annual 15K Port Alberni Paper Chase on Sunday, March 10. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

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