McNeill Half-marathon replaces Lands End for Sept. 11

Oak Bay gets September half-marathon, major tune-up for Goodlife Fitness Royal Victoria Marathon

It’s new to Oak Bay but the McNeill Bay Half-marathon on Sept. 11 isn’t new to Island runners.

The 21-kilometre race falls on the second Sunday of September, the weekend formerly reserved for the Land’s End half-marathon.

“This race was really established 17 years ago but we’re giving it a little CPR and bringing it back to life,” said co-organizer Phil Nicholls.

The proprietor of Island Runner in Fairfield and former Royal Victoria Marathon winner has sponsored the race since its early days and moved in this year to help co-organize the event with others including Oak Bay High, where the race will start and finish. The course mostly tracks along Beach Drive.

“The Land’s End picked up the end-of-summer lull and was known as the last tune-up for the (GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon).

“It once had quite a lot of numbers, so we’re chasing it back the other way now,” Nicholls said.

“It’s potential is unlimited with the popularity of half-marathons.”

The race also boasts the commitment of two of Canada’s most elite distance runners withVictoria marathon record holder Steve Osadiuk (two hours, 16 minutes) and Dylan Wykes, who ran a 2:12 in California last year.

Prizes will be distributed to the winners of each age group.

Visit www.islandrunner.ca to register.

sports@vicnews.com