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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A provincially appointed consultant has recommended a change to the funding formula for the VicPD that will save Esquimalt a significant amount of money. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt to save a bundle on policing costs under new formula

Provincial consultant studied funding model, resource deployment for VicPD

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

A Victoria resident was scammed out of $1,700 after a fraudster impersonated a police officer and convinced the victim to pay a non-existent fine in Bitcoin. (Unsplash)
Fraudster impersonates Victoria police officer, steals $1,700 in Bitcoin

Phone call showed up as VicPD’s non-emergency line

The Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsartlip First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA revealed COVID-19 outbreak

Chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA Adam Olsen apologizes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read