Whitfield wins duel with Lander in Nanaimo

Olympic triathlete runs with the people at Cedar 12K, Island Race Series

Simon Whitfield

Simon Whitfield

Simon Whitfield showed he’s not letting go of his competitive edge, winning the Cedar 12K in Nanaimo on Sunday.

Whitfield won the second event of the Island Race Series with a time of 37 minutes and 36 seconds, just two seconds ahead of James Lander.

Based out of Esquimalt, Lander is no slouch. He’s a pro marathoner who was part of the elite group that raced among 449 of the Island’s most faithful runners.

Whitfield and Lander were neck-and-neck for the entire race with Whitfield pulling ahead in a thrilling finish.

“The race was very hard. (Lander) knows how to hurt and pushed me the whole way,” said Whitfield. “I could tell right away he was going to be very hard to shake, and he kept coming back every time I surged to test him.”

Victoria’s Sean Chester finished third overall, while Care Nelson was the first woman at 45:06, just two seconds ahead of Catrin Jones, the 2010 Victoria Marathon winner.

Eight races make up the Island Race Series. The next event is the Hatley Castle 8K on Feb. 19 on the grounds of Royal Roads University, followed by the rescheduled Cobble Hill 10K on Feb. 26.

Full race results are available at the Prairie Inn Harriers website, Pih.bc.ca.