Martinson sets a course record

Leader of the pack at Wilkinson Road early in the race, Geoff Martinson maintains his advantage on the field right to the end in course record time at the Cobble Hill 10 K. - Don Bodger
Leader of the pack at Wilkinson Road early in the race, Geoff Martinson maintains his advantage on the field right to the end in course record time at the Cobble Hill 10 K.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Geoff Martinson shattered the course record in the Cobble Hill 10 K race Sunday.

Martinson, 26, of Victoria ran away from the field in the second event of the Frontrunners Island Race Series, finishing in 30:46. That was a full 25 seconds better than the previous best on the course of 31:11 set by Steve Osaduik in 2008.

Martinson knew heading into the race that the course record was attainable for him.

“I thought about it,’’ he said. “I wasn’t sure, but I thought I’ve got to try.’’

Martinson took the pre-race hype about his capability of breaking the record in stride. As a first-timer on the course, he didn’t fully know what to expect.

“It’s challenging,’’ he said. “There’s rolling hills the whole way and a good uphill from 3 K to 5 K.’’

Martinson has a 1,500-metre race this weekend at the Richmond Oval at the Harry Jerome Indoor Games and thought the Cobble Hill event would be the perfect tune-up. His background is actually in middle distance track and he’s previously been to world championships as a member of the Canadian team.

Martinson’s road racing has been a bit more sporadic of late.

“I sort of put that on the shelf for now,’’ he said. “I’m moving into a new career in real estate. I still love running. Once you’re a runner, it’s hard to stop.’’

Two-time defending champion Sean Chester, a Chemainus Secondary School grad, sprinted past Andrew McCartney in the home stretch and took second place in 31:54, slipping under 32 minutes on the course for the first time.

“I kind of got a couple of steps on him late in the race,’’ said Chester of his push past McCartney. “I did know one of the turns coming up. That definitely clicked.

“I’ve been doing lots of training for the sprint at the end. It definitely paid off.’’

McCartney was third in 31:57.

A total of 532 runners finished the race.

Catrin Jones (35:57) nipped Lucy Smith (36:00) for top spot among the women.

Besides Martinson in men’s 25 to 29, Jones in 30 to 34 female, and Smith in masters female, two other age group records were set — Gary Duncan in men’s 55 to 59, and Valerie Gonzales in women’s 65 to 69.

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