Shawnigan Hills parkrun report for Dec. 21 and 28

Visitors from afar help make holiday runs successful

Runners line up at the start of the Dec. 21 Shawnigan Hills parkrun. (Submitted)

Runners line up at the start of the Dec. 21 Shawnigan Hills parkrun. (Submitted)

The rain held off for the 13th Shawnigan Hills parkrun on Dec. 21, with a group of 18 runners and walkers finishing the 5K course. Six runners had best times at the course, including first-place male finisher Pieter Devries, in 23:30. Thanks to all the volunteers, Craig Brown, Jeremy Fehr, Mark Fellner, Paul Morris, Jeff Wright, Meghan Gillmore and race director Anita Gillmore, for ensuring a great event.

This was a first-time run at Shawnigan Hills for four participants. The group included Sarah and Mark Fellner, who are visiting from Ireland and were excited to bring their eight-year-old grandson Eric Stewart, who lives in Youbou, to his first ever parkrun.

“The course winds through the Shawnigan Lake School campus, and is really scenic,” Sarah Fellner commented. “Yes, there are a few hills as advertised in the event name, always a challenge but fun to get done. It was great to see a group of walkers here too — there is a place here for people of every speed looking to get some exercise and to meet friends — new and old. As usual, several people went to Shawnigan Coffee House afterward to celebrate and have a little pre-Christmas cheer. We really enjoyed our visit to the most westerly parkrun on the planet!”

On Dec. 28, parkrun number 14, our final event of 2019, welcomed four first timers: Reid and Madison Boulter and Paula and Brad Kornelson, and saw regular walkers Jackie De Jong and Greg Hamilton achieve personal best times. Nancy Baxendale was first finisher.

Since our first event back in September we have averaged 22 runners per week, had 16 different first finishers, 116 runners and 94 personal best times. We have also had a total of 34 different volunteers.

What will 2020 bring to Shawnigan Hills parkrun?

Register now at Walk, jog, run, volunteer or simply come and watch — it’s up to you.

Next run: Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 a.m.

– Mark Swannell, organizer

Cowichan Valley Citizen