Daniels, Stellingwerff tops at Bazan Bay 5K

Sunny Sidney-by-the-Sea draws more than 600 runners for annual Bazan Bay footrace.

Chris and Talia Neufeld of North Vancouver were all smiles after the Bazan Bay 5K on March 8.

Beautiful weather March 8 contributed to an excellent turnout to the Synergy Health Management Ltd. Bazan Bay 5K footrace.

More than 600 people finished the event and Lochside Drive in Sidney was lined with plenty of supporters.

University of Calgary runner Stefan Daniels placed first overall in a time of 15 minutes and 11 seconds (15:11). He was followed in second by the University of Victoria’s Ben Weir (15:18) and Shoayb Baseal (15:24) in third.

The top woman overall was Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff from Victoria at 16:26, followed by Alison Hooper of Victoria (16:37) and Erin Burrett of Nanaimo (16:34), who was the 2014 event’s top female runner.

It was a comeback race for Stellingwerff, according to the Vancouver Island Runners Association. She had her first child eight months ago and this event is the start of her preparations to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Runners from the Saanich Peninsula also turned in good times.

Sidney’s Peterson Perrin came 26th overall in a time of 16:46.

North Saanich’s Finn Battersby, racing in the men’s 01 to 15 age category, completed the course in 17:39.

Lucy Smith from Sidney ran the event in 17:39 — as she and Battersby were neck-and-neck at the finish line.

Saanichton’s Simon Thomson ran in at 18:19 and was followed not long after by Randy Humble, the Town of Sidney’s chief administrative officer.

Seen as a quick race,  an estimated 618 people finished with an average time of 25:26.

The Bazan Bay 5K is the fifth race in a series of eight events in the Frontrunners Island Race Series. The next events are the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon on March 22, Merville 15K on April 12 and Sooke River 10K on April 19. See vira.bc.ca for more details.