Erin Burrett is Queen of Westwood Lake for another year. The Nanaimo long distance runner won her fifth straight Run for the Mountain, which circles the popular Nanaimo recreation spot on a six-kilometre loop, on Saturday.
Burrett was the first female runner across the line in 21:53, and 12th overall. Wendy Simms was the second woman to finish in 24:51.
This was the eighth year of the run or walk race, which raises funds for Mount Benson Regional Park, and 271 racers finished this year.
"Winning my fifth consecutive crown is pretty special to me as the Run for the Mountain is my one hometown race that I tend to be able to fit into my schedule," said Burrett in an email.
"What better reason to run for than to save Mount Benson. It is the backdrop of our city and I would hate to see it ruined. It was definitely memorable to win the first four years, but to hit five in a row and to crush my own course record in the process, it definitely made me smile."
Burrett just returned from high altitude training in Flagstaff, Ariz., and is off to the Canadian 10K championships in Toronto on Saturday, flying out on Thursday. She is already seeing the work pay off from her training, smashing her old course record of 23:30 by more than a minute-and-a-half.
Peter Oxland was the fastest overall runner on the day, finishing the course in 20:56, while Shelby Drope was second in 21:00 Anthony Serbon third in 21:10. Miles Huynh (21:15) then edged out Royd Burkart (21:16) to round out the top five.
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