Volkwyn early front-runner in handicap series

The Wednesday Night Running Club held its first 3-mile handicap race last week starting from the old butterfly farm on Lawrence Boulevard. 

Race 1 of the WNRC three-race series saw a storming run by Matthew Volkwyn take him from last to first place. 

As one of the two fastest runners registered, Volkwyn was last to leave the starting line, waiting patiently with Jo Mansi for their allotted seven-minute time handicap to expire. Volkwyn ran 17 minutes, 54 seconds and managed to overhaul Gareth Van Den Bergh (second) and Stuart Bray (third), both of whom started one minute ahead of him. 

Phil Brown (fourth) achieved a commendable personal best of 21:55, with the main pack following closely behind. 

Mansi ran 20:05, almost exactly as predicted, and only five seconds slower than her handicap time. She finished 10th overall as the second woman. Those five seconds proved vital as Jalene Cruz finished 10 seconds quicker than her handicap time and therefore 15 seconds ahead of Mansi, taking the first female spot with a run of 22:50. 

Other notable performances included father and teenage son Chris and Josh Weaver (the youngest athlete yet to compete) and Jacqueline Thomson, who recorded a personal best for 3 miles. The Weavers are best known as a cycling duo. 

The start times for Race 2 on Oct. 21 are calculated based on the first race’s times, so the winning feat will be hard to replicate for Volkwyn, especially given the tactical running evident from some of the more experienced competitors endeavoring to achieve an earlier starting slot next time out. 

The Jim Kelly Trophy is awarded to the runner who achieves the highest finishing places in the three races. Best two of three finishes count, so the club championship is still wide open. 

Matthew Volkwyn is the handicap series early leader. - PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD
Matthew Volkwyn is the handicap series early leader. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD

Jalene Cruz was the fastest woman.

Jalene Cruz was the fastest woman.