34th Annual Gunnar Shaw X-Country Classic

The 3rd race of the Thetis Lake Fall Series, the 34th Annual Gunnar Shaw X-Country Classic, was held at Thetis Lake 24 Nov. The weather was favourable…cool and cloudy conditions. The runners would face 6 significant hills and 3 major puddles. Covering approx. 10k, 177 runners would hit the cold puddle #3 (the shoe wash) to cross the line.

The Overall Winner (OA) was PIH’s Andre Russell (30-39) in a time of 34:59. The OA Female was Melissa Ross (30-39) with a 40:12 and 12 OA. The top Male Master was former Olympian Jon Brown (40-49) with a 36:06 and 5th OA. The top Female Master was Elizabeth Swiggum (40-49) with a 45:13 and 31st OA.

STARR had 2 runners on the course. In his 1st Gunnar, David White (40-49) hit the beach at 53:09 and 62nd OA. Congratulations…good Kusam training. Acting as the customary course sweeper, our ironman Bruce Hawkes (60 till death), was the last one in with a 1:30:10 and 18th OA. Well done to all. You all deserve a pat on the back. Till next year…HAPPY TRAILS.

STARR 2018 Holiday Events

1. Please remember to sign up for a Fill A Fire Truck food donation collecting shift if you would like to support STARR’s efforts to help the Sooke Food Bank & Christmas Bureau.

2. STARR Holiday Event: We will be holding a run and lunch on Dec. 1. Please meet at the Stickleback West Coast Eatery at 10:30 a.m. for a run followed by lunch at the restaurant. Please note updated time. This is a family event so please feel free to bring spouses and children for the run/walk and lunch.

3. Jan. 1 Festivities: Ring in the new year with a run, swim and social. Please meet at the Whiffin Spit parking lot at 10:30 a.m. for a run. We go in the water for the Polar Bear Swim at noon. Steve and Diane have graciously invited us for a social at their place in the afternoon.

2018 Thetis Lake Relay


The Sooke Trail and Road Runners had a fun and successful day at the 2018 Thetis Lake Relay. The club had four teams in this year's event with 16 runners making the 5K loop around Thetis Lake. 

The STARR super veterans men's squad, The Running Dead, finished third. The senior mixed team got a dishonorable mention  for worst name for its placeholder “We need a team name.”

Leslie Ann’s Diabetes Update

Although things didn’t materialize as planned due to my arm injury and half marathon nixed by my orthopedic surgeon, I managed to complete the 8km event in Victoria for Diabetes Canada earlier today. I am equally pleased that I was able to raise $725 for research and programs for the Diabetes Canada. I was diagnosed nearly 43 years ago and am living proof that the research dollars invested over the past 40 years have made a huge difference to those living with diabetes. So, I thank you for all of your generous support this past year. I thought that you might also enjoy a recap of the experience.

I started raising funds about a year ago, with a goal of running the Victoria half marathon today.  But in May, a significant fall causing a serious humerus bone break (arm), followed by surgery, a plate and 10 pins, side-lined my ability to run and train for the race.  One of the first questions I asked my surgeon post-surgery was whether or not I’d be able to run a half marathon in October, as running and cycling were off the table for “a while.”  His response was a direct and clear “no’” followed by a comment, “I hope you can get your money back.” He did say I could walk with no issues so I started building a backup plan which turned out to be the 8k event today during the Victoria Marathon weekend of events. My goal was to walk 75% and run 25%.

The day started out quite drizzly and as I lined up with the other runners at the start line in front of the famous Empress Hotel, I felt very lucky to be able to run. I checked my blood sugar and scaled back my insulin for the duration of the run. I was ready.  The course is a bit more hilly than I expected but it is a lovely course starting on Victoria’s Harbour front and winding through the downtown core of the city. It then climbs away from the inner harbor through residential neighbourhoods.  While I hustled along the course, I was able to take in the sites and the runners of all ages and abilities in all sorts of clothing from singlets to a winter coat.  I saw some inspiring participants with clear physical disabilities each one out there focused on a personal goal, I am sure. By the time I hit the half way mark, the full marathon, half marathon and 8km course converge at Beacon Hill Park and a scenic view of Victoria’s larger harbour.  The word “hill” was not lost on me, that’s for sure.  My slowest km of the course was from 4-5km which proves the need for more uphill training.  The fog and rain distracted from the view that could have been, but boats and the shoreline were still quite visible and was a lovely part of the course. By km 6 was arm was protesting  but my blood sugar level was staying quite normal so continued with my walk-run schedule.  By the time I could see the finish line the rain was coming down harder but I was happy.  It can be emotional to finish a race but doing it for such a worthy cause in a year of challenges made that finish line all of the more rewarding this time. It was my longest run since May and that too felt equally rewarding to hit another milestone.

Thanks for all of your support be it through my various book sales, encouragement and general donations. 


Thanks, Leslie Ann

 Post race, wet but smiling after the finish line, wearing her medal

Post race, wet but smiling after the finish line, wearing her medal

Run Spotlight: Broom Hill

 The run up Broom Hill offers amazing views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The run up Broom Hill offers amazing views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

By Jackie Eddy

One of my many favourite runs, number one is Broom Hill! Always different, always beautiful and always an accomplishment reaching the top. There are many trails so the run is never exactly the same; it can be shorter or longer whatever mood strikes or whatever trail you accidentally end up on!! This ‘mountain’ gem in the middle of Sooke has undergone so many changes in the last 10 years. Houses are creeping - no they galloping up the south and east faces. Taking the optimistic view though, if you enjoy a good uphill run without the twists and turns and rocks and roots, the new roads created will surely satisfy that craving!

But back to the trails. Keep your eyes open, and feet high. Slow down when something catches your breath, the views, the trees, the flowers, mushrooms edible and - not! Old fallen logs double as bridges on some trails and some of these are nearing the end of even that life and returning to the land. For all the effort you extend in running to the ‘top’ - rewards await.

My favourite stops are what I call Sacred Rock 1 and Sacred Rock 2. This is where I replenish the energy spent getting here. Take a few minutes to embrace the ever-changing views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Sooke waterways. A feast for body and soul. Absorb the beauty and energy of mother earth from her gift of Broom Hill and you will be set for the rest of the day.

If you haven’t been before or it’s been a while - go while the magic is still there.

 Liz and Jackie at the top of Broom Hill.

Liz and Jackie at the top of Broom Hill.

STARRs enjoy Tom Burgess Memorial event

 Relaxing after a hike up to Peden Lake and a swim.

Relaxing after a hike up to Peden Lake and a swim.

Hike, swim, and potluck with friends ... what else could be better?

The Sooke Trail and Road Runners held their second Tom Burgess Memorial event on July 8 in honour of their late former president and founding member. Almost 30 people hiked up to Peden Lake. A number of hikers took to the lake to cool off. After the hike home, the group headed to a great potluck social. Thank you to Jackie and Danny for hosting!


 Cabin at Peden Lake

Cabin at Peden Lake