© Copyright - 2013 - Athletics Illustrated
Jim Finlayson of Victoria, BC will attempt to take down the Canadian master’s (40-plus) age-group record for the half-marathon, Sunday March 23rd at the Comox Valley Half Marathon in Courtney, BC. The current record is held by Kingston, Ontario’s Steve Boyd, which stands at hour and six minutes and thirty-three seconds. The race starts at 11:00 AM PST.
Finlayson ran the Synergy Health Bazan Bay 5k two weeks earlier in the time of 14:55. He did so in the middle of a workout – all in preparation for racing the half-marathon. When asked about his current fitness Finlayson said, “Fitness is good. I was very happy with the 14:55. We put that race smack in the middle of a longer workout and weren't sure what to expect. It was a good sign.”
Coach Trent Stellingwerff provided nearly the same response, “It is a very difficult record and right near Jim’s limits – so not much wiggle room. Thus, it will depend on good wind, weather, pacing and race plan execution, along with feeling great on race day.”
Finlayson’s marathon personal best is 2:18:21. He is twice the Canadian marathon champion. His half-marathon personal best is 1:05:41 and has run as fast as 29:21 for 10,000m. He competed in the NCAA division one for the University of Michigan under famed coach Ron Warhurst.
He owns the current master’s course record which is 67:29 from 2012. The fastest time run on the course was done by Jon Brown in 2005. Brown completed the course in 63:57, two years later he ran the second fastest time on the course of 64:55. In 1994 Kelvin Broad ran the Comox Valley 20k in 63:25.
Asked about his chances of taking the record, his response was realistic, “I think I'm close to the mark. If I wake tomorrow and the skies are clear and the flags have fallen straight down and it's not too cold, those are the first things I need. And then I need a current to be running through my legs. If these are our conditions, I can get it. I don't have any wiggle room though.”
The Comox Valley Half Marathon is race number eight of the BC Timex Road Race Series and race number six of the Frontrunners Vancouver Island race series.
*He owns a world record in the Beer Mile. Finlayson ran it in the time of 5:09. His beer of choice was Granville Island’s Winter Ale in a bottle.