Ready, set, go! Oak Bay Kool Half Marathon will envelop municipality Sunday

  • May. 13, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Runner Britt Karlstrom

Runner Britt Karlstrom

For a first-time halfer, Britt Karlstrom is rather relaxed.

Just days before the Oak Bay Kool Half-Marathon, Karlstrom’s focus is on mind over matter.

“It’s amazing what the body is able to accomplish with the right support and realizing that your limitations are really in your head,” said the 37-year-old runner.

Though this Sunday’s race will be her first half, Karlstrom completed the Royal Victoria Marathon in 2001. “The body is able to take on more than you ever imagined.”

To get to this point, the mother of a seven-year-old boy has been running with a group. The self-professed fair-weather runner shed her distaste for rain and wind as she trained the last three months in preparation for the 21-kilometre Oak Bay event.

“It’s totally exciting to be involved with hundreds or thousands of people and you know that some of those people … (got) into running for various reasons,” she said. “Some of them have lupus, some have survived cancer. You think if they can do it, I can do it. It’s very inspirational.”

A half-marathon is unique from other race distances, said Dave Milne, owner of Peninsula Runners, the company that stages the event.

“(Halfs) require dealing with hills and valleys,” he said. “One minute you’re up, then the next you’re like, ‘oh God, when is this going to end?’

“A lot of people would be running this race (at a) faster (pace) than the (TC) 10K because they’re better runners. This is the next step up from the 10K.”

This year’s Oak Bay Half has about 900 registrants, coming from all over North America and even some from overseas.

The route takes runners from the starting line on Oak Bay Avenue at Wilmot Place, down Newport Avenue and through the streets of South Oak Bay. Then, it loops out to Beach Drive, which it follows all the way to Loon Bay Park before finishing back in the Village.

Runners start at 8 a.m., or 7 a.m. for those who take longer than two-and-a-half hours.

As participants cross the finish line, a voice familiar to many will announce their arrival.

Actor Matt Hill has voiced Care Bear Tenderheart in the new version of the show, as well as Raphael in the third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. He also played a deputy in the Jackie Chan comedy Shanghai Knights.

The Vancouver-based actor recently completed an 11,000-mile (17,700-kilometre) run across North America, called Run for One Planet. He also announced this year’s TC10K.

“I love runners and, no pun intended, I’ve got a few miles under my belt,” Hill said. “I respect the run and I know what it takes to run 10K to a half marathon, all the way to a full marathon. … I get lit (up) from them, seeing them reaching for their greatest run dream. It just fires me up every time.”

Without the support of the thousands of people who line the route on race day, the half would be difficult to compete, Milne said.

“It means everything,” he said of the cheering crowds.

“I think the residents of Oak Bay, they’re a nice group of people and I think they (know how to support the runners). Success breeds success, and I think Oak Bay has a lot of that.”

Karlstrom will watch for her husband, Jon Swoveland and son, Markus, cheering her from the sidewalk – that is, after Markus completes the Krazy Kids Kilometre.

“That’s really important, too,” Karlstrom said of the support. “It’s heartwarming to see those people out there just for you.”

Wee runners

• Six-year-old Shira Fisher, who has spinal muscular atrophy, will officially start the Krazy Kids Kilometre race, which begins at 10:30 a.m.

• The one-kilometre race, for kids under 10, carries a $10 entry fee, all of which goes to the Help Fill a Dream Foundation.

Just Posted

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read