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Record turnout at the 2024 Comox Valley Half Marathon

Olympian Natasha Wodak was the first female to cross the finish line

Hundreds of people from across the Island and beyond laced up their shoes and participated in this year’s Comox Valley Half Marathon on Sunday morning (March 24).

Race director and runner Rob Kelly was delighted by this year’s turnout, noting it surpassed his expectations.

“Our old record for the most runners was 600 participants. Today I think we’re going to have 800 finishers, so it’s a big growth,” Kelly said. “(We received) over a thousand registrations.”

For the past 30 years, this long-standing tradition has been pushing runners to their limits.

“(This event) is part of the Vancouver Island Race series,” Kelly said. “(It’s a total) of eight races that happen every year, between January and April, in different communities across the Island.

“(This) is the longest race of the series and it’s a very popular one. People like it because you have quite a big climb on the way out, but you have a chance for a very fast return… and run the second half faster than the first one.”


Dusty Spiller, an amateur runner from Maple Bay, was the first to cross the finish line, completing the race shortly after 1:09:00.

“Today’s run was hard,” Spiller said. “It didn’t feel good right from the start, but I paced with second place for quite a while. When he dropped off a little bit, I ran scared like the last five kilometres.

“I wanted (to finish) about a minute faster, but it was still a personal best for me.”

Two years ago, Spiller transitioned from triathlon and fully dedicated himself to running. Now, the man has his eyes set on the Vancouver Marathon in May, aiming to complete the race in under 2:20:00.

Shortly after Spiller, Olympian Natasha Wodak was the first female runner to cross the finish line with a time of 1:11:50.

“I’m trying to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Wodak said. “I’m racing a marathon in Hamburg, Germany, in five weeks to try and run the Olympic qualification standard.” 

With a large smile on her face, the Vancouver athlete told the Record that the race provided her the opportunity to meet her running coach, who lives on the Island.

“(This is a) good training to get in a really good and hard effort. That’s exactly what we did and it was a lot of fun,” Wodak added. “It was great to be able to come out here.”

“It’s a very tough course, but it’s good to run those courses because they make you tough.”

Kelly extended his thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors whose help and support made the event a success.

For more information about the Comox Valley Half Marathon and the race’s results, visit

RELATED: Comox Valley runners step it up in a couple of recent races

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Olivier Laurin

About the Author: Olivier Laurin

Olivier is a bilingual multimedia journalist from Montréal, Québec. He possesses a deep curiosity and a passion for exploring the connections between people and their communities.
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