ALERT BAY—Andrew Warner strolled up to the registration table to learn he was nine minutes late for the start of the Salmon Run 5k and 10k run/walk event Sunday morning.
That was three minutes too many.
Matt Nestman, 29, claimed the top spot in the 5-kilometre event in a time of 25 minutes, 34 seconds. Warner, who pinned on his running bib and gave chase to a pack that had long since disappeared from view, wound up passing all but Nestman and claimed second place by outdueling local teen Aidan Carey in a sprint to the finish.
Warner, timed from the start of the race that he missed, finished in 31:13, with Carey following one second back in third.
The 10-k victory went to local nurse Nicole James, who topped a small field of a half-dozen runners in the longer event.
“That was me?” James exclaimed after volunteer Heather Nelson-Smith announced her time as 54 minutes even. “Wow.”
James said he usually trains only on roads, but Sunday’s 10-k involved a long uphill climb followed by extensive trail running before runners returned to the road and the downtown finish.
“The trails are my handicap,” James said. “And I walked the hill.”
She was still fast enough to lead men’s winner David Nolie, who ran with his dog Midas to a second-place overall finish in 1:03. Carrie Baldwin was third in 1:07.
The women’s 5-k win went to Sarah Carey, Aidan’s younger sister, in a time of 45:49. Olivia James showed herself a worthy successor to her mother, placing second just five seconds back, in 45:54. Beth Dunlop was third in 47:22.
The fun run and walk, which debuted in 2010 but was not held the next two years, was held to raise money to establish an after-school running program for students and to help start a local running/walking club.
“Anything for heart health,” said Nelson-Smith.
Several sponsors contributed, and the ‘Namgis Band chipped in cash prizes for the winners. All participants were eligible for prizes, which were drawn following the kids’ spring held immediately after the Salmon Run. T-shirts were designed by local Kwakwaka’wakw artist Don Svanvik and could be purchased or claimed as a prize.
In all, 44 runners and walkers took part.