Runners take off in a downpour during the start of the 29th Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle June 18.

Runners take off in a downpour during the start of the 29th Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle June 18.

Twilight Shuffle will celebrate 30th anniversary in 2014

Race co-ordinator Phil Nicholls is working on ways to bring bigger crowds to the 30th Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle.

The 29th Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle 5K is barely over, but race co-ordinator Phil Nicholls is already hard at work planning the milestone 30th event.

One hundred and forty-one runners and walkers took part in this year’s event, held June 18 in downtown Chemainus under what started out as very rainy skies. That’s down from the 325 who took part last year.

Nicholls, a Chemainus native, started the Twilight Shuffle 29 years ago with his mother Lorna.

The event has seen numbers as big as almost 1,000 people, but participation has been dwindling, and Nicholls would love to see those numbers rise again.

The Twilight Shuffle started as a four-mile race.

“We evolved it to a five-kilometre distance, and now the plan will be to keep her going and have a big one for the 30th,” said Nicholls. “I would have liked to, as always, see more numbers in it [this year]. I have to do the work up in the area. My idea is to get some school challenge going, just to get it fun and big.”

Nicholls says the race started as a Sunday morning event and then became a Tuesday night run, and there could have been some confusion about the date. He thinks there may have also been confusion because when you search for the Twilight Shuffle on the Internet, past years come up with past dates, and a Twilight Shuffle in the U.S. comes up, so a dedicated website might help.

In the past, Nicholls says he did “go out on a limb” and add celebrity touches, with live entertainment  by musicians like Gord Bamford, George Canyon and Michelle Wright, and those brought large crowds, particularly for Wright’s performance in 2003.

Nicholls says the biggest year was probably 2005 or 2006 when two cast members from Trailer Park Boys entertained the crowd.

“Being as I’ve always co-ordinated it, I’ve always kind of worn the blame for it not being as big as it should’ve been,” said Nicholls. “And I do have the bar high — we’ve had it as high as 1,000, so that’s the bar.”

Despite the lower turnout and the downpour at the start of the race, Nicholls is happy with this year’s event.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with it again and all the support that comes from the Legion,” he said. “It all comes off very well, for sure.”

Nicholls is already looking ahead to next year’s 30th anniversary Legion Twilight Shuffle and has been busy planning how to make it bigger and better. The date has already been set for Tuesday, June 24, 2014, and Nicholls says he might try to find a way to tie in a running club from Victoria to draw runners up to Chemainus.

This year, the top overall male racer was 47-year-old Neil Holm, who finished the run in 17:16. Nancy Baxendale, 52, who crossed the finish line in 19:23.




Top 10 Overall

1. Neil Holm — 17:16 (M40-49)

2. Richard Light — 17:55 (M40-49)

3. Peter Holmes — 18:37 (M50-59)

4. Gary Ducan — 18:50 (M50-59)

5. Eric Hartford — 19:17 (M16-19)

6. Nancy Baxendale — 19:23 (F50-59)

7. Angela Etherington — 19:50 (F30-39)

8. Jason Papich — 20:02 (M40-49)

9. Dane Broere — 20:08 (M16-19)

10. Keating Teft — 20:34 (M11-15)


Age Group Winners

• 0-10

Female: Danika Adelborg, 7 — 32:54

Male: Dominic Adelborg, 9 — 34:45

• 11-15

Female: Nyah Miranda, 13 — 20:39

Male: Keating Teft, 15 — 20:34

• 16-19

Female: Emily Adams, 17 — 22:19

Male: Eric Hartford, 17 — 19:17

• 20-29

Female: Robin Younie, 22 — 30:08

Male: Taylor Adams, 21 — 20:56

• 30-39

Female: Angela Etherington, 36 — 19:50

Male: Rick Lane, 34 — 21:02

• 40-49

Female: T. Goldsbury, 44 — 23:39

Male: Neil Holm, 47 — 17:16

• 50-59

Female: Nancy Baxendale, 52 — 19:23

Male: Peter Holmes, 52 — 18:37

• 60-69

Female: Rae Trajan, 64 — 31:24

Male: Rhys Harrison, 66 — 21:08

• 70-79

Female: Christine Rodgers, 74 — 30:44

Male: Lynn Thompson, 74 — 26:31

• 80-99

Male: Jim McLean, 82 — 30:02