"A running club that supports a social atmosphere and provides both competitive and recreational running opportunities within the community"

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      Nanaimo, also known as the Harbour City, sits at a latidtude and longitude of 49.10 N, 124.0 W. and is situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island which lies off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Being a terminus of the ferries between the Island and the Mainland and lying halfway between the southern capitol of Victoria and the northern city of  Courteney, sometimes gives Nanaimo the name of the Hub City. Nanaimo was originally a gathering place for five native tribes who gave it the name of Snenymo or "great and mighty people". In 1851 the Hudsons Bay Company set up a trading post here and built the Bastion, the oldest building in Nanaimo, and from which we take our name. Soon afterwards coal was discovered and the fortunes of Nanaimo took off. Nanaimo was literally built from coal. The city now has a diversified and thriving economy with a population of 80,000 and growing daily. It is blessed with spectacular scenery and abundance of parks and natural areas that are made for running.
   
        The Bastion Running Club is Nanaimo's running club, representing the city and the region from Nanoose to Ladysmith in the Vancouver Island Runner's Association. Members come from all walks of life, from doctors and lawyers to people in forestry and construction, from students to educators, from teen agers to seniors. Runners range in ability from those who run a 10K in under 35 minutes to those who started a 10 K in 2004 and we're still waiting to hear from. The one thing that binds us together is our love of running. While a few of our members have a dedication bordering on obsession, we are still primarily a social running group who would much prefer a run along the trails to attending a meeting.
 
     As running has progressed through the years and runners have sought out new challenges, BRC members have attended races in far flung places on the globe from the States, Latin America, Europe and Asia in search of new experiances and sensations. Running has given them the excuse and the m otivation to see the world and have some fun while veiling it thinly as trying to stay fit at such events as the Boston and the Berlin Marathons.  Sports have progressed to extreme measures and BRC members have progressed with it. Triathlons have given new meaning to the term taking it to the limit and an increasing number of members have taken taken up the sport. Many of them have done several Ironman competitions including Hawaii. Relay Races are another category of running that BRC  members are prone to, the Hood to Coast and the Haney to Harrison Relays being favourites. Now, adventure racing is growing in popularity and members are taking on mountains and trails, canoeing and kayaking, snowshoeing and slogging through the mud on mountain bikes in races of ever increasing difficulty.
 
      In order to promote running in the community, BRC volunteers at most of the many charity, fund runs, fun runs, school meets, etc. that are continually growing each year. There is hardly an event that goes by in Nanaimo where BRC members do not provide a finish line, timing or registration crew. Members volunteer their time with the Nanaimo Track Club to ease the coaching shortage and three of our members are coaching a high school cross country teams to provide them with an opportunity to participate in running they might not have had otherwise. Many of our members are also members of Runners of Compassion, a charitable organization of runners whose primary purpose is to enable disadvantaged kids to lead a healthy life.
 
     Giving back to the community in Nanaimo is the object of our donation program so Bastion sets aside 20% of its yearly income for a donation to the Morrell Nature Sanctuary where we run every Saturday. The resurfacing of the Rotary Bowl track is another area where Bastion feels it has to contribute and half of the proceeds from the 2008 Cedar 12 K was donated to the fund to resurface the track. 
      
      
                                                                                       History  
 
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    The Bastion Running Club has its roots in the early days of Nanaimo. At the turn of the century combustion powered fire engines were considered too unreliable and costly for anyone's comfort. Instead, human pulled fire carts were called upon when conflagrations arose. Gradually a legendary fire crew evolved, one that would never be equalled for speed, courage or dedication. They were mostly newly arrived immigrants from Ireland led by the Flying Faoide, Danny O'Donnell, and such was their skill they could be from their firehall downtown to a fire five miles away within half an hour and back at the pub within three hours. Theirs was to be a short lived reign, however, as one fateful summer in 1903 saw them disappear forever from the pages of history.

   During that period, Victoria was in the grips of a ruthless gang that ran everything from loansharking, gambling, and extortion, to drugs and whiteslavery. Police were helpless against the threat posed by these powerful organized criminals known as the Prairie Inn Harriers. Seeking to expand their empire even farther they began an arson campaign that lit up the Victoria area night after night. Every fire department from all over the Island was soon called upon to help the overstretched Victoria  crews. Dutifully, the Nanaimo boys hitched up their carts and ran the 100 miles down to Victoria in the record time for then of twelve hours and twenty three minutes. Immediately thrown into the most dangerous blaze in the city, a warehouse in danger of growing beyond all control, they discovered that they had left the adapters that would enable them to connect their hoses to the Victoria water supply back in their firehall. Undaunted, they turned their carts around and ran the 100 miles back to Nanaimo to pick up the adapters, and then ran 100 miles back to Victoria. The fire raged unchecked by this time and though the Nanaimo lads battled valiantly they knew in this case there was no hope of victory. The only thing left was to save the nearby Church if they could. Breaking out the axes, they attempted to create a fire break in the connecting house, but as they worked like demons inside the fire overtook them and all twelve of the Nanaimo Fire Department died that day. Vowing that their accomplishments would not be forgotten, the Nanaimo City Council  declared that an annual foot race would be held in their honour every year in Cedar.
 
 
     Notwithstanding all of this, the modern version of the Bastion Running Club was formed on July 14th, 1981 with seven members  at  its first  meeting.  The  name  is  fittingly  adopted  from Nanaimo's best known landmark, the Bastion on Front Street. Club colours are black, red and white. Over the years as many as 300 different runners have been members of BRC.



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