Jason Welland

Jason Welland

10 years of Great Lake Walk history

With this year’s Great Lake Walk being the 10th Annual, there are therefore 10 years of interesting history to the event.


With this year’s Great Lake Walk being the 10th Annual, there are therefore 10 years of interesting history to the event.

Thus far, $668,761 has been raised for various charitable causes, as a result of participants’ fund-raising efforts to causes of their choice.

The event has always taken place the third Saturday in September, rain or shine.

The following are some of the notable things from the past 10 years’ worth of events, complied from the Lake Cowichan Gazette’s archives.

2002 – This was the inaugural year of the now annual Great Lake Walk.

In total, 778 people entered, and 703 completed the 56 kilometre jaunt around Cowichan Lake.

This year’s event was notable for having 90-year-old local man Archie Greenwell take part in, and complete, the walk, at a time of 13 hours, 42 minutes, and 20 seconds.

“I think what got me here is determination,” he said, once he reached the finish line.

The inaugural event raised $96,406.

2003 – This year saw $80,000 raised for charitable causes.

2004 – This year was notable for local man Mike Gravelle finishing the Great Lake Walk, a mere 14 months after having a double lung transplant as a result of multiple sclerosis.

This year saw about $62,000 raised.

2005 – There was quite the age range in this year’s event, from local 11-year-old Taylor Johnson, to 82-year-old Courtenay man Percy Wilde.

Of this year’s 400 participants, 22 were from Cowichan Lake.

2006 – The fifth annual event had 500 participants; 48 who had participated in all five events.

2007 – The record Great Lake Walk completion time of 4:35:28 was clocked by Campbell River man Jason Welland.

Robyn Versteege, 8, was the youngest to participate, while Ford Miller, 11, was the youngest male to finish.

2008 – Belinda Waller was the first local person to finish, completing the Great Lake Walk shortly after 11 a.m.

2009 – Local 18-year-old Thomas Marrs, a recent Lake Cowichan Secondary School graduate, finished with a time of 5:59:23, followed a few minutes later by father Ben Marrs, at 6:12:19.

2010 – Thomas Marrs, now 19 and of Paldi, becomes the first local person to place first in the Great Lake Walk, at a time of 4:37:24.

His time was just a few minutes away from the 2007 record time of 4:35:28.

Pearson College instructor Seb Falk, 29, places second a few seconds after Marrs, followed by Honeymoon Bay man John Quested, 64, at 5:32:36.


A decade of finalists

2002 – Carlos Castillo (Victoria) – 5:08:50

2003 – Rob Grant (Victoria) – 4:50:59

2004 – Bob Wall (Campbell River) – 4:47:59

2005 – Jason Welland (Campbell River) – 4:55:27

2006 – Nick Waller (Victoria) – 4:40:40

2007 – Jason Welland (Campbell River) – 4:35:28

2008 – Jason Welland (Campbell River) – 4:37:58

2009 – Rob Fontaine (Campbell River) – 4:40:16

2010 – Thomas Marrs (Paldi) – 4:37:24