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Gryphon Gallery: The Longmuirs

Kim and Randy Longmuir both came from Winnipeg. They arrived in Victoria in 1983 and secured teaching positions in 1985 at what was to become a year later, GNS. Kim started as a primary teacher at Norfolk House and Randy as an elementary teacher at Glenlyon.

During their stay, they became valuable members of the team in the fledgling GNS that started out with many similar traditions, values and a culture adopted from their respective schools. Two of these mainstay traditions were the cross-country and track programs, which they both supported and coached as a means of fulfilling their own passion for running. At the junior level they helped turn the school’s young runners into a force to be reckoned with at the local and provincial ISA levels.

In 1992 they were blessed with a baby girl, and Kim took on full-time motherhood while Randy carried on for four more years as co-assistant Director at the Beach. In 1996, they chose to leave the school and pursue other interests, settling in Parksville. Randy became a financial planner, while Kim began teaching music classes to preschoolers, as well as instructing her very popular adult “Ready, Set, Run” programs. In 1999, Randy turned to local politics and was elected to Parksville’s city council. In 2002 he became the mayor, an office he held until 2005. Kim became recreation programmer for Nanaimo and then Arrowsmith districts, and all the while, they kept running and coached at the Oceanside Track & Field Club.  

Happily contributing their time, expertise, and passion for running, they started the Mid-Island Distance Club, coaching and mentoring local grade eight to 12  student runners from the Oceanside area. Their only requirement for club membership was determination, which they needed themselves to possess their national high performance coaching certifications. Many of their young athletes went on to compete at Vancouver Island, provincial, national and international events. Notable athletes out of their programme have included Thomas Riva (2015 National 1500m champion), Thomas Oxland (U Sports 1500m National champion), and Alycia Butterworth, who represented Canada at the World Championships and Tokyo Olympic Games.

If that were not reward in itself, they were both selected to the coaching staff of Team BC and received an Excellence Coaching Award from BC Athletics.

Kim and Randy announced their retirement from coaching this Summer, but their involvement in the community hasn’t slowed down.

“One of our main activities now is fundraising for a new, safe and accessible track for all ages in Parksville. We also lead adult walking groups and find time to hike, spin, and garden,” they’ve said. It is hard to imagine the Longmuirs will ever really retire as they move on to new adventures and challenges!