Four Comox Valley Road Runners (CVRR) travelled to the Scotia Bank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to battle the best runners in the nation at the Canadian Marathon Championships on Oct. 18. They joined over 3,800 other racers, including many international athletes, on a cold, clear day to take on the challenge.
Overall winner of the race was Ishhimael Chenton in a time of 2:09:00, while the women’s winner was Shure Demise in a time of 2:23:37. A highlight of the event was Canadians Eric Gillis (2:11:31) and Lani Marchant (2:28:09) punching their tickets to the Rio Olympics by meeting the very rigid qualifying standards.
With the weather temperatures dropping down to minus 3 degrees and snow flurries in the forecast, racers were fortunately greeted with clear blue skies and light breezes on race morning. The race course led the runners through the city of Toronto and along the waterfront, to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of spectators, to the finish line 42.2 km away.
The marathon is a cruel test of endurance that challenges even the strongest of competitors. Each entrant must endure months of hard training just to gain the strength and endurance to get to the start line. They then have to manage the artful balance of pacing, hydration, nutrition and mental strength to successfully complete the race.
CVRR runners had excellent finishes and showed why they are known as one of the strongest clubs in the nation. Brian Stewart continued his breakthrough season, finishing 98th overall and winning first place in the men’s 55-59 division in a time of 2:55:09.
He was followed closely by hard charging Danny Keyes who capped off a great year by finishing 5th in M50-54 and 100th overall in 2:55:23. Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/Asics) was also crowned Canadian champion, finishing 106th overall and dominating M60-64 to take first place by 12 minutes in front of the second place age group finisher in a time of 2:56:34.
Mike Bridges, the fourth member of the CVRR team, felt the wrath of this challenging and unforgiving event as he was forced to slow after an excellent first half, but still managed a respectable 3:20 finish.
The local racers will now enjoy some well-deserved downtime, and perhaps even a little dessert, before they join fellow Comox Valley Road Runners to begin their preparation for the 2016 Vancouver Island Race Series and other international events including Boston and London marathons.
CVRR welcomes both recreational and competitive runners to their club. For information about club events and membership go to their website at cvrr.ca.