A powerhouse team of local runners participated in the Eugene Marathon last month and in the Vancouver Marathon May 5.
Eugene, Ore. is known as Track Town USA. Normally, the marathon finishes at the famous Hayward Field track. Due to construction this year, the race finished on the 50-yard line of the Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon. Conditions were perfect: sunny but cool with a light breeze.
In the half marathon, Danny Keyes pushed hard through the race to run 1:26 and win his age group. In the marathon, Rob Kelly took a solid step toward the three-hour barrier by running a 3:03 to win his age group. Wayne Crowe also won his category in the marathon, running a gritty race to finish in 3:15.
Another determined group of locals focused on one of the biggest races in the region: the Vancouver Marathon. A beautiful course winds through UBC, along Spanish Banks and Kits Beach, across the Burrard Street Bridge and follows the Seawall around Stanley Park. Strong winds in the park made for challenging conditions.
The group was led by Jonathan Noel, who ran an impressive 2:59. Even more impressive is his plan to follow up with the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. Close behind was Derek Vinge, who also ran 2:59. Les Disher ran a 3:19 to win his age group. Brian Payton battled through to run 3:28. And Janet Green continued her marathon streak, running a 4:20 to win her category. Derek Brenchley experienced a new side of the event by running as a pace bunny. This means that he runs at a specific set pace to help other runners achieve their marathon goals.
The next local running event is the Canada Day 5th Street Mile, a fun run that takes place along 5th Street in Courtenay immediately before the Canada Day parade. The family event is free of charge.