More than 200 athletes from the Comox Valley joined almost 12,000 participants in the 32nd annual Victoria GoodLife Fitness Marathon on the Thanksgiving weekend.
With perfect running conditions, numerous course and age group records were set in the races which included a marathon, half marathon, an 8K race and a kids’ race. Thomas Omwenga of Kenya was the overall winner of the men’s marathon in a blistering course record of 2:14:33. Lucy Njeri, hailing from Toronto, also set a course record winning the women’s marathon in 2:37:56. Half marathon winners were John Ricardi of Indiana in 1:07:30 and Natasha Wodak from Port Moody in a course record 1:15:23.
B.C. triathlete Kyle Jones, who placed well in the 2011 Comox Valley Half Marathon, won the 8K in 24:12 followed closely by local product Jeremiah Ziak in 24:31. The women’s 8K was won by Hiliary Stellingwerff of Victoria in 28:01.
There were many notable results from numerous local participants during the race weekend. One of the highlights was Janet Green completing her 250th marathon, running 3:47:22 for a third place finish W55-59. Norma Axford-Couch placed first in F60-64 in 3:50:55. Les Disher had a great race placing 2/40 in M60-64, very close to that magical sub three hour barrier in a fantastic time of 3:02:22. Keith Wakelin notched yet another sub three in his belt, finishing in 2:57:35 to place 4/110 M50-54. Vince Brotherston, on pace for sub 2:50, suffered through severe cramping to complete his first marathon in 3:04:03, 6/115 M45-49. Completing the second place CVRR masters’ marathon team was Danny Keyes who ran another Boston Qualifier in 331:14, 22/113 M50-54.
Leading the Comox Valley contigent in the Half Marathon was Neil Holm (Extreme Runners/Adidas), winner of the M45-49 group, placing 10th overall in 1:14:19. Brad Crowe lead the Comox Valley Road Runners to a third place in the team competition, setting a PR of 1:20:38 and placing 4/223 in M30-34. Other team members included; Terry Nielsen 9/240 M45-49, 1:26:27, Frank Graham 9/249 M50-54,1:27:37, Claude Poirier 18/240 M45-49, 1:30:31, Jerry Van 17/249 M50-54 1:31:39 and Chris Winkelaar 29/234 M40-44 1:36:51.
The 8K highlights included Andrew Howard placing 13th, overall 4/79 M25-29 in 27:33, followed closely by Robin Poirer, 16th overall, 5/79 M25-29 in 27:40. Duncan Stewart ran 33:28 4/81 M55-59.Emily Keyes continues to show she is a rising star by finishing third in the 12 and under girls race in a very fast time of 36:57. In the Kids’ Race, held on the lawn of the Legislature building, Charlie and Sequoia Bridges represented the Comox Valley with their youthful enthusiasm and incredibly fast feet.
There were far too many extraordinary races to review them all here. For full race results and to check out local performances, go the the official website at www.runvictoriamarathon.com.
– Comox Valley Road Runners