Four of the Comox Valley’s top runners competed against some of the best in the country in this year’s Ottawa Marathon, held May 24.
This was the 41st annual edition of the race, which bills itself as the largest in the country. There were over 5,800 marathoners toeing the line on a warm spring day for a brisk running tour of many of the highlights of the Ottawa/Gatineau area.
While the runners started at 7 a.m. with near perfect temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius, the mercury climbed throughout the morning to a spirit-wilting 20-plus degrees that challenged even the toughest athlete. The relentless rolling hills added further obstacles along the 42.2 km route.
One of the highlights of the weekend’s events was a Canadian record set by our very own Roslyn Smith. She totally dominated the F6569 age group, finishing first and beating her nearest competitor by over two hours. She set the Canadian record of 3:44:37 in the process.
A CVRR club spokesperson noted that Roz has been training exceptionally hard, with many hours of long training miles and that the record is well deserved by this exceptional athlete.
Local mega-marathoner Janet Green showed that she still has speed in her legs as she also finished first in her age group, winning F6064 in a stellar time of 3:56:24. Other competitors must have wondered where these superstars from Comox came from, as Janet also totally crushed her competition, finishing more than one hour in front of her nearest competitor.
Not to be outdone, Danny Keyes, a fast rising star on the masters’ running scene, had another huge performance, making it look almost routine as he broke the magical three-hour barrier in the marathon for the second time in succession, finishing in 2:58:25. That was good enough for seventh place out of 388 in the very competitive M5054 age group and 136th overall. “Look for big things ahead for Mr. Keyes,” a CVRR spokesperson said.
Falling closely behind Danny was local veteran Wayne Crowe (Extreme Runners/Asics). He showed a great deal of mental toughness as he battled through to finish a respectable fourth M5559 and 227 overall.
Keep an eye out for CVRR runners at a number of events coming up on the local scene, including the Country Roads Marathon and Half Marathon on June 13, The Fifth Street Mile July 1 and the Nautical Days Four Miler Aug. 3.
It’s never too late to start training.
– Comox Valley Road Runners