One again this year, weather conditions were ideal for the running festival held in Victoria every Thanksgiving weekend. And once again, a large number of Nanaimo-area runners were on hand to take part.
Last Sunday marked the 34th annual edition of the Victoria Marathon, held in conjunction with half-marathon and eight-kilometre events staged along the scenic Dallas Road waterfront. Perhaps aided by the perfect weather, Kenyan athlete Lamech Mokono set a new time record for the Victoria race, finishing the 42.2-kilometre marathon distance in just 2 hours, 13 minutes and 42 seconds. Amazing.
Behind the swift Mokono, a field of 1723 other runners, joggers and walkers completed the full marathon in a variety of times. Fastest of those from Nanaimo was Tanya Kormendy, who was 128th overall and fifth in the F30-34 age division with a fine time of 3:13:55.
Next came Scott Sheffield in 3:21:16, good for 184th in the large field. Glen Reed placed 209th in 3:24:26, Quentin Proud was 217th in 3:25:26 and Brian Curley placed 220th in 3:25:51. Lantzville’s Kathy Sihota ranked third in the F40-44 division and 250th overall with her time of 3:28:43. Jason Ryper was 301st in 3:33:32, George Clark 304th in 3:33:59 and Shannon Kavanagh 353rd in 3:37:21. Morgan Kennah crossed the finish line in 3:43:43, good for 439th overall and Gerry Boutin’s time of 3:44:17 gave him 445th. Other local runners who completed the marathon distance in less than four hours were Nathan Taylor in 3:52:18 and Kevin O’Donnell who squeaked in with a time of 4:00:08.
Meanwhile, another 4672 athletes competed in the 21.2km half-marathon event, won by Kelly Wiebe from Vancouver in 1:04:58. First to the finish among Nanaimo runners was Brian Zurek, 19th overall and fifth in the M35-39 category with a time of 1:15:50. In 49th spot, eighth in the M30-34 group, was Damian Allen in 1:21:55.
Bill Corsan finished 56th thanks to a time of 1:22:41. In 83rd place, eighth in the M45-49 category, was Edwin Johnston with a 1:25:46 posting. Taking sixth in the M50-54 division and 90th overall, was Malcolm McAdie in 1:26:12.
Robert Shurniak finished in 1:26:31 for 91st place, Brian Dick was 163rd in 1:32:01 and Jeff Taylor 169th in 1:32:25. A time of 1:32:58 gave Jon Hillier 177th overall and Darren Katila was 180th with his time of 1:33:04. Also in the top two hundred of the half-marathon field was Maurice Clavett, whose finish in 1:33:21 earned him 183rd overall and third in the M60-64 age division.
Another large crowd, 2603 to be exact, took part in the 8km race in Victoria. The fastest of them all was Victoria’s Olivier Collin, who completed the course in just 24 minutes and 40 seconds. Of the Nanaimo contingent, first to the finish was Byron Trajan. Trajan’s time of 27:53 gave him 14th overall as well as third in the M30-34 age category.
Special congratulations go to Carter Higgins. The Nanaimo Track and Field Club member placed first in the M13-15 division of the race and 27th in the entire field, with an excellent time of 29:52.
Neil Gaudet finished in 31:02, good for fifth in the M40-44 category and 34th overall. Yanna Debelic was third in the F40-44 division and 65th in the field with her time of 33:54. A time of 36:10 gave Alex Counsell 131st position. Logan Watchorn was 157th, ninth in the M13-15 age group with his finish in 36:49. Claiming fourth in the F55-59 division and 238th overall, was Denise Bonin with a time of 38:36. Other locals in the top three hundred for the 8K race were Fernando Fuentes, 240th in 38:43, Joel Martinflatt who was 259th in 39:01 and Ivan Eggers with a time of 39:07 for 275th place in the field.
Congratulations to all the locals who took part in any one of the Victoria races. You certainly earned your Thanksgiving dinner!
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Thursdays.