Weather conditions were ideal last month in Victoria, when more than 11,000 runners, joggers and walkers worked up an appetite for their turkey dinner.
The occasion was the 33rd annual Victoria Marathon, an event held every Thanksgiving weekend in the capital city. It was part of a hugely successful running festival that also included half-marathon and eight-kilometre races on scenic courses along the Victoria waterfront.
In the full 42.2-kilometre marathon event, Thomas Omwenga from Kenya successfully defended his title with a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 41 seconds, while Portland’s Hallie Janssen captured the women’s crown by finishing in 2:47:03.
An international field of over 1,600 runners completed the marathon course, with Nanaimo represented by some 30 participants. Leading the way for the locals with a very impressive performance was Jeremy Clegg, whose time of 2:36:38 gave him eighth overall and fifth in the M30-34 age division. Damian Allen placed 62nd in the large field with his time of 3:03:10. Mike Thibodeau finished in 3:11:22, good for ninth in the M45-49 class and 94th overall. Also in the top 100 was Darren Seaman, 98th with his finish of 3:11:49.
First Nanaimo female to the finish line was Jane Campbell Arnold, who earned fourth in the F45-49 division and 121st overall with a time of 3:14:18. Edwin Johnston was 148th in 3:18:42, Yanna Debelic 249th in 3:30:50 and Norman King 267th in 3:32:46. Gillian Tidey placed seventh in the F20-24 class, 406th overall in 3:44:33, while Stephen Notley was 433rd in 3:45:37, good for sixth in the M19/under division. Also in the top 500 overall were Kevin Stedman, 454th with his time of 3:47:25 and Dave Shillabeer who was 496th and eighth in the M60-64 group at 3:50:18. Other local runners who completed the marathon distance in less than four hours were Kerri-Lynne Wilson in 3:57:43, Krista Endrizzi in 3:57:27 and Larry Lim with a time of 3:59:08.
More than 4,700 participants competed in the 21.1-kilometre half- marathon race, a field which included over 200 Nanaimo finishers. Fastest of those to the finish line was Bryan Portman, whose time of 1:19:25 gave him 41st overall and fourth in the M44-44 class. An excellent showing of fourth in the F30-34 division was recorded by Erin Burrett, who was 47th in the field thanks to her finish in 1:19:57.
Robert Shurniak was 117th in total with his time of 1:27:29, with Malcolm McAdie 147th and sixth in the M50-54 division at 1:29:05. Close behind was Stephen O’Brien, 166th overall in 1:30:53, while Ken Hewer was 176th in 1:30:33. Maurice Clavette placed 235th, sixth in the M55-59 group at 1:33:38, while Kaylee Beales was 236th, second in the F20-24 division at 1:33:37. Other local runners placing in the top 500 of the field were Nathanael Wood in 1:35:21, Darren Katila in 1:36:33, Andrew McLaren in 1:37:02, Drew Swanson in 1:37:38, Jason Ryper in 1:38:39 and John Webster in 1:38:50.
Meanwhile, another 2,500 people completed the 8km distance in Victoria, including over 100 Nanaimo entrants. Among the fastest of those was Bill Hicks, whose time of 31:21 gave him seventh in the M40-44 division and 52nd overall. Capturing first in the M55-59 group and 71st in the field, was Bruce Busby with a fine finish of 32:44.
Also winning her age category was Madison Heisterman, who crossed the line in 33:33 for first in the F12/under division and 90th place in total. Close on her heels was her father Tyler Heisterman. The president of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club finished in 33:47 for 98th spot and tenth in the M35-39 age group.
Completing the 8km course in 33:49 was Nate Seaman, who claimed 100th place as well as fourth in the M12/Under division. Neil Gaudent placed 104th in 33:57, Dwaine Talbot was 150th in 35:55 and Michael McKillican was 158th in 36:22. Taking ninth spot in the M13-15 age group was Calvin Tierney, who finished 159th overall with his time of 36:23. Then came Stephen Johnston, 250th in 39:04 and Kala Fitton who was 275th in 39:26.
Christopher Badger earned sixth in the M55-59 age group and 287th place in total, with his effort timed at 39:48. Eric Grantner placed 292nd in 40:02. Tenth in the M12/under division, 295th overall, was Ryan Seaman in 40:12, while Jake Seaman was a mere second behind in 40:13 to get eleventh in the same age division and 296th in the field.
Congratulations to the above runners and to the many other local athletes who competed in one of the races last weekend.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play yo, and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.