BY IAN THORPE
While the weather at this time of year is unpredictable, the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend always seems to co-operate for the organizers and entrants in the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
That was the case again this year on the holiday weekend, as several thousand runners and walkers took part in the 40th anniversary edition of the annual running festival in the capital city. Conditions on the day were nearly ideal for the international throng of competitors in the marathon, half-marathon and eight-kilometre races. And as usual, Nanaimo was well represented in all three of the Victoria races.
A field of 1,127 runners took part in the full 42.2-kilometre marathon event, led to the finish line by Oregon’s Eric Finan, whose winning time was two hours, 17 minutes and 51 seconds.
Bill Corsan was the top local finisher with an impressive time of 3:04:55, good for 43rd overall in the large field and fourth in the M45-49 division. Next came Jason De Ruiter in 111th thanks to a 3:15:14 finish. Fastest Nanaimo woman to the finish line was Jessica McKierahan, fifth in the F35-39 division in 3:27:13.
Dan Tietzen finished the scenic course along the Victoria waterfront in 3:36:37, Nick Forman in 3:42:05 and Kerri-Lynne Wilson in 3:48:27. Also finishing the marathon distance in less than four hours were Billy Walters in 3:54:13, Helia Sillem in 3:56:44, Kevin Gallia in 3:57:11, Karen Kurytnik in 3:58:57 and Brian Cripps in 3:59:27.
Meanwhile, another 2,889 athletes competed in the half-marathon, won by Idaho athlete Will Norris in 1:06:20. First to the finish among 130 Nanaimo runners was Eric White, third in the M35-39 category with a time of 1:18:00. Then came a trio of local female runners. Jennifer Wurster with a finish time of 1:31:05, Kristine Kelly, second in the F40-44 division in 1:31:07, and Sheila Dorman, first F55-59 entrant to finish with a time of 1:35:50.
Carter Higgins was next with a finish in 1:36:49. Nicholas Komick ran the route in 1:37:21, Liam Hobbs in 1:37:45, Hayley Vandal in 1:38:39 and Jake Barker in 1:38:44. Also finishing in the top 500 of the field were locals Kristin Clarke in 1:39:29, Rob Pronick in 1:39:39, Mile Hensel in 1:40:26, Malcolm McAdie in 1:43:12 and Brittany Hannah in 1:44:21. Special mention goes to veteran Nanaimo runner Henry Wiebe, whose impressive time of 1:56:45 earned him first place in the M75-79 age group.
Another large crowd, 2,238 to be exact, took part in the 8km race offered in Victoria. Burnaby’s Justin Kent set a new course record by finishing in just 23:14. The 115-member Nanaimo contingent did very well, with several locals placing in the top five of their respective age divisions.
Cam Laturnus led the way, 26th overall and first in the M13-15 category with a time of 29:39. Lantzville’s Ceri Jakobsen placed second in the F35-39 group with a finish in 31:11. Fifth among M13-15 was Kynan Shurniak who reached the finish line in 32:14, while Kyle Moen’s time was 33:06. Winner of the F16-19 division was Kate Cameron with a 33:06 time. Others in the top 100 of the field were Brad Goodman in 33:47 and Cody Nyman in 33:54.
Other notable results included Katelyn Myint finishing first among all F13-15 runners with her time of 36:10.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.