BY IAN THORPE
Another Thanksgiving, another beautiful morning for the Victoria Marathon running festival held on the Sunday of the holiday weekend. Again this year for the 38th annual version of the popular event, runners were treated to clear skies and near-perfect conditions. A little something extra for the several thousand entrants in the marathon, half-marathon and eight-kilometre races to be thankful for…
A field of just over 1,000 runners took part in the full 42.2km marathon event, led to the finish line by Kenya’s Daniel Kipkoech. It was the fourth Victoria title in a row for Kipkoech, whose winning time on Sunday was two hours, 21 minutes and 3 seconds.
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As usual, Nanaimo was well represented in all three of the Victoria races. In the marathon, Patrick Dwyer was the top local finisher with a time of 3:01:38, good for 39th overall in the large field. Next came Neil Gaudet in 113th thanks to a 3:20:42 finish. Fastest Nanaimo woman to the finish line was Cheryl Davies, 116th overall and second in the F40-44 division in 3:20:58.
Dave Walkling finished the scenic waterfront course in 3:31:40, Jennifer Wurster in 3:33:45 and Christopher Schuld in 3:44:43. Also finishing the marathon in less than four hours were Rachel Kimler in 3:50:35, Helia Sillem in 3:53:38 and Jorgen Jensen who was fourth in the M65-69 division with a time of 3:56:46.
Margaret Merrett finished in 4:07:44 and Zlatko Zvekic was fourth in the M70-74 group in 4:08:55. Mike Giesbrecht had a time of 4:10:06, Robert Eaves, 4:16:01, Lori Pockiak 4:19:17, Daniel Winkleman 4:19:22, Sethany Vorng 4:21:02 and Char Johnson 4:22:15. Other marathon finishers were Scott Robertson, Anthony Hawkes, Karen Dibblee, Pops Hardcastle, Sandy Place, Jessica Irving, Susan Place, Verona Tannock, Doug Junus, Loreen Crockett and Douglas McBride.
Meanwhile, another 2,625 athletes competed in the half-marathon competition. First to the finish among Nanaimo runners was Melissa Ross, third in the F30-34 category and 41st overall with a time of 1:23:05. Darren Frey finished in 1:31:24 for 126th spot, Matthew Ness in 1:32:50 for 146th, Steve O’Brien in 1:32:58 for 150th and Stuart Ockelford in 1:34:06 for 158th.
Jessica McKierahan posted a half-marathon time of 1:35:49, Jeff Taylor finished in 1:36:02, Douw Hattingh in 1:36:24 and Jason De Ruiter in 1:37:15. Michelle Peakman crossed the finish line in 1:39:44, Daniel Frick in 1:39:45, Stephanie Layfield in 1:40:21 and Michelle Brunelle in 1:41:17.
Another large crowd, 2,115 to be exact, took part in the Victoria 8km race. The Nanaimo contingent did very well, with several locals placing in the top ten of their respective age divisions. Joel De Schiffart led the way, 4th overall and first in the M20-24 category with a time of 24 minutes and 52 seconds. In fifth overall and first in the M30-34 division, was Shelby Drope with a finishing time of 26:03.
Mitchell Couch was 69th in 32:58, Cam Laturnus was 71st overall and fourth in the M13-15 category in 33:14 and Stephen Johnston was 98th overall in 34:30. Mike McKillican finished in 35:29, Kevin Wanke in 36:49, Bruce Busy in 37:34 and Benjamin Villares in 37:38. David Dransfield reached the finish line with a time of 37:40, Dwaine Talbot finished in 37:41 and Aoibhinn Grimes in 39:02. Shawna Morland finished in 39:24, Garrett Wilson in 39:59, Norman King in 40:02 and Will Flint in 40:26.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.