(Victoria, BC – October 13, 2013) A new course record was set today at the 34th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon by Kenyan, Lamech Mokono. Run under brilliant, sunny skies, Victoria’s Catrin Jones also set a personal best in the women’s race. Ten age-group records were also set. In the four events, 11,768 registered, making it the third largest event in its 34-year history. The Marathon had 2,008 registrants, the Half Marathon: 5,471, the 8K Road Race: 2,909 and there were 1,300 in the Thrifty Foods Kids Run, which sold out for the second year in a row.
The men’s race was dominated by the top four seeds who vied for the lead early on. Kip Kangogo, took an early charge followed by 2011 and 2012 Champion Thomas Omwenga, then Josephat Ongeri and Lamech Mokono. At 10 kilometres, Mokono took the lead but the pack remained tight with Kangogo and Ongeri close behind with Omwenga slowly dropping out of contention. At 30 kilometres Mokono and Kangogo were keeping pace until Mokono took the lead at 32 kilometres. With five kilometres to go the gap widened and Mokono finished in 2:13:42, breaking the 2011 course record by 51 seconds. Kangogo came in second in 2:15:35, and Ongeri third in 2:19:53. Omwenga was fourth in 2:26:35. Oliver Utting, from Burnaby, was fifth and the top master, finishing in 2:29:55. He was also crowned the BC Marathon Champion.
Mokono, who trains in Santé Fe, New Mexico and only registered for the Marathon a week ago, was delighted with his victory. He told the hundreds who gathered at the finish line that he knew he could set a new course record and thanked the organizers “for making my dream come true.” He praised the crowds and the fast course and vowed to return.
Local favourite Catrin Jones did not disappoint running a personal best in the women’s marathon of 2:43:03, 87 seconds faster than her Ottawa Marathon time this year. She took the lead from the start which she admitted afterwards was a little worrying. “I was worried about the pressure of taking an early lead,” she said afterwards. “At the turnaround at 24 km I saw Katherine (Moore) and pushed a little more. My pace felt good at 37 km and I felt strong and confident.” Jones was also the BC Marathon Champion. Moore, from Vancouver, came in second at 2:50:57 and third was Denise McHale from Carcross, YT in a PB of 2:56:41. McHale was also the top female master.
In the Half Marathon Kelly Weibe from Vancouver, BC won in 1:04:59. Second was Victoria’s Geoff Martinson in 1:05:18 setting a PB, and third was Willy Kimosop from Lethbridge, AB in 1:06:31. Jim Finlayson was the top master in 1:09:47. In the women’s race top seed Hilary Stellingwerff won her first half marathon in 1:16:11. Kimberley Doerksen from Gibsons, BC was second in 1:17:27 and third was Lisa Brooking from
Langley, BC in 1:17:42. Victoria’s Lucy Smith was fourth and the top master finishing in 1:17:54.
Stellingwerff, who normally runs track and who competed in the 2012 Olympics, was delighted with her performance. "I felt strong the whole way although the last five kilometres
I had to push myself," she said. “My legs were getting tired but I really enjoyed the challenge. The crowds were yelling and were really behind me.”
Victoria runners dominated the 8K Road Race and saw a surprise winner in Victoria’s Olivier Collin who finished in 24:40. Nick Walker was second in 25:25 and Trevor Schiavone third in 25:53. Masters runners Craig Odermatt and Bruce Deacon came fourth and fifth in 26:01 and 26:10 respectively, with Odermatt winning the masters crown. Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff made it two in a row winning the women’s race in 27:50. Patricia Roney was second in 29:41 and Brittany Therrien was third in 30:20. Both reside in Victoria. Cheryl Nicholls from Victoria won the masters in 31:36.
Ten age-group records were set today. In the Marathon: winner Lamech Komoko in M30-34; Mark Bennett in M50-54 – in 2:37:20 (also a BC age-group record). In the Half Marathon: winner Kelly Weibe – in M20-24; Second place finisher Geoff Martinson in M25-29; David Guss in M50-54 in 1:15:11; Greg Meiklejohn in M55-59 in 1:18:28; Women’s second place finisher Kimberley Doerksen in W20-24; Lucy Smith – in W45-49 (also a Canadian age-group record). In the 8K Road Race: Bruce Deacon in M45-49 in 26:10 and Karin Vickars in W75-79 in 41:41.
There were 10,263 finishers including 1,300 Kids Run participants – 1,696 in the Marathon, 4,659 in the Half Marathon and 2,608 in the 8K Road Race.
The 35th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon will take place on October 12th, 2014.