BY IAN THORPE
A large number of Nanaimo residents are apparently interested in running, and not just for public office. Our city was very well represented this past weekend as thousands or runners and joggers pounded the pavement in Victoria.
The occasion was the 38th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, an event held every Thanksgiving weekend. The popular running festival also included half marathon and eight-kilometre races held on scenic courses along with waterfront.
Winner once again of the full 42.2km marathon event was Daniel Kipkoech. The Kenyan-born Kipkoech who now lives in Canada posted a winning time of two hours, 22 minutes and 39 seconds for his fifth straight win in the Victoria race. Capturing the women’s title was Emily Setlack from Alberta in 2:46:20.
An international field of more than 1,000 runners completed the marathon distance, with 25 participants from Nanaimo among them. Leading the locals was Dave McKay, whose time of 2:53:17 earned him 30th overall and 10th in the M30-34 division. Brian Curley posted a finish of 3:09:37 for 74th overall. Next was Jessica McKierahan, the quickest Nanaimo female runner whose time of 3:29:20 put her 187th in the field. Angela Anderson finished in 3:39:50, Ivan Eggers in 3:59:18 and Cody Drzewiecki in four hours even. Other top locals included Keela Hurt with a time of 4:05 and Drew Robertson with a 4:06:36 finish. John Durkin had a time of 4:10:24, giving him second place in the M70-74 age group. Jacquelyn Janzen finished in 4:10:31 and Margaret Merrett’s 4:12:22 time gave her third in the F60-64 division.
More than 2,700 participants completed in the 21.1km half marathon race. Fastest of the 120 Nanaimo runners to the finish line was Jonelle Newans, whose time of 1:23:42 gave her 47th overall and second in the F30-34 class. Kristine Kelly was 144th and third in the F40-44 division with a time of 1:33:22. Then came Bradley Ford in 1:35:00, Stuart Ockleford in 1:35:27 and Andrew Bonnell in 1:36:07. Sheila Dorman was second in the F55-59 class with her time of 1:37:47.
Carter Higgins posted a time of 1:39:16 Crystal Scott was 1:42:03; Ian Casswell 1:42:15; Adam Fraser 1:42:26; Josh Bailey 1:42:41; and Desiree Ord 1:42:59. Others in the top 500 of the pack were Ryan Malcolm, Chad Garretsee, Hannah Bassett and Ryan Peterson. Special mention goes to Henry Wiebe who won his M75-79 age group with a time of 1:58:14.
Meanwhile, more than 2,100 other people competed the 8km distance in Victoria. Of the 125 Nanaimo runners in the field, several had top-five finishes for their respective age groups. Fastest of them all was Shelby Drope with a fine time of 26 minutes and 28 seconds that put him sixth overall and first in the M30-34 age group. Melissa Ross was 28th in the field and second in the F35-39 class at 30:29. Ceri Jakobsen was third in the F35-39 group in 31:32 and Cameron Laturnus was third among M13-15 in 31:54. Mitchell Couch finished in 32:55.
Then came Bruce Busby, whose 34:30 time earned him first place in the M65-69 age group. Kevin Wanke was fourth in the M45-49 division in 34:47 and Kate Cameron took second place in the F13-15 group with a time of 34:56. Other locals finishing in the top 200 of the field were Catherine Watt, Paul Ferguson, Sheena Robertshaw, Zach Pronick and Joel Chavez.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.