Daniel Kipkoech wins his fourth title at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon Lucy Smith sets a Canadian record in the Half Marathon
(Victoria, BC – October 9, 2017) Daniel Kipkoech proves he owns the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon course, making it four in a row on Sunday at the 38th annual event. But it was also a day that proves age has no limits with Lucy Smith setting a Canadian age category award in the Half Marathon in addition to seven other masters age awards in the 8K, Half Marathon and the Marathon. The Marathon had 1,327 registrants, the Half Marathon: 3,131, the Marathon Relay 71, the 8K Road Race 2,407 and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run: 1,020, for a total of 7,956.
Kipkoech, who trains in Lethbridge, ran a blistering race from the start and at half way was at 1:07, a full kilometre ahead of second seed Kip Kangogo. “Starting with the half marathon helped me set a fast pace and I ran the race alone,” he said. “I would like to come back again and I know on a flatter course I can be faster.” He finished in 2:21:04, five minutes ahead of Kangogo, who also trains in Lethbridge. His time was 2:56:58.Third was Nicholas Browne, from Vancouver in 2:30:51. Top master was James Desalvo, from Winthrop, USA, who came in fifth in 2:37:00
The women’s race mirrored the men’s with Lissa Zimmer from Vancouver finishing 10 minutes ahead of Andrea Lee, also from Vancouver. Zimmer finished in 2:48:33 and Lee in 2:58:23. Margreet Dietz from Squamish was third in 3:03:47 and was also top master. The Marathon hosted the BC Marathon Championships, with Browne and Zimmer winning the 2017 titles.
Rio Olympian Evan Dunfee from Vancouver race walked the course finishing in 3:23:30. “This is a beautiful course. The hills break up the monotony but I am sure they can be a struggle if you are having a bad day,” he said. Dunfee will be doing the Toronto Marathon in two weeks and then will be going to Australia in January to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. “Doing road races has increased the respect and awareness of race walking, which is good for the sport.”
There was one age category record in the marathon – Cindy Rhodes, from Kelowna, shattered the old F60-64 record by six minutes finishing in 3:26:46.
Tristan Smyth from Lake Country, BC won the Wheelchair category in 2:26:59.
In the Half Marathon Sarah Inglis, from Langley, won the women’s race setting a course record in the W25-29 category (1:14:20). Meg Lewis-Schneider and Catherine Watkins, both from Vancouver, were second and third (1:16:43 and 1:17:03). Both also set age category course records – Lewis-Schneider in the F20-24 and Watkins in the F45-49 category. Watkins was also top female master.
Geoff Martinson, from Vancouver, was the overall winner in 1:04:28, second was Julian Florez (Albuquerque, NM) in 1:06:00, and third was Olympian Reid Coolsaet (Hamilton, ON) in 1:07:28. Jim Finlayson, from Victoria, was top master, fifth overall and set a new age M45-49 course record in 1:10:41.
“It was everything I was hoping for. My goal was 1:05 and I hit it right on,” said Martinson afterwards. “I had a good start and from 3km I was virtually on my own.” The win means the former Victoria resident has qualified for the World Half Marathon Championships: “but I am taking each race by race.”
There were seven age category course records overall in the Half Marathon. Victoria’s Lucy Smith set a Canadian and course record in the F50-54 division – her time of 1:19:53 was six minutes faster than the old course record. “I knew I could get the record if I paced smart at 3:45-3:50 evenly. And I felt so good after the strength building at Finlayson Arm 28k and then the Sidney Seaside 10k, two weeks ago,” Smith said. “It was perfect weather, perfect organization and of course perfect community. So many people called out my name on course I felt so grateful out there to be a part of the race and this amazing city.”
The other course records were Kevin O’Connor (Vancouver) in the M50-54 in 1:14:09, and June Gorsky (Olympia, WA) in F65-69 (1:42:34).
Darren Hamilton (Victoria) won the men’s Wheelchair category in 1:49:52. Vanessa Szczachor won the women’s race in 2:19:34. Santana Tarasewich won the Women’s VI category in 1:49:32.
In the 8K Justin Kent, from Burnaby, ran a fast race and won in 24:04 but this was not enough to break the course record of 23:23 set by Gary Barber in 1989. Thomas Riva from Victoria was second in 24:34 and third was Alex Cameron (Portland) in 24:49. Craig Odermatt from Victoria was top master and sixth in 26:23. Course records were set in Boys 0-12 (Trevor Neil, 29:48) and M70-74 (Brian Connon, 34:08).
“I was very happy to beat my time from last year and I matched my time from two years ago,” said Odermatt. “In 2015 I went on from the 8K to win the Canadian Cross country title, so that was a good sign.” His goal now is to make Team BC and challenge for a medal at Canadian Cross-Country Championships.
Lindsay Carson won her fourth consecutive 8K title. The former Whitehorse resident now lives in Burnaby. She finished in 27:25, ahead of Justine Stecko from Victoria in 27:39 and Brittany Therrien (Vancouver) in 28:28. Stecko set a course record in the Girls 16-19. Top master was Amanda Johnston from Victoria finishing in 32:38. There was a second ladies course record – in F65-69 – set by Thelma Wright from Vancouver in 36:32.
Sarah Herriott (Vancouver) won the Women’s Wheelchair category in 37:23 and Beverly Smith (Victoria) the Women’s VI in 52:02.
There were 6,906 finishers – 1,070 in the Marathon, 2,628 in the Half Marathon, 2,117 in the 8K, plus 1,020 in the Thrifty Foods Kids Run, and 15 teams (71 runners) in the Marathon Relay.
For full results from the 38th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon go to:
The 39th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon will take place on October 7th, 2018.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Cecill Visuals