Over 11,000 Registered in all Events
October 5, 2012, Victoria, BC – There will be exciting competition this year in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Both the Men’s and Women’s 2011 Marathon Champions will be back. Thomas Omwenga will be defending his record-breaking time of 2:14:33, and Lucy Njeri is switching to the Half Marathon and hoping to set a new course record.
The 33rd Annual event, which takes place on Sunday, October 7, had 11,118 registrations when online registration closed at noon yesterday.
Thomas Omwenga has had a good year since setting a new course record in 2011, winning both the Quebec and Manitoba Marathons. Close on his heels will be Philip Samoei, the 2010 Marathon Champion, and Gilbert Kiptoo who won the 2012 Thunder Bay Marathon despite doing an extra two kilometres. Kiptoo also won the 2011 and 2012 Oak Bay Half Marathon. The defending BC Marathon Champion Ryan Day could also be in contention for a podium finish. The Master’s Marathon record could be under threat with Vancouver’s Graeme Wilson running well. He was fourth last year in 2:29:34. The record, set in 1988 by Tom Howard, is 2:27:36.
The 2010 Women’s Marathon Champion, Catrin Jones is back as is last year’s third place finisher Nadyia Fry. Jones ran in 2:52:21 and Fry in 2:55:43. Another contender could be Gillian Clayton, the 2012 Ironman Canada Champion. The 2004 Champion, Hallie Janssen, is also running and hopes to be in the top five. Anne Kibor is odds on to win the Women’s Master’s race and could win the overall title – she ran a 2:29 back in 2003, but is running very well.
The Men’s Half Marathon field could be a Kenya/Alberta battle with Dancan Kasia running against Edmonton’s Kibet Rutto, who ran the Edmonton Half Marathon in 2009 in 1:02:56, and Willy Kimosop from Lethbridge, the 2009 and 2011 TC10K Champion. Kasia ran back-to-back races this year, coming second in the Canadian 10K Championships, and the next day winning the Thunder Bay Half Marathon in 1:08:38.
The Master’s field features some local favourites. Jim Finlayson will be running as a Master for the first time – he won in 2010 in 1:07:56. Craig Odermatt continues to excel on the road and track coming second in the 2011 Island Race Series and fourth in the 2012 Timex BC Series. He has a PB of 1:10:41. Kevin O’Connor is hoping to be in contention as well – he was the top Master in the Marathon in 2010 and in the 8K in 2011.
In the Women’s Half Marathon Lucy Njeri will be battling against the 2011 course record holder, Natasha Fraser (1:15:27). Fraser is also the 2012 BC 10,000-metre Champion, the Vancouver Sun Run and TC10K Champion. Another contender is Esther Kipserem who won the 2012 Thunder Bay Half Marathon in 1:23:17. Lisa Harvey is the top Master – she won in 2010 (1:18:34) and was the second Master last year (1:18:37).
Featured in the 8K Road Race are Chris Winter with a PB of 24:00 and Samuel Pawluk (PB 24:35). Pawluk also won the 2012 Timex BC Series. Young Victoria triathlete Aaron Thomas will run as training for the U23 and Junior Elite Triathlon Championships in Auckland, NZ. In the Women’s race Rachel Cliff will run her first 8K – she has a 5K time of 16:07. She will be up against Victoria favourite, Lucy Smith, who won the 2012 Pioneer 8K in 28:30, and Sabrina Wilkie who has a PB of 28:47.
The total purse available in the Dairlyland Elite Athlete Program, including incentive bonuses, is $38,800. Registration is still open for all events with late entries being accepted at the Race Expo, at the Victoria Conference Centre, from 3:00pm – 7:30pm on Friday, October 5, and 9:00am – 6:00pm on Saturday, October 6. There is no race day registration.
To date the Marathon has 2,146 registrants; the Half Marathon has 5,397; the 8K Road Race has 2,611, and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run & Marathon is at 964. For more details, visit www.runvictoriamarathon.com.