October 7, 2012, Victoria, BC – Marathon record-holder Thomas Omwenga made it two in a row today when he won the 33rd Annual GoodLife Fitness Marathon. Natasha Fraser (nee Wodak) also followed her 2011 victory by breaking her own Half Marathon Course record.
The event, held under un-seasonal, warm, sunny conditions also saw eight age-group records and a Guinness World Record.
The top-seeded Omwenga was the clear leader throughout the Marathon and not challenged, coming in seven minutes ahead of second place finisher Gilbert Kiptoo. Omwenga’s time of 2:20:41 was six minutes slower than his time of 2:13:44 set in 2011 but he was satisfied with his performance. His two previous marathons, in Quebec and Manitoba were slower – 2:28:36 and 2:25:13 respectively. Fourth-seeded Kiptoo’s time of 2:27:01 was also faster than his 2012 Thunder Bay Marathon of 2:38. Third was Vancouver’s Graeme Wilson whose time of 2:29:17 was 17 seconds faster than his fourth place finish last year. Wilson was also the top Master and winner of the BC Marathon Championship.
Runners begin the 2012 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon (Photo: Tony Austin)
The Women’s race saw three of the top five seeds podium. Hallie Janssen from Portland, made a big Victoria comeback by winning in 2:47:03. She had previously won in 2004 in a time of 2:49:36. Nadyia Fry from Invermere, BC bettered her third place finish in 2011 by not only finishing second in 2:47:36, but setting a personal best. She also won the BC Marathon Championship. Third was Victoria’s Catrin Jones, the 2010 winner, in 2:49:02.
Top female Master, and in sixth place overall, was Rika Hatachi from Coquitlam, BC in 3:01:25.
Thomas Omwenga crosses the line first to win the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon (Photo: Tony Austin)
Port Moody’s Natasha Fraser broke her own 2011 record to win the Women’s Half Marathon in 1:14:06.This victory comes after being crowned the 2012 BC 10,000-metre Champion, the Vancouver Sun Run and TC10K Champion. The much anticipated one-two contest between Fraser and Lucy Njeri, the 2011 Women’s Marathon Champion, did not disappoint. With Njeri on Fraser’s tail for most of the race, Fraser kept calm and Njeri had to settle for second place in 1:14:27. Winnipeg’s Esther Kipserem was third in 1:18:23. Top Master was Calgary’s Lisa Harvey, who was sixth overall in 1:19:39.
The Men’s race was won by Rutto Kibet from Edmonton in 1:04:27, two minutes short of the course record, with Victoria’s Geoff Martinson running a great race to come in second in 1:05:39. Third was Willy Kimosop from Lethbridge in 1:06:01. Running as a Master for the first time, Jim Finlayson ran a strong race to receive the top Master award in 1:08:51. He was eighth overall.
BC Athletes dominated the 8K Road Race with the top two placings going according to the seeding. Vancouver’s Chris Winter won in 24:13, closely followed by Richmond’s Samuel Pawluk in 24:42. Third was Ryan Huff from Vancouver in 25:30. Top Master and eighth overall was Mike Murphy in 27:06.
Top ranked Rachel Cliff from Vancouver won the Women’s race in 27:43. Lindsay Walker, also from Vancouver won in 28:12, and Victoria’s Lucy Smith was third in 28:15. Smith was also the top Master.
Eight age group records were set, two in the Marathon, five in the Half Marathon, and one in the 8K Road Race. Notable results included a 4:32:38 for Frank McKenna in the Marathon in the M80+ category, shattering the record he set in 2011 of 5:03:50. Betty Jean McHugh set a world record for 84 year old female runners with a time of 2:23:26 in the Half Marathon.
Adam Campbell, the Victoria lawyer who ran in a business suit, to set a new Guinness World Record, shattered the previous record by 49 minutes to finish in a remarkable sixth place in 2:35:53.
The event saw 2,056 register for the Marathon, 5,503 for the Half Marathon, 2,844 in the 8K, and a record 1,100 in the Thrifty Foods Kids Run & Marathon for a total of 11,503. There were 10,076 finishers including Kids Run participants – 1,720 in the Marathon, 4,755 in the Half Marathon and 2,501 in the 8K Road Race.
The 34th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon will take place on October 13th, 2013.
For full results from the 33rd GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon go to: http://www.sportstats.ca