There was plenty to celebrate at the 38th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon races on Sunday, as close to 8,000 people took to the streets of Victoria and Oak Bay.
Race top seed Daniel Kipkoech won his fourth straight marathon, finishing in two hours, 21 minutes and four seconds, more than five minutes ahead of second-place finisher and number 2 seed Kip Kangogo (2:26.58), who, like Kipkoech trains in Lethbridge. Vancouver’s Nicholas Browne was third in 2:30.51.
Kipkoech set a fast pace from the start and took just 1:07 to reach the halfway point of the race, when he was already a full kilometre ahead of Kangogo.
“Starting with the half marathon helped me set a fast pace and I ran the race alone,” Kipkoech said. “I would like to come back again and I know on a flatter course I can be faster.”
Fastest among the women marathoners was Lissa Zimmer of Vancouver, whose time of 2:48.33 was nearly 10 minutes quicker than runner-up Andrea Lee (2:58.23), also of Vancouver. Margreet Dietz from Squamish was third in 3:03:47 and the top women’s master (35-over) finisher, while U.S. runner James Desalvo won the men’s masters division in 2:37.00.
The half marathon saw three age-category course records set by the top three women’s finishers. Langley’s Sarah Inglis ran the 21 kilometres in 1:14 for the win and topped the age 25 to 29 division. Vancouver’s Meg Lewis-Schneider (1:16.43, age 20 to 24) and Catherine Watkins (1:17.03, age 45 to 49) placed second and third, respectively, and also won their age categories.
Former Victorian Geoff Martinson was the overall half marathon winner in 1:04:28, followed in order by New Mexico’s Julian Florez (1:06:00) and Canadian distance running Olympian Reid Coolsaet from Hamilton (1:07:28). Jim Finlayson from Victoria was top master and finished fifth overall with a men’s 45 to 49 course record time of 1:10:41.
Fan favourite Lucy Smith of Victoria set a Canadian and course record in the women’s 50 to 54 division with a time of 1:19:53, six minutes faster than the old course record in her category. “It was perfect weather, perfect organization and of course perfect community,” she said. “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.”
In the 8K races, Burnaby resident Lindsay Carson won her fourth consecutive women’s title in Victoria in a time of 27:25, while Justin Kent from Burnaby won the men’s overall in 24:04.
In all, there were 6,906 finishers: 1,070 in the marathon, 2,628 in the half, 2,117 in the 8K, 1,020 in the Thrifty Foods Kids Run and 71 runners on the 15 marathon relay teams.
For full results visit runvictoriamarathon.com/results/