Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for October 9, 2012

Yukon runners revel in Victoria Marathon finish

Sitting in the Sticky Wicket Pub post-race sipping a cool, well-deserved drink, 68-year-old Yukoner Richard Zral took a moment to reflect on another GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on Sunday.


Photo submitted

TOP TIME – Yukon MP Ryan Leef finished 38th overall in the marathon with a time of 2:58:15. He ran to raise funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Sitting in the Sticky Wicket Pub post-race sipping a cool, well-deserved drink, 68-year-old Yukoner Richard Zral took a moment to reflect on another GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on Sunday.

“We’re sitting around having a beverage after the run, and everybody is just so damned happy because they’ve done so well,” he told the Star.  “Even the ones that didn’t score in the top-10 in their category still have bragging rights because we finished well inside the pack.

“It’s good. It’s a great feeling.”

Zral finished the half marathon 12th of 52 in his age group with a time of 1:53:46.

A large 83-member contingent of Yukon runners ran at least one of the four races offered – full marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km), 8 km, and kids race (1.2 km).

About 30 of the Yukon group gathered at a downtown pub following the race to swap stories and highlights from their races.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef was the top local finisher in the 33rd-annual marathon, placing 38th overall with a time of 2:58:15.

Leef ran the race to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Defending champion Thomas Omwenga of Kenya won the marathon, completing the course in 2:20:41. The time was six minutes slower than his winning mark last year.

More than 11,500 athletes registered for the four feature events.

The Victoria marathon is a relatively flat race, with the total elevation change coming in at 74 feet.

The marathon – accepted as a Boston Marathon qualifier – has one of the highest percentages of runners beating their qualifying times than any other in North America.

The race route took participants right through downtown Victoria.

“For those four hours or so, nothing is moving through the downtown core, except tons of people,” Zral explained. “You’ve got 10,000-plus running, and all their support system – aunts, uncles. All the way along, there’s people on the side of the street. They’ve got music playing, cowbells clanging, people cheering.

“And then you just come around those last two kilometers, it’s just wall-to-wall people yelling and screaming for you. You hear them screaming and you just feel like some kind of Olympian athlete. It’s just a real neat feeling. It’s a big high.”

First-time participant Staci Kindervater completed the marathon in 4:23:20. It marked the longest distance she’s ever run.

“I loved it,” she said today. “The difference is – I think running a marathon here is definitely lonely. I’m already planning now to go to Mayo (Midnight Marathon) in June … but I thought oh, there won’t be all these people holding signs. It’s just cool to run with that many people.”

As Kindervater passed the 40-km mark, she knew then she would live to run another marathon.

“I knew I would do it again,” she said. “I was like OK, that’s it. I’m hooked.”

It was special to represent the Yukon, Kindervater added.

“As a Yukoner, it was great,” she said. “I thought the people of Victoria were so friendly. There were so many signs.”

Zral wore his Mayo Midnight Marathon T-shirt in the race to promote the local event, and received a good deal of questions.

“You run at midnight and it’s still daylight? People couldn’t get their head around it,” he said. “There’ll be people coming up (to run next year’s race).”

Top local marathon finishers included Leef; David Eikelboom (174th, 3:22:18); Nathalie Dugas (288th, 3:35:20); Jonathan Belanger (392nd, 3:44:03); and Cynthia Freeman (425th, 3:45:57).

Logan Roots finished the half marathon with the top time in his age group – Male Under-19. His time of 1:13:53 was 18th overall and tops among local runners.

Other top results in the half included Dominic Bradford (31st, 1:17:53); Simon Lapointe (32nd, 1:18:02); Logan Boehmer (79th, 1:24:21); and Michael Kulachkosky (155th, 1:30:09).

For full results, visit http://runvictoriamarathon.com/aftertherace/results.php.

CommentsAdd a comment

No comments yet. Why not be the first?

Add a comment

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your full name and email address are required before your comment will be posted.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comment preview