Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

OUT FAST – Christie Harper, left, leads out of the gate Tuesday in the last of the regular five-kilometre Tuesday night runs. Harper posted her fastest time of the season.

Harper hits her stride; runners heading to Victoria

As is typical,

By Chuck Tobin on October 5, 2017

As is typical, with the summer running season drawing to a close, there were only a handful – literally – of participants at Tuesday night’s Last Gasp 5-K.

It was, nonetheless, a special night for Christie Harper.

Harper posted her fastest time of the season, finishing in 23 minutes and 55 seconds.

Ben Yu Schott was second in a time of 24:29, Megan Sharp was third in 26:56 and Sarah Hancock was fourth in 26:48.

The only other two participants were walkers.

Tom Ulyett finished the three-kilometre walk in 21:27 and John Storms finished his five kilometres in 25:47.

Athletics Yukon director Don White explained Wednesday the Tuesday night run is generally well attended through the summer as many runners use it in their training schedule to get ready for the Klondike Road Relay.

Once the relay has been run, he said, attendance generally drops off substantially.

White pointed out several runners are heading to two marathons this weekend. He said he knows of a couple who are heading to Kelowna, B.C. and many others who are heading to the ever-popular Victoria Marathon.

So popular is the Victoria Marathon with local runners that it actually prompted Air North to put on a special charter to Victoria for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Air North spokeswoman Deb Ryan said the running community actually approached Air North several years ago about the idea and it was one of the first charters the local airline began flying regularly.

Friday’s flight is sold out, as many others now take advantage of the opportunity for fly direct, she said.

Louise Hodgson-Jones of the Victoria Marathon said 67 runners from the Yukon have signed up so far for Sunday’s marathon, half marathon and eight-kilometre race.

Among the Yukon participants is Lindsay Carson who will be defending her title for the women’s 8-K, a race which she has won the last three years, Hodgson-Jones pointed out.

She noted Carson’s fastest time was in 2014 when she clocked in a 27:17, less than a minute off the all-time record for Victoria of 26:24 set by Ulla Marquette of Victoria in 1991.

Of the 67 runners going down, 17 are running the marathon, 33 are running the half-marathon and 17 are running the 8-K, said Hodgson-Jones.

Lamech Mokono established the Victoria record for the men’s marathon in 2013 with a time of two hours, 13 minutes and 42 seconds. Lucy Njeri of Toronto set the women’s record of 2:37:56 in 2011.

The men’s record for the half-marathon was set in 2002 by Jon Brown of Victoria with a time of 1:02:32. Natasha Wodak of Vancouver set the women’s record in 2012 with a time of 1:14:06.

Gary Barber of Victoria holds the men’s 8-K record of 23:23, established back in 1989.

The Victoria Marathon is classified as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 0

Rob Guzyk on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Great story, Chuck! Will try to come back to the Yukon- soon!

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