Whitehorse Daily Star

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TOP-20 – Whitehorse’s Geoff Dunbrack competes in the Vancouver Marathon on May 7. Dunbrack finished 13th out of nearly 5,000 male runners.

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

PUSHING HARD – Callahan McKenzie competes in the Yukon River Trail Marathon on Aug. 7, 2022.

Two Yukon runners place high in Vancouver Marathon

May 7 was a big day for Whitehorse runners Callahan McKenzie and Geoff Dunbrack.

By Diego Brisebois-Bourget on May 19, 2023

May 7 was a big day for Whitehorse runners Callahan McKenzie and Geoff Dunbrack.

They both placed very high in their respective categories in the Vancouver marathon, with McKenzie finishing third overall in the women’s category and Dunbrack finishing 13th overall in the men’s category.

The Star spoke to each of them about the event on May 9.

Dunbrack crossed the finish line 13th out of 4,954 male athletes. When asked how it went, he replied, “It was good. It was really nice weather and I was really impressed (with) the volunteers.

It’s quite an event they put on. There’s tons of people manning all the water stations handing out water and electrolytes every five km.

So I mean, that helps, you really don’t have to carry much with you.

That was a nice change from Whitehorse, not having to wear many layers when you’re out. That was the first time

I’ve been out with a T-shirt since September or something.”

Dunbrack is planning on running some local races like the Yukon River Trail Marathon and the Reckless Raven, as well as the Victoria Marathon Oct. 8.

Callahan followed up with her experience.

“For the most part, it went really really smoothly. Kind of felt like training for most of it. I thrive on fan energy and there’s just so many folks out cheering.

“I had a good support crew as well. So I was having a blast, enjoying the views, just kind of cruising along. I’ve done a lot of hill training, so I felt very comfortable on the hills. It’s a bit of a novelty for me. “And then I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this, but there’s a thing in a marathon where you hit a wall. I think a lot of runners have probably experienced that. Probably about kilometre 30 or 35. I started to feel a bit of energy depletion and my legs were just feeling heavy.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I kept running when I really wanted to walk. That felt like a huge win to me and I could see the woman in second place there most of the way. I kind of just latched on to her and hung on as best I could.” Mckenzie described the 43 km (26.2 mile) route.

“It started in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. And then over to the UBC campus kind of went up on a hill so we had to get up there. Came back down and then eventually we went across the Burrard Bridge and then around Stanley Park.”

The race finished in downtown Vancouver.

There were 1,569 athletes in the women’s category. When asked how it felt to finish in third place, Mckenzie replied, “I was in disbelief.

Going into the race, I knew I could be competitive, looking at past times and such, but I didn’t fully believe I could actually podium.

“When I crossed that finish line, I was shocked and proud and just really stoked on it. A little bit starstruck, I got to meet some pretty elite runners at the finish there, which is a very cool experience for me.”

When it was over, Mckenzie had improved on her personal best time by 18 minutes.

“It was really fun. I just had a blast.” As for what’s next, McKenzie said, “I love the training process, I love racing, so I definitely want to keep at it, running some marathons… locally, for sure, I’m going to do the (Klondike) Road Relay this year, cause that’s always a fun time.”

For more information about the race results, you can visit https://bmovanmarathon.ca/results/results-2023

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 0

Laury on May 25, 2023 at 8:35 am

I LOVE THIS SOOOO MUCH ITS SO COOL; a wonderful way to travel the world! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

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