Steady downpour doesn’t dampen runners’ spirits

Steady rain made for a very wet start on Oak Bay Avenue for the 1

Steady rain made for a very wet start on Oak Bay Avenue for the 1

Half-marathon mark falls under less than ideal race conditions

It was a day of records.

On the one hand, Gilbert Kiptoo crossed the finish line Sunday morning in a race-best one hour, six minutes, 39 seconds to win the men’s division of the Oak Bay Kool Half Marathon.

On the other, more rain fell during the race than any of the previous six instalments of the popular event.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of soggy smiles around the finish line as runners passed under the bright blue inflatable banner to stop their chip timers.

Blair Underhill and Roger Mennell, their soused Canuck jerseys hanging off them, said they gained an extra boost from the sparse crowds along the route because of their allegiance. Both 24 and teammates in a local ultimate league, they felt good about their times – 1:48.20 and 1:50.22, respectively – and looked forward to settling down in a warm room to watch game 1 of the Western Conference final in Vancouver.

“This is a win for us, now they have to support us (by winning),” Mennell said.

For Kiptoo, the Kenyan who finished second behind Saanich’s Jim Finlayson last year and reversed the outcome this time out, the constant downpour mattered little.

“It was coming down hard, but after a while it was like it was not raining to me,” he said.

Coached by Kenyan native and Esquimalt resident Mike Karigey, Kiptoo changed his strategy – pacing himself more as he went out to the Uplands, yet maintaining a slim lead over Finlayson.

It made a difference, as Kiptoo shaved a full two minutes off last year’s time.

“Coming back I needed to have more energy. We tried it in training and it was working,” he said.

Karigey, a communications expert in the Canadian navy who personally sponsored Kiptoo to come to North America to race, was pleased with his athlete’s time. Were it not pouring, their goal of 1:05 would have been achieved “easy,” Karigey said.

Finlayson stopped the clock in 1:07.57, almost a minute off his winning time of 2010.

Adam O’Meara of Victoria was well back in third, finishing in 1:14.53.

Defending women’s champion Care Wakely had other things on her mind on the course besides the weather come race day.

Having battled food poisoning the night before and managed just five hours’ sleep, she wasn’t sure her body would allow her to finish.

“I stopped looking at my watch at about the 5K split,” she said. “I was just trying to hang in there in second place (behind Sara Gross).”

In the home stretch, a male runner offered to help her chase Gross down and Wakely took the lead for good with about four kilometres left. The Langford resident and high school teacher timed in at 1:22.05; 10th overall and 72 seconds ahead of Victoria’s Gross (1:23.17).

Claire Morgan of Victoria was the third woman across the line, timing in at 1:24.27.

For full results, visit www.racedaytiming.ca/oakbayhalf2011.html.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read