The 36th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on Thanksgiving Monday was a race full of drama.
Sixth seed Tisia Kiplangat took an early lead in the men's marathon, clocking a record time of 1:06 at the halfway point, then 1:41 at 32 kilometres.
But Kiplangat's pace began to slow around 40 km when he started cramping, then collapsed in the last kilometre.
Defending champion and fellow Kenyan Daniel Kipkoech passed Kiplangat, finishing the marathon in 2:25:40. Lamech Mokono finished second in 2:30:22 and Oliver Utting from Burnaby was third in 2:34:39.
The favourite for the women's race and 2014 champion, Lioudmila Kortchaguina, was leading for the majority of the marathon, with first-time marathoner Erin Burrett from Nanaimo and 2013 champion Catrin Jones close behind.
But with just a kilometre to go, Burrett attacked and in the last 300 metres, she passed Kortchaguina to win in 2:39:17.
“My goal was 2:40 and I felt very strong out there,” Burrett said.
“At three kilometres to go I had a few hip issues, but I had enough left for a spring finish.”
The half marathon was won by top seed Paul Kimugul in 1:05. Second was Benard Ngeno in 1:06:01 and third was the 2014 winner, Willy Kimosop in 1:07:53. Top master was Victoria's Jim Finlayson finishing in 1:09:15.
The woman's half marathon saw some surprises with late registrant Malindi Elmore from Kelowna winning in 1:15:35, setting a W35-39 age group record. Second was Kristen Rohde from Portland and third was fellow Portland elite team mate Lauren Johnson. Lucy Smith was the top female master winning in 1:20:42.
The marathon also hosted the B.C. Marathon Championships, with Burrett and Utting winning the 2015 titles.
The 8 km road race was won by Victoria's Nick Walker in 26:16, closely followed by Craig Odermatt, also of Victoria, at 26:22. Lindsay Carson from Whitehorse, Yukon defended her 2014 title, winning the women's race in 27:32. Second was Victoria's Hilary Stellingwerff in 27:40.
Roslyn Smith from Comox set a new age-category course record in the Marathon W65-69 with a time of 3:39:35.