Jonesing for another: Catrin Jones is the favourite to win the women's marathon this weekend as she aims for a personal best time of 2:40.

Jonesing for another: Local leads elites into Victoria Marathon

It’s been a banner year for Catrin Jones who now seeks a second GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon win

It’s been a banner year for Catrin Jones and now the 2010 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon winner is looking to cap it off with another win.

She’s a favourite to win the women’s Victoria Marathon on Sunday (Oct. 13).

Jones ran a personal best marathon time of two hours and 44 minutes in May at the Ottawa Marathon. She also won the 2013 Whistler Half Marathon in the spring and in July won two more events, the Kamloops Marathon and the Arc’teryx Squamish 50km ultra running trail race. She hadn’t intended on running the Victoria Marathon this weekend but when the Francophone Games cancelled its marathon event in September, which she had been specifically training for, it opened the door for Jones to run the Victoria Marathon again.

“The Francophone Games canceled its men’s and women’s marathons the week before I left and it put things up in the air in terms of what I was going to do in the fall,” Jones said. “I was shocked and a surprised they would cancel both the marathons so late for such a large international event.”

Instead, the Francophone Games invited Jones to race the 10,000-metre. She finished sixth out of six.

“I’d never raced track so it was an interesting experience,” she said. “I wanted to put to use my training. There was a 50-km trail race in Ontario last week so I wasn’t sure which to run, but it’s hard to be in Victoria (this weekend) and watch the marathon rather than race it.”

A registered massage therapist here in Victoria, Jones is originally from Nanaimo where she grew up swimming competitively. Despite her successes running marathons, Jones credits her relaxed attitude towards running as keeping it fun.

“I try not to put too much pressure or over-focus on time and pacing in races,” Jones said. “I find not putting pressure on myself helps me run better.”

Pressure aside, Jones trains heavily and is of the belief she can hit a personal best 2:40 on Sunday, as Victoria is a flatter course than Ottawa, where she ran 2:44. A time of 2:40 would bring Jones within three minutes off Lucy Njeri’s 2011 course record of 2:37:56, and likely first place among the women, which comes with a $3,000 prize.

The men’s open marathon field of elites is deep, led by 2011 and 2012 winner Thomas Omwenga, 2010 winner Philip Samoe and Gilbert Kiptoo, who was second last year. The men’s half-marathon could feature the biggest duel of the weekend between Geoff Martinson (PB 1:05:39) and Willy Kimosop (PB 1:04:55). Olympian Hillary

Stellingwerff will challenge the women’s half.

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