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Kenyan Lamech Mokono pulled away from the elite group 32-kilometres into the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and finished strong to set the fastest time ever with a time of two hours, 13 minutes and 42 seconds.
Mokono is based out of Santé Fe, New Mexico, and only registered for the marathon a week prior. His time was 51 seconds faster than Thomas Omwenga’s 2012 record. Omwenga was part of the elite group with Mokono, Kip Kangogo and Josephat Onger. Kangogo came second in 2:15:35, Ongeri was third in 2:19:53 and Omwenga was fourth in 2:26:35. Oliver Utting, from Burnaby, was fifth and the top master, finishing in 2:29:55, while also winning the men’s B.C. Marathon Championship.
Sunny skies and less humid conditions made for an ideal race day.
Victoria’s Catrin Jones set a personal best of her own and was the top women in the marathon with a time of 2:43:03, her second Victoria Marathon win, having won in 2010.
“I was worried about the pressure of taking an early lead,” she said in the GFVM release. “At the turnaround at 24-km I saw Katherine (Moore) and pushed a little more. My pace felt good at 37-km and I felt strong and confident.”
Jones doubled as the women’s B.C. Marathon Champion. Moore, from Vancouver, came in second at 2:50:57. Third was Denise McHale from the Yukon in 2:56:41.
Ten age-group records were also set as 11,768 registered in all four events, the third largest event in its 34-year history. The Marathon had 2,008 registrants, the Half Marathon had 5,471, the 8K Road Race had 2,909 and there were 1,300 in the Thrifty Foods Kids Run, which sold out for the second year in a row.
In the Half Marathon Kelly Weibe (Vancouver) won in 1:04:59. Second was Victoria’s Geoff Martinson in 1:05:18 with a PB, and third was Willy Kimosop from Lethbridge, Alta., in 1:06:31. Jim Finlayson was the top master in 1:09:47. In the women’s race top seed Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff, who won in her first half marathon with a time of 1:16:11. Sidney’s Lucy Smith was fourth and the top women’s master finishing in 1:17:54.
The last five kilometres were tough, said Stellingwerff, a 2012 Olympian.
“My legs were getting tired but I really enjoyed the challenge. The crowds were yelling and were really behind me.”
Victoria runners dominated the 8K Road Race as Victoria’s Olivier Collin surprised with a winning time of 24:40. Nick Walker was second in 25:25 and Trevor Schiavone third in 25:53. Masters runners Craig Odermatt and Bruce Deacon came fourth and fifth in 26:01 and 26:10 respectively, with Odermatt winning the masters crown. Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff made it two in a row winning the women’s race in 27:50. Patricia Roney was second in 29:41 and Brittany Therrien was third in 30:20. Both reside in Victoria. Cheryl Nicholls from Victoria won the masters in 31:36.
The 35th Annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon is Oct. 12, 2014.
– With files from the GFVM