The beautiful weather wasn’t the only thing Vancouverites were excited about at the 44th BMO Vancouver Marathon; Canadian pride was at all all-time high when local and national Canadian winners dominated the top three positions in each race category.
Vancouver local, Rob Watson stormed the Finish for the first place spot in the Half Marathon. His final race time was a fast 1:04:48, a mere 2:12 shy of the male event record set by Paul Kimugul of Kenya last year. Watson is officially the 12th Canadian BMO Vancouver Half Marathon winner since 1993, boasting the fastest Canadian among that group. His efforts were enough to win him both the $2,000 first place prize money, and the $600 Top Canadian Bonus.
“Vancouver is the most beautiful city in our country; probably the most beautiful city in North America,” said Rob Watson during a race weekend interview. “I’m proud to be a Vancouver resident and proud to represent the city. It’s a top-notch race, it’s not just the fact that we have a beautiful setting and a great organization, we have a world-class event here.”
Runner up in the men’s Half Marathon was Willy Kimosop of Kenya with a time of 1:05:43. Third place finisher, Leonard Koech of Kenya was close behind Kimosop, completing the race with a time of 1:06:02.
Cheers on the street continued for Half Marathon women’s champion, Jane Murage of Kenya, crossing the finish with a time of 1:12:53. This is the fastest time since the event record was set at 1:12:33 by Mina Ogawa in 1996. “If you cross that Finish Line you are a champion of today,” said Murage. Vancouver’s own Dayna Pidhoresky stole the second place women’s Half Marathon title with 1:13:14. U.S runner, Allison Macsas placed third with 1:13:30.
The streets were hung with high hopes as the anticipation began to build for the first arrivals of the Marathon. Luka Chelimo and Daniel Kipkoech were neck-in-neck for the first half of the course. Chelimo then ran out in order to open a gap at the 25km mark near the Burrard Street Bridge. Chelimo’s swift pace was enough to win him the first place spot in the Male Marathon category with a time of 2:18:37. Kipkoech followed shortly after with a time of 02:18:50. Past Half Marathon winner and Canadian resident, Kip Kangogo claimed third place in the Marathon with 2:19:21.
“The course is beautiful,” states Kangogo. “There is a lot of cheering going on so it’s really nice. This race is have a well organized, event organizers have done a great job.”
Canadian women finished strong in the Marathon with Canadian Master’s record holder, Lioudmila Kortchaguina crowned as winner with an impressive time of 2:37:37. Close behind her, Hirut Guangul of the U.S placed second in 2:41:25. North Vancouverite Ellie Greenwood came in third, finishing in a time of 2:47:23.
Family, friends, and community enthusiasts dotted the four courses course throughout 12 sunny neighbourhoods. Also along the course and at Start and Finish Lines, stood a dedicated 4,000 volunteers, ensuring that the event was a safe and memorable one. The Neighbourhood Challenge, Team Challenge, Media Challenge and Camosun Hill Challenge winners will be announced in the coming days.
Full Marathon Male
1st – Luka Chelimo, Kenya [2:18:37]
2nd – Daniel Kipkoech, Kenya [2:18:49]
3rd – Kip Kangogo, Canada [2:19:21]
Full Marathon Female
1st – Lioudmila Kortchaguina, Canada [2:37:37]
2nd – Hirut Guangul, U.S. [2:41:25]
3rd – Ellie Greenwood, Canada [2:47:23]
Half Marathon Male
1st – Rob Watson, Canada [1:04:48]
2nd – Willy Kimosop, Kenya [1:05:43]
3rd – Leonard Koech, Kenya [1:06:02]
Half Marathon Female
1st – Jane Murage, Kenya [1:12:53]
2nd – Dayna Pidhoresky, Canada [1:13:14]
3rd – Allison Macsas, U.S [1:13:30]