Home > Runs & Races

Historic London, Ont. road race celebrates 50 years

London native Lanni Marchant was the first female to finish in a time of 1:18 while the men's race was won by Aaron Cooper on 1:07

The Springbank Road Races–now called the Hardick Chiropractic Centre Half-Marathon & 5K Run & Walk–is a historic event in London, Ont.’s Springbank Park. It took place today for the 50th time, making it one of the oldest running events in Canada.

RELATED: Tely 10 and Nova Scotia Marathon continue their historic runs on the east coast

The top two men finished less than 10 seconds apart. Aaron Cooper of Camlachie, Ont. was first across the line in 1:07:38. Eight seconds back was Josh Bolton of Paris, Ont. with local Matt Suda finishing third in 1:13:26.

On the women’s side, London-native Lanni Marchant was first to finish–she was also fourth overall–in a time of 1:18:35. This was Marchant’s third race in as many weeks having previously run the Oasis Zoo Run in Toronto (in which she won) and the Under Armour Eastside 10K (where she finished fourth). Tanis Bolton of Paris, Ont. was second in 1:19:10 with local Kate Reid, third in 1:29:10.

In the accompanying 5K race, Phillippe Parrot-Migas of London was the first finisher in 15:31. Jennifer Kehoe of South Bruce Peninsula was the first female finisher in 19:18.

The storied event first took place in 1968 and hosted a high school three miler, an open 4.5 mile race (~7K) and a 12 miler (~19K). For many years, it featured some of the greatest distance runners of all time including Canadian marathon record holder Jerome Drayton, Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, “Boston” Bill Rodgers and many other world-class athletes.

For a fascinating account including articles and photos from the first two years (1968 and 1969) of the event, click here. For 1973, the first time women were permitted to run, click here.