The BMO Vancouver Marathon is this weekend. With one of the most beautiful courses in the world, this event gathers roughly 16, 000 people. This Sunday the award winning marathon will leave from Queen Elizabeth Park, run along the seawall, and finish downtown. The event features a kids run, relay, 8K, along with the half and full marathons. The Vancouver Marathon is truly “stunning running”. The marathon gets started at 8:30 a.m PST this Sunday.
With $40, 000 of prize money up for grabs and bonuses awarded for course records, the Vancouver Marathon has gathered a strong group of international and Canadian elite entries.
Here are some top runners to watch.
The men’s marathon has Jonathan Chesoo of Kenya coming in with the strongest personal best of 2:10:57 from 2011. Chesoo was second in the controversial 2015 Calgary Marathon where first and third place were disqualified for missing one kilometre of the course. Chesoo was promoted to first place after officials discovered the mistake.
Haron Kiptoo Sirma comes in with the second best PB at 2:13:07. The Kenyan has competed at several Canadian races this spring. He ran Around The Bay 30K in Hamilton, Ont. and won the Times Colonist 10K yesterday in Victoria, B.C. Given Sirma’s success on the roads this season, he will surely be a challenger for first.
Robin Watson is the fastest Canadian entered in the race this Sunday. With a PB of 2:13:29 from 2013 Watson is likely to make the podium. Among a strong group of men and on a beautiful course, Watson has a good shot at a personal best as well.
On the women’s side, Zhiling Zheng of China has the strongest incoming time. Zheng was a 2016 Olympian in the 3,000m Steeplechase and was the Los Angeles Marathon runner up last year. At only 21 years old she has run an impressive 2:33:50 marathon. Closely following Zheng is Haiymanot Alemayehu Shewe of Ethiopia. Shewe comes in with a personal best of 2:34:22.
The half marathon, which goes at 7 a.m. PST Sunday, has Canadians Natasha Wodak and Kip Kangogo on the elite start lists. Wodak is the Canadian 10, 000m record holder and comes in with the fastest time of the women’s half marathon field. She set to race at Payton Jordan three days earlier, so we will see if Wodak does end up running in Vancouver.
Kangogo is the three time champion of this event. He had a strong showing in Montreal two weeks ago, and is fit and ready to defend hit title. Other notable entries on the men’s side are Paul Kimugul and George Towett of Kenya. Both men have dipped under the 1:03:00 mark to run 1:02:35 and 1:02:55 respectively.
For coverage of the BMO Vancouver Marathon you can check out their live tracker here.