Imagine a one-minute improvement for every mile of your race.

Having never run a half-marathon prior to June 2016, Winnipeg’s Jaclyn Adamson has slashed her personal best by more than 13 minutes over the course of the past year. Adamson won the Manitoba Half-Marathon (her hometown race) on Sunday and has gone two-for-two in half-marathons this year, including a win at the Fargo Half-Marathon last month.

In 2016, she ran 1:36:20 at the Winnipeg-based race. This year, she ran 1:23:38 – her PB is from North Dakota last month in 1:22:34 – finishing inside Investors Group Field, the first time the race has finished inside the massive Canadian Football League (CFL) stadium.

“I was completely surprised by how much I improved from last year to this year but my coach was not,” Adamson says. “Last year I had recently gotten back into running, in university I was a 600m-1500m runner and would battle through cross-country season. So tackling these long gruelling workouts and long runs were still intimidating to me. After getting one half-marathon under my belt I had new found confidence and had a better understanding of what needed to be done in order to improve.”

Unfortunately, there was a mix-up with the finish line setup and she wasn’t able to break the tape. Adamson says that she was aware that she was the winner upon crossing the finish line but needed to zig-zag, because of a neighbouring male runner and the fact that officials were reaching down to grab the winner’s tape that had fallen.

Video (footage from Marathon-Photos.com)

Manitoba Marathon executive director Rachel Munday says there is a specific protocol on corralling the women’s winner down the chute. The runner who finished next to Adamson was directed down a separate chute but reentered the line taken by the women’s leader. “Will it happen again next year? Absolutely not,” Munday says.

The former University of Manitoba track and cross-country athlete has upped her mileage considerably over the past year, which has, in part, led to some big reductions in her times.

“My weekly mileage drastically increased,” she says. “My focus and mind set to take on this long of a race all came together this year.” Her long runs are between 20-24K.

“This half-marathon confirmed that having pizza as my pre-race meal results in great race day results, that you should always coat your body in Body Glide, like everywhere, and crossing the finish line can be a very terrifying experience that you’ll miss breaking the tape,” Adamson wrote on Instagram.

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