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Local new runner beats elites at Vancouver Half Marathon

Samantha Jory, 27, started running during the pandemic when her gym shut down

Photo by: Rob Shaer and Canada Running Series

On Sunday morning at Vancouver Half Marathon, local runner Samantha Jory, who was not on the elite list, shocked the field to win the race in 1:18:19, in only her third-ever half-marathon.

Samantha Jory pulls off an upset at the 2022 Vancouver Half Marathon. Photo: Rob Shaer and Canada Running Series

“I am shocked,” Jory says. “The time was faster than I expected.”

Jory, who paid for her race entry, beat the 11 elites on the start list.

Her goal going into the race was to run under an hour and 20 minutes. “I ran 1:20:22 at the Oak Bay Half Marathon in Victoria, B.C. in early June, so I knew under 1:20 was achievable,” she says.

She credits her discipline for her surprise performance. Jory went out at 1:20 pace (3:46/km) through 10K in 37:44, then negative split the final half of the race, averaging 3:39 per kilometre.

Jory, 27, began running during the pandemic when her gym was closed. To this day, she trains with her group of friends and does not have a coach. In May, she ran her first marathon in 2:50:09 at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. She hopes to tackle the 42.2-kilometre distance again come fall. 

Victoria native Jen Millar and Edmonton’s Danielle Theil finished second and third, in 1:18:53 and 1:19:15, respectively.

Milton, Ont. native Ben Preisner crosses the finish line at the Vancouver Half Marathon in first 65:49. Photo: Rob Shaer and Canada Running Series

Canadian Olympic marathoner Ben Preisner won the men’s race handily in 65:49. Vancouver’s Brendan Wong finished second in 67:23, while Mohamed Aagab of New Brunswick was third in 67:38.

Full results from the 2022 Vancouver Half Marathon can be found here.