Manitoba’s largest running event kicked off Father’s Day for participants on Sunday morning in the province’s capital. The Manitoba marathon, consisting of the full marathon, half-marathon, relay, 10K and kids run, included a memorable and speedy finish on the rubber track at the University of Manitoba.
The race, first held in 1979, takes place annually on Father’s Day. The only runner to have run the race every year since its inception is 68-year-old Len Rolfson. There were risk of thunderstorms during the event making it a humid day for runners but the race went off on time.
Bradley Keefe won the event after finishing runner-up in 2015. The 34-year-old ran 2:43:32 to win by 29 seconds. Heather Magill took the women’s marathon in sub-3 going 2:55:55.
Abduselam Yussuf, who just completed his senior year competing with the Manitoba Bisons, won the half-marathon for the third consecutive year in 1:08:25. Yussuf has a lifetime best of 1:05:05 and hit the world half-marathon qualifying standard for Team Canada but did not compete as he was not one of the top-three ranked Canadians for the March championships.
Nicole Walker, the winner of the female amateur division at the Ironman North American championships in May, won the women’s half-marathon in 1:23:47.
This year the race switched up the race route by having runners run the traditional course in reverse. The race is a fast and flat course for the most part, made faster if the weather cooperates.
Organizers were hoping to hit 12,000 participants in the race and had more than 10,700 confirmed entrants in the week leading up to race.
Highlights from the event through the eyes of participants and organizers