The fall marathon season kicked off in a big way over the weekend in Berlin, Germany. The 42nd running of the World Major Marathon showcased a massive field (28,000 finishers) and fast running as expected.
While no world record was set, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran an impressive 2:04:00 to claim top spot (despite some serious shoe issues) ahead of fellow countryman Eliud Kiptanui in 2:05:21 and Feyisa Lilese of Ethiopia in 2:06:57. Gladys Cherona also of Kenya was the top female running under the elusive 2:20 mark in a time of 2:19:25. Aberu Kebede and Meseret Hailu, both of Ethiopia, were second and third respectively in 2:20:48 and 2:24:33.
Perhaps more relevant to Canadians however was the incredible showing of Hamilton-native Reid Coolsaet who ran a personal best time of 2:10:28 which is the second fastest ever by a Canadian and also placed him sixth overall in a strong field of international competition. Reid was gunning for a sub 2:10 time which would have eclipsed the Canadian record of 2:10:09 but errant pace-setters in the second half meant he had to take charge himself and run alone and ultimately couldn’t make up the time. Neverthelles, this incredible result, both time and place, sets him up nicely for the Rio Olympics next year.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose half marathon also featured a slew of fast Canadians. Natasha Lebeaud placed fourth overall in the women’s race running 1:15:18 while Dylan Wykes placed tenth overall in 1:05:10.
Here at home there were also a number of featured runs and races including Canada’s oldest marathon. The 64th edition of the Huffin’ Puffin Marathon in St. John’s ran yesterday and saw Ian Royle and Caroline McIlroy named provincial marathon champions running 2:48:53 and 2:52:50. McIlroy also placed second overall in the field of approximately 100 participants. Top finishers in the half were Trevor Trahey (1:18:41) and Anne Johnston (1:22:01).
One of Alberta’s most popular event, Melissa’s Road Race, ran Saturday in Banff and saw nearly 5,000 participants compete in the 5 and 10K races. Keith Bradford of Calgary was the top 5K male running 17:34 and Maria Zambrano, also of Calgary, was top female as well as second overall in 18:16. In the 10K, Geoff Hopfner of Calgary was first overall in 35:16. Susan McArthur of Cochrane was the first female in 41:23.