Canadian among top women’s masters at New York City Marathon

Lisa Bentley (right) and Lori Bowden during the run as part of Team Fraser's relay team at the 2012 Subaru Ironman Canada. (Photo: David McColm)
Lisa Bentley (right) and Lori Bowden during the run as part of Team Fraser’s relay team at the 2012 Subaru Ironman Canada. (Photo: David McColm)

Canadian triathlon star Lisa Bentley was one of the top masters finishers at the New York City Marathon over the weekend.

Bentley, who has won 11 Ironman races over her career, finished 29th in the women’s race in 2:52:52. She was the top Canadian female finisher and also second in the women’s 40-44 age category, just six seconds back from the top finisher. She also placed second overall in the women’s masters category.

“They told me I could start at the front and it was such an honour for me to be able to start there,” said Bentley. “It would have been nice to start with 50,000 other people but it really was an honour to get to start with the 30 Olympians at the front.”

The 44-year-old was diagnosed in 1988 with cystic fibrosis and still went on a be a major force in the global triathlon scene.

“I ran 2:49 in Boston this year and I felt like I was fitter than that, so anything south of that would have been good, but word on the street was that NYC isn’t the best course for PBs. I raced 20 years as a professional triathlete. Now this is just fun for me. I run three days a week, coach and work. It’s really just a bonus to get to run a marathon.”

The top Canadian men’s finisher was Brendan Lunty, a 35-year-old Camrose, Alta., runner who finished eighth in his age category with a time of 2:36:17.

Lunty won the Okanagan Marathon on Oct. 13 and the Queen City Marathon on Sep. 8 and is an active member in the running community around Alberta.

Another well-known east-coaster who raced NYC was Stacy Chesnutt, who is the founder of United by Running.

“That was my 12th New York City Marathon and it felt bigger and louder than ones in the past,” said Chesnutt. “There were more than 50,000 people. It was definitely the biggest NYC marathon I’ve ever been in.” After the race it was reported that 50,740 runners started the race, making it the largest marathon in history.

Chesnutt finished in 3:37:47.

“NYC always has two million spectators. That’s what makes it, in my opinion, the best marathon out there,” said Chestnutt from her hotel room in New York City on Monday. “It’s never been as crowded as it was yesterday along the entire race.”

The 42 -year-old Dartmouth, N.S., runner also noted it felt very safe.

“I did NYC in 2001 shortly after 9/11 and it felt a lot like that, with the increased security. I’ve never seen 11 helicopters in the air at once. They made it feel very safe and that the race was completely locked down.”

Editor’s note: it was originally reported that Lisa Bentley won the masters title. This was based on unofficial results. The results have been modified, showing that 41-year-old Marlies Kort, who started with the mass start, finished in 2:51:46. As the results are still unofficial and it is unclear if this is gun or chip time, we are retracting our earlier report that Bentley is the masters winner. We will update the situation when the results are made official.