Two Olympians headline BC’s Comox Valley Half Marathon

Triathlete Simon Whitfield edges beer-miler Jim Finlayson to win Comox Valley Half Marathon.

While most eyes were on the New York City Half-Marathon on March 20, another strong half marathon was taking place on the other side of the continent. The Comox Valley Half-Marathon featured a who’s who of B.C. distance runners and triathletes.

The biggest name in the race was Simon Whitfield, best known for his Olympic gold medal in the triathlon in 2000. Another prominent competitior was Jon Brown, who twice finished fourth in the Olympic marathon, in 2000 and 2004. Jim Finlayson —  former Canadian marathon champion and world cross-country team member, and current world record holder for the beer mile — also toed the line.

The race was a close battle right to the tape, with Whitfield just narrowly edging out Finlayson, 1:06:23 to 1:06:26. Marathoner Jerry Ziak was third in 1:06:36 and triathlete Kyle Jones was 4th in 1:07:35. Jon Brown, in his first competition as a masters runner, was 5th in 1:07:37.

On the women’s side, Jen MacLean of Victoria finished in 1:21:49,  just ahead of Care Wakely, who ran 1:21:52. Melissa Ross was third in 1:24:01. Full results available here.