A pair of first-time winners from Edmonton showed the way at the 2015 edition of the BMO Okanagan Marathon.
Lewis Kelly won the men’s title, while Abigail Huyser-Wierenga took the women’s 42.2 km race on a mild, sunny Sunday morning in Kelowna.
Lewis left the field well behind, winning with a time of two hours 33 minutes 15 seconds.
Kelowna’s Chris Young placed second at 2:50:17 and Ian McKinley of Kamloops placed third in a time of 2:54:46.
The overall men’s winner was elated to claim his first ever BMO Okanagan Marathon.
“I thought I had a shot at it from the get-go, there was a bit of wind to contend with, but beautiful conditions on the course,” said Kelly, who led the whole way after getting off to a fast start.
“The final 10 km got away from me a little bit, but I was able to finish with a personal best time and take home the win.
“It’s a great event with lots of spectators cheering and encouraging you on.”
In the women’s division, Abigail Huyser-Wierenga won her first ever marathon in a winning time of 3:04:21.
“I shaved almost five minutes off my personal best time,” said Huyser-Wierenga, a 23-year-nurse from the Alberta capital. “It was a fast course with perfect weather conditions on the day. I plan to come back next year to defend my title.”
Following in second place was Calgary’s Jennessa Kemp of Calgary at 3:13:37, with Vancouver’s Lucy Kenward placing third in 3:15:51.
The men’s half marathon saw a new champion crowned as Simon Stewart of Edmonton won the 21.1 km event in 1:13:28.
Placing second was Larry Green of Summerland with a time of 1:15:36, followed by Matt Mead of Salmon Arm in 1:18:01.
Calgary’s Melissa Currie won the women’s half with a personal best time of 1:26:31. Currie was delighted to run a personal best time, America Aznar of Edmonton finished second with a time of 1:29:20, while Calgary’s Raina Cockburn finished third at 1:29:42.
Kamloops runner Nathan Champness won the 10 km men’s run in a time of 34:45. First place in the women’s event went to Edmonton’s Carla Rodriguez Dimitrescu who ran a time of 43:53.
The event drew similar numbers to last year with close to 2,800 competitors.
Saturday featured the Running Room’s Free Friendship Run, 5km, and the BMO ABC Kids Run with 250 youngsters completing the one km event
Over the years, the BMO Okanagan Marathon has raised more than $355,000 for The Sunshine Foundation of Canada.
The top results are:
• Marathon Male
1st – Lewis Kelly, Edmonton-2:33:15
2nd – Chris Young, Kelowna-2:50:17
3rd – Ian McKinley, Kamloops, BC -2:54:46
• Marathon Female
1st – Abigail Huyser-Wierenga, Edmonton-3:04:21
2nd – Jennessa Kemp, Calgary-3:13:37
3rd – Lucy Kenward, Vancouver-3:15:51
• 21.1 km Half Marathon Male
1st – Simon Stewart, Edmonton-1:13:28
2nd – Larry Green, Summerland-1:15:36
3rd – Matt Mead, Salmon Arm-1:18:01
• 21.1 km Half Marathon Female
1st – Melissa Currie, Calgary-1:26:31
2nd – America Aznar, Edmonton-1:29:20
3rd – Raina Cockburn, Calgary- 1:29:42
For complete results, visit sportstats.ca