While spring started off slowly in most of the nation, the race season got off to a running start this past weekend. The BMO Vancouver Marathon, Toronto GoodLife Marathon and Mississauga Marathon experienced record turnouts for all distances, a sure sign that runners are more than race ready for warmer days ahead.
In Vancouver, Canadian elite runner Rob Watson (who scored the men’s half marathon title back in 2015) won the men’s marathon (02:27:38) this time around.
In the women’s marathon, China’s Zhiling Zheng (02:43:50) claimed the win over Mexcio’s Margarita Quintero (02:50:25) who took second place.
Additional Canadian wins included Natasha Wodak (01:14:01) who landed the women’s half marathon title.
The conditions in the Greater Toronto Area were equally cooperative as in Vancouver with thousands toeing the line at both the Toronto and Mississauga Marathons.
Runners at the Toronto GoodLife Marathon began with a moment of silence for the victims and families of the Toronto attack which killed 10 and injured 16 in April. The marathon and half marathon start lines were meters away from where the attack took place. Top marathon finishers included Brooks Running athlete David Freake (02:33:57) who won the men’s title along with Julie Hamulecki (02:52:10) who crossed the line first in the women’s marathon.
The Mississauga Marathon is a race with a loyal following in its 15 year history with some runners who participated in Sundays race having raced every year since 2004. Among the winners in the men’s marathon were Toronto’s Tsegaye Dissasa (02:31:29) while Clemence Vauzelle (03:02:17) of Etobicoke claimed first in the women’s marathon.