African men, Scottish woman lead the field across the finish line
African men and Scottish woman lead a field from around the world
Gezahgn Eshetu of Ethiopia broke the finish-line ribbon at Sunday’s BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday to claim his first North American title.
Eshetu, 28, won the 42.2-kilometre race in a time of two hours, 21 minutes, 51 seconds. Last year’s winner, Benard Onsare of Kenya, came second in 2:22:16.
“I am happy,” said Eshetu, who speaks very little English.
“This is his first big win over here in [North] America,” said Onsare, speaking on Eshetu’s behalf. “I’m really excited for him winning here, it’s his first time [in Vancouver].”
Eshetu came into the race expecting a top placing, saying through Onsare: “I’m not disappointed or discouraged. It’s a nice experience at the end of the day. Vancouver people, you are so special — so is Vancouver. I love this city.”
Last year, Onsare, 29, won the marathon with a time of 2:19. Both runners said they could have run faster races on the new course had they raced with each other before.
“We could have run faster, but since we didn’t know each other we just stayed behind. Nobody wanted to make a move,” Onsare said, explaining that both racers paced themselves for strategic reasons.
Ryan Day, of Victoria, placed third in 2:29:22 and claimed the overall firstplace Canadian finish. Kip Kangogo won the 21.1-km half-marathon in 1:04:48.
Scottish runner Ellie Greenwood, 33, won the women’s marathon title with a time of 2:42:16. She moved to North Vancouver just over a week ago.
“There are some very talented runners in Vancouver [and] Victoria,” said Greenwood, adding that one reason she moved here is that “I love the running community in Vancouver so much.”
Mary Akor, of California, placed second in 2:46:01. Victoria’s Catrin Jones came third in 2:52:11. Port Moody’s Natasha Wodak-frase won the women’s half-marathon in 1:15:12, beating her personal-best time.
This year’s sold-out race had 5,000 people run the full marathon and 10,000 people compete in the halfmarathon.