An earlier than normal start to running season seems to have served Yukon runners well.
Nine Whitehorse runners produced 20-top finishes in their respective age divisions at the BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday in B.C.
It’ll be one that Michelle Beaulieu remembers a long time.
Running her 15th marathon, Beaulieu placed 15th in her females 40-44 division with a personal best time of three hours, 39 minutes and 34 seconds.
By surpassing the 3:45:00 mark, for her first time she qualified for the iconic Boston Marathon, which she will “definitely” run.
“I was really, really happy with my time because I haven’t come close to that time in a decade. So I was a lot younger last time I had that speed,” said Beaulieu. “Being under 3:40 was really exciting for me because I wasn’t sure if I was actually capable of that. Some of the marathons I’ve done recently were about three hours and 50 minutes, so I was really happy I was able to improve by that much time.”
With her time Beaulieu also placed 118th for women and 575th overall.
Maggie Wright was second for Whitehorse runners in the marathon, placing 31st in females 35-39, 156th for women and 683rd overall with a time of 3:44:17.
Whitehorse’s Fran Nyman placed 40th for females 50-54 at 4:16:27.
Logan Roots was Whitehorse’s top finisher in the half marathon distance. The 22-year-old placed 22nd overall out of 7,181 runners and 15th in the elite male division with a time of 1:15:31.
“I was pretty disappointed with the result, actually,” said Roots. “I had been in Kenya for quite a while and I picked up some sort of bacterial thing there and was on antibiotics all week. This was about six minutes slower than my half-marathon time from February.”
Roots, a two-time winner of the Yukon River Trail Marathon, placed third in his age division at the national half-marathon championships last summer in Calgary.
Sheldon Lyslo was Whitehorse’s second fastest in the half, coming in at 1:28:27 to place seventh in the males 40-45 division and 131st overall.
However, Nathalie Dugas had the highest division finish of all the Whitehorse runners in Vancouver. Dugas placed sixth in the females 45-49 division.
“I have done the full Vancouver marathon once before and this was the third time I did the half,” said Dugas in an email to the News. “It is an early marathon for Yukoners – we were still skiing a few weeks ago – but it is such a nice course, it is well worth it. It is a great way to kick off our running season.”
Dugas finished with a personal best time of 1:37:34 to place 100th for females and 402nd overall.
“I had a really good time running! Vancouver is such a beautiful city and it was a gorgeous, sunny day,” said Dugas. “The conditions were perfect! This year there was a team category and we entered our Klondike Road Relay team (10 Yukon women) and we all had strong runs so it was really fun.”
Other Yukon results from the half include: Janet Clarke seventh in female 45-49 at 1:39:20; Deb Higgins 12th in females 40-44 at 1:41:49; Laura Salmon 13th in females 45-49 at 1:42:07; and Alice Frost Hanberg ninth for females under-19 at 1:52:52.
Whitehorse’s Sharon Moore cracked the top-10 for females 55-59 with seventh at 47:16 in the eight-kilometre event. Marg Wallace and Sara Wallace raced to 12th and 24, respectively, for their age divisions.
Over 16,500 participants raced in the 45th annual event on Sunday.
“The Vancouver route is beautiful, very scenic. There’s a lot of time on the water,” said Beaulieu. “It was a hot day, which was a little nerve-wracking because you can seize up and cramp up, and have issues with sunstroke. So I just made sure I hydrated a lot.”
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