The eight-kilometre run at the Victoria Marathon starts at 7:15 a.m., so there are’t as many spectators out that early to cheer on those runners.
But Whitehorse’s Lindsay Carson received plenty of cheers anyway.
“I really do enjoy the out-and-back course, especially normally being the lead female I get a lot of cheers from the people coming in the opposite direction,” said Carson. “A bunch of the moms with the strollers are giving me a lot of attention, so I always enjoy that.”
There’s a good chance many of them remember Carson from previous years. The 27-year-old was the top female in the eight-kilometre race a third consecutive year at the 37th annual event Sunday on Vancouver Island.
Carson placed first out of 1,480 female runners and was 12th overall in the field of 2,294. She finished with a time of 27 minutes and 35 seconds, three seconds off her winning time of last year, but almost a full two minutes ahead of the second place female runner, Justine Stecko of Victoria.
“This year was awesome. We had great weather. It was quite rainy the day before but the clouds really opened up the day of the race,” said Carson.
“I didn’t have too much competition in the female field but I had some great guys to run with throughout the race.”
Carson wasn’t the only Yukoner to claim victory in Victoria. Whitehorse’s Hannah Shier took first in the half marathon in her 19-and-under female division.
The 17-year-old finished in 1:44:08 and was 120th out of 1,769 females.
“(It was) hard, the atmosphere was incredible,” said Shier in a note to the News.
“(I am) pretty happy — was hoping for 1:40 but got too excited and started too fast.”
As usual, the annual charter Air North flight direct from Whitehorse to Victoria over Thanksgiving weekend filled up fast. The passenger list was filled with fast runners, many of whom were among the top runners in their divisions.
Naoise Dempsey was one of 10 from Whitehorse to place top-five in a division.
Dempsey placed second in the males 13-15 division in the eight-kilometre race with a time of 31:05. He was also 42nd overall and 38th out of 814 male runners.
Kate Mason, another Whitehorse junior, placed fourth in females 12-and-under in the eight-kilometre, reaching the finish in 40:35.
Melvin Rippell took second for males 75-79 in the eight-K at 49:42.
Simon Lapointe was the top Yukoner in the full marathon, placing fourth in males 40-44 with a time of 2:55:42. He also placed 21st overall in a field of 1,101.
Laura Salmon was Whitehorse’s top female in the marathon, coming in a 3:40:48 to place ninth in the 45-49 age division and 65th out of 502 women.
Whitehorse’s Jonathan Zaugg was the top Yukoner in the half marathon. He placed fourth for males 25-29 and 32nd overall at 1:23:46.
Sandra Macdougall was Yukon’s top female in the half, placing ninth in females 45-49 and 72nd for all females with a time of 1:40:00.
Helen Stappers took fourth in females 50-54 at 1:46:12, Hanna Atmanspacher-Wirth third for females 19-and-under at 1:49:29, and Kat Atmanspacher-Wirth fifth in the same division at 1:51:02.
Carson will next race the B.C. Cross Country Championships at the end of the month and next month at nationals, this year’s qualifier for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. She has twice raced for Team Canada at the biennial worlds, placing 59th at the 2014 championships in Guiyang, China.
“I had a great finish — not my best time, but close to my time goal. It shows that I’m strong entering this cross-country season,” she added. “It was an eight-K race and I definitely felt like I could have gone for an extra two-K for a full 10. That gives me some extra confidence that I have some good base right now and ready to tackle 10-K cross-country.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org