Roots notches second win in Yukon marathon

Whitehorse's Logan Roots runs between 120 and 150 kilometres every week while training. So it's little wonder he's so fast.

Whitehorse’s Logan Roots runs between 120 and 150 kilometres every week while training.

So it’s little wonder he’s so fast.

After missing last year’s marathon because of the Canada Summer Games, Roots regained the men’s title at the Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse on Sunday.

Roots finished in two hours, 50 minutes and 49 seconds, with a blistering pace of 14.05 kilometres an hour, to place first overall out of 31 marathon competitors at the 15th annual race.

Roots also broke the three-hours mark two years ago when he won, “But that’s when this started and finished in Shipyards Park, so we didn’t have to do Hidden Lakes and got a lot more flat pavement,” said the 21-year-old. “The course today felt quite a bit harder.”

Roots, who now has two marathon wins under his belt, has only run the two. He placed 12th overall in the half-distance at the Victoria Marathon in October and came fourth overall and won his division at the B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship two weeks ago in Vancouver.

The final leg of Sunday’s marathon, as always, was a killer, he said.

“I had Dave (Eikelboom) and the guy from Juneau for the first five kilometres on pavement and then I got into a rhythm and flowed through the next few legs,” said Roots. “I was feeling pretty good. I got to the last leg and wasn’t feeling too good, but I managed to make it to the end.”

Juneau’s Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, running in his first marathon, placed second with a time of 3:01:23. Knutson-Lombardo competed in track and cross-country in NCAA Div. 3 in Oregon and won a pair of conference titles.

“A few folks from Juneau over the years have done it and we hear great things, so we decided to come up,” said Knutson-Lombardo. “It’s a beautiful trail, some beautiful undulating hills on the third and fourth legs.”

Whitehorse’s David Eikelboom, last year’s winner, placed third at 3:04:49.

Eikelboom, a past Yukon cross-country champ, sliced more than three minutes off his time.

“Third place, but three and a half minutes faster – I’ll take that,” said Eikelboom. “That tells me this is getting better, so that’s good news.”

For the second time in three years an Anchorage runner topped the women’s marathon.

Teri Buck crossed the line in 4:10:33 to win for women and place eighth overall.

Sunday’s was Buck’s 35th marathon and third marathon win, with two in Alaska.

“I came up and did it last year, had such a great time, I wanted to do it again,” said the 51-year-old. “We come up in our RV with bikes and kayaks and spend a couple weeks here and in Carcross.

“I just love the Yukon, it’s like Alaska on steroids. It has everything.”

Whitehorse’s Debra Jonasson snagged second for women and ninth overall at 4:22:41.

Juneau’s Lindsay Hallvik grabbed the No. 3 spot at 4:43:40.

Whitehorse runners occupied the top three overall spots in the half-distance event, out of 101 racers.

Logan Boehmer climbed to the top of the heap with a time of 1:32:21. It was the first time the 22-year-old did the half in the River Trail.

Like Roots, he was competing for Yukon at the Canada Games last summer.

“It’s a tough course, but it’s fun,” said Boehmer. “It’s a good outcome for the first time running it.

“I’m glad I had a hard race today, I feel good about it. It’s nice to know you pushed yourself really hard.”

Jonathan Zaugg placed second for men – third overall – at 1:37:05 and North Carolina’s Art Odell came third for men – fourth overall – at 1:43:04.

Whitehorse’s Lindsay Carson loves cross-country but isn’t big into marathons. She nonetheless was the fastest woman on the course for the second year in a row.

She took first with a time of 1:35:06 and was second overall behind Boehmer.

“This is a good, hard training run,” said Carson. “This year was really tough, the heat definitely got to me.

I didn’t have too much energy at the beginning of the race, and that can get overwhelming, so my plan of attack was to spin the whole race and not push it too hard.”

Carson placed second for open women, first for women 20-24, at the 2014 B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship and placed second out of 19,377 women runners at the Vancouver Sun Run in this spring.

She came fourth at last year’s Canadian National Cross Country Championships.

“It’s not my ideal distance, I still do it to keep my competitive edge,” said Carson. “You can’t not race for a year. You have to have races to get up for.”

Cecil Lake, B.C.‘s Wendy Giesbrecht ran to second for women at 1:53:59 and was eighth overall.

Whitehorse’s Kayleen Willms scooped up third for women, 10th overall, at 1:55:08.

Tom Ullyett is ubiquitous in Whitehorse running events and is a regular in the marathon, but this year he tried something new.

Ullyett, racing in masters plus (50-59), took the top spot in the half-marathon walkers division.

“I decided I wanted to try a little bit of a different challenge in this event,” said Ullyett. “I’ve been in it many times, it’s a great event, and there is a walking category. Race walking is a serious sport with all levels of competition, including the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.”

Ullyett, who placed first in his division for the half-distance run in 2012, came in at 2:47:03.

Saskatoon’s Paul Snider logged second for males, ninth overall, at 3:53:47.

Whitehorse’s Becky Striegler posted her first walkers win for women at 2:53:29.

Fellow Whitehorsians Tanya Astika and Christiane Vaillancourt came second and third at 2:56:22 and 2:56:24, respectively.

The River Trail marathon presents runners and walkers with lots of obstacles, like hills, tree roots and rocks.

Ullyett came across one of the worst kinds of obstacles in the Hidden Lakes area. The grizzly kind.

“I was coming down a hill and unbeknownst to me there was a sow and at least one cub,” said Ullyett. “Fortunately the grizzly slammed on the breaks and took off in the opposite direction and I slammed on the breaks and went the other direction and then stopped and waited for Tanya, Becky and Christiane to come through. I didn’t want to go through the bear area by myself.”

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