Whitehorse runner wins second straight Mayo marathon

Despite a herniated disc in his back last summer, and the resulting inactive winter, Whitehorse's Simon Lapointe pulled off his second consecutive win at the Mayo Midnight Marathon on Saturday.

Despite a herniated disc in his back last summer, and the resulting inactive winter, Whitehorse’s Simon Lapointe pulled off his second consecutive win at the Mayo Midnight Marathon on Saturday.

“I’ve only been back to running for two months,” he said. “Considering these factors, I feel I had a great run. And there was a good turnout this year – lots of really strong runners.”

Running in the open men’s division of the 15th annual event, Lapointe narrowly outpaced second-place finisher, Whitehorse’s Keith Thaxter in the masters division, by less than two minutes, coming in at three hours, two minutes and 49 seconds.

Just his fifth marathon, Lapointe first competed in the Yukon River Trail Marathon in 2000. After a few years away from the sport, he then took second in the open men’s division of the River Trail in 2008 and first in 2009.

“I’ve always ran. I played in major junior baseball back in my youth and I was fortunate enough to have had a coach who played in the majors and extolled the importance of running,” said Lapointe. “(After my baseball career) I kept running just to keep in shape, like a lot of other people.”

Although having about 30 fewer participants than last year, with 193 taking part, the marathon did see its largest contingent of marathoners, with 22 competing in five divisions.

New this year, instead of having simultaneous starts for all the divisions, which range from five-kilometres to half and full marathons, organizers introduced staggered starts intended to bring runners and walkers from different categories over the finish line at about the same time – around midnight.

“It worked really well; it was well received at the breakfast,” said organizer Cheryl Klippert. “We asked participants at the breakfast and 99 per cent were in favour of the new start time.”

“It was a hundred times better,” said Lapointe. “Last year I finished at 3 a.m. and was totally wiped and borderline hypothermic.”

An out-and-back race starting in Mayo, runners follow the historic Silver Trail Highway towards Stewart Crossing before turning around at various check-points.

Once complete, competitors were welcomed to the finish with a homemade, champagne breakfast.

“Rumour has it, people come out to our marathon just for the breakfast,” said Klippert. “We actually serve champagne with juice.”

Top results

Open male marathon

1st Simon Lapointe (Whitehorse) – 3:02:49

2nd Mark Schiefelbein (Springfield, MO) – 3:36:40

3rd Jan Polivka (Whitehorse) – 3:48:49

Open female marathon

1st Angela Delia (Terrace, BC) – 3:50:01

2nd Natalie Thivierge (Whitehorse) – 4:03:16

3rd Aisha Montgomery (Whitehorse) – 4:07:52

Masters male marathon

1st Keith Thaxter (Whitehorse) – 3:04:18

2nd Ken Stubbings (Cobourg, ON) – 3:16:50

3rd Remo Budsahn (Ratingen, Germany) – 4:18:10

Masters female marathon

1st Joanne Vanbibber (Whitehorse) – 4:29:20

Senior male marathon

1st Vincent Perdue (Sudbury, ON) – 4:06:28

2nd Rich Roth (Aurora, CO) – 4:50:41

3rd Richard Vogt (Prescott, AZ) – 5:44:19

Half-marathon female

1st Cynthia Freeman (Whitehorse) – 1:41:58

Half-marathon female

1st Susan Bogle (Whitehorse) – 1:38:11

Half-marathon senior female

1st Susan Staffen (Whitehorse) – 2:17:59

Half-marathon male

1st Karl Blattmann (Teslin) – 1:26:27

Half-marathon senior male

1st Andy Blattmann (Faro) – 1:33:12

Half-marathon master male

1st Don White (Whitehorse) – 1:34:02

Half-marathon walk

masters female

1st Bonnie Love (Whitehorse) – 2:40:55

Half-marathon senior female

1st Patricia Daws (Whitehorse) – 3:14:20

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com