Whitehorse’s Logan Roots makes podium at half marathon nationals

There doesn't seem to be a form of competitive running Whitehorse's Logan Roots doesn't excel in. The 21-year-old has had successes on the track, in cross-country, 10-kilometre events, snowshoeing and marathons.

There doesn’t seem to be a form of competitive running Whitehorse’s Logan Roots doesn’t excel in.

The 21-year-old has had successes on the track, in cross-country, 10-kilometre events, snowshoeing and marathons.

He is also shaping up to be one of the top half-marathon runners in the country.

Roots bagged a third-place finish for his half-distance age division at the 51st annual 2015 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon on Sunday in Alberta.

“It’s always different coming to a new city and racing – I haven’t spent much time in Calgary and didn’t know the course all that well,” said Roots. “But I knew a few people in the start line and what kind of times they’d be running, so my plan was to stick with them and see how it went.

“I hit a bit of a low spot at about 15K but managed to pick it up and finish pretty strong. The course was absolutely beautiful and was really fun.”

The half-distance event on Sunday doubled as the Canadian Half Marathon Championships.

Roots took third out of 92 runners in the males 20-24 division. He was also 17th out of 1,434 males and 19th overall out of 3,301 runners.

It was Roots’ first time competing at the half-marathon nationals.

“The guy who got third overall won the 20-24 age group, which was pretty impressive, and the guy who was second (in 20-24) was from out East somewhere and I had never raced him before,” said Roots. “It was a good experience seeing who was out there at these national championship events. But I’m pretty happy I managed to stick it out and come third.”

Roots has made the podium for his age group the last two years at the Victoria Marathon. This past October in Victoria Roots placed seventh overall in the half out of 3,795 runners and reached second in the 20-24 division.

In Victoria he set his personal best time of one hour, 11 minutes and 32 second.

He was a little slower on Sunday, crossing the line at 1:13:43.

“That was nowhere close to my personal best,” said Roots. “Even the top guy who won in 1:06(:39), his personal best is a 1:04 … So no one was really close to their personal best.

“The weather couldn’t have been better for the race, but the course was quite rolling and had lots of corners. It had a little higher elevation than what people who race at sea level are used to doing.”

Roots, who won the Yukon River Trail Marathon in 2012 and 2014, finished 11th at the B.C. cross-country championships and 46th at nationals last year.

He has represented Yukon on the track at two Canada Summer Games and in the 2013 Games became the first Yukoner to reach an A final, which he did in the 1,500-metre.

Over the span of three Arctic Winter Games, Roots won a total of seven gold and three silver in snowshoeing.

More recently, Roots claimed seventh for his age group at the Vancouver Sun Run in April. He was also 27th overall for men in the event, which is Canada’s largest 10-kilometre race with a little over 39,000 runners taking part this year.

A week later Roots, who spent time training in Kenya – the home of many of the world’s fastest runners – earlier this year, took second for his division and ninth overall at the Times Colonist 10-Kilometre Run in Victoria.

“That one went very, very well,” said Roots.

Roots wasn’t the only Yukoner to race in Calgary on Sunday. Whitehorse’s Wayne Smyth raced the full marathon distance and finished with a time of 3:59:31 to take 16th for males 55-59 and 305th overall out of 881.

“It’s definitely a race I’d do again. It had a really fun atmosphere,” added Roots.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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