Sunday October 10, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
COVID continues in a second year, but that didn’t stop the Royal Victoria Marathon from pulling off their popular road-running event this year. The race is held annually on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend (except for last year when COVID was in a pre-vaccine second wave).
Sunny but cool and windy weather greeted over 4,000 participants in today’s Royal Victoria Half Marathon and 8K, the first in-person road race that Victoria has seen for over 18 months.
Mathew Travaglini and Leanne Klassen won the Half Marathon and Reid Muller and Sarah Inglis won the 8K, with Inglis setting a new course record for the second year in a row.
A respectable turnout was achieved. The Half Marathon had 2,715 registrants and the 8K drew 1,704 for a total of 4,419.
The Victoria Marathan 2021 COVID protocols included that participants, volunteers and on-site personnel needed to be double vaccinated, showing proof of vaccination for COVID-19, for the in-person Half Marathon and 8K on Sunday, October 10.
Masks were mandatory at the start and finish line areas but could be removed when racing.
In the weeks ahead of the race Cathy Noel, GM & Race Director, said that offering in-person racing was important to her team. “And while we know this isn’t an ideal situation, we want to do our part to ensure that events like ours are able to be back to full capacity in 2022,” she said in a news release.
Winners & record-breakers:
As reported by Victoria Marathon organizers on October 10, 2021:
- Travaglini, from Calgary won in 1:06:44 closely followed by Coquitlam’s Brendan Wong in 1:06:53. Third was Logan Roots from Courtenay finishing in 1:10:00. Top master was Jeff Vogt from Kelowna (1:14:24). This was Travaglini’s first time running the RVM Half Marathon – he has run the TC10K twice – and he came to the race confident having won the Calgary Half Marathon last month. “This course was gorgeous and one of the best I have raced,” he said. “There was a head wind particularly between 17 and 21 kilometres which made it interesting.”
- There was one age group record: Rory Switzer in the M60-64 (1:22:13).
- Klassen – also from Calgary – was a favourite to win and she didn’t disappoint hitting the tape in 1:17:15. Second – and top master – was fellow Calgarian Maria Zambrano in 1:18:16 and third was local athlete Chloe Hegland finishing in 1:18:40. Klassen hadn’t done a lot of running during the pandemic, training on her own and running mainly virtual time trials. “Not having done any racing for 20 months it is so cool to win,” she said. “This was my first time running here and it was a beautiful course but challenging with the head wind. There were so many on the course cheering us on it felt great.”
- There were three female age group records: Zambrano set an age group record in the W50-54, Jillian Fong in the W55-59 (1:22:03) and Roslyn Smith in the W70-74 (1:46:25).
- For Inglis it was three in a row as 8K champion, and she broke her own 2019 course record by eight seconds finishing in 25:35, as well as setting a new W30-34 age group record. Second was Victoria’s Mariah Kelly in 27:05 and third was Rebecca Bassett from White Rock in 27:29. Top master was Victoria’s Andrea Minter (34:19). An age group record was also set in the W70-74 by Gwyneth Woodson (39:26).
- Inglis, from Scotland, was pleased with her win considering she had been injured during the summer. “I only really had five weeks of training, so I had no idea how I was going to do today.” She has been living and training in Surrey for the last eight years and even though she still represents Great Britain – she will be running in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in China in March 2022 – she races as much as she can in Canada. Her next competition is the 10K Canadian Championships next weekend.
- The men’s race was won by Langley’s Reid Muller in 24:00, second was Kevin Friesen from Nanaimo in 24:10 and third was Vancouver’s Theo Hunt in 24:21. Victoria’s Matthew Carlson was the top master finishing in 27:33. Muller, a track and cross-country specialist in his senior year at Washington State University, also set an age group record in the M20-24. The record has stood for 35 years (Gary Barber: 24:20).
Despite the headwinds:
“Despite the headwinds on Dallas Road we had some great racing today”, said Jonathan Foweraker, President, Victoria Marathon Society. “The race went off without a hitch due to all the hard work of the Race Committee and volunteers; everything was so well organized. We look to return next year with the Marathon and the Kids Run to make this a complete weekend of running.”
Full results of the 2021 Victoria Marathon are posted online.