male winner: Brian Michasiw; 2:45:24
female winner: Nancy Chong; 3:18:32
The 30th Saskatchewan Marathon had the largest number of entries ever (about 2200 in the three events), reflecting the ever-increasing interest and participation in fitness activities and organized running and walking events.
The events started and ended at Diefenbaker Park again, but there were a couple of popular changes to the route. For the first time, participants crossed the new pedestrian bridge at Circle Drive and proceeded to the east side of the Meewasin Trail, running high up on the bank of the South Saskatchewan River. Construction at Royal University Hospital required that runners go through part of the RUH parkade – likely a first in any sanctioned event in Canada (maybe even in the world).
Brian Michasiw won an unprecedented fourth Marathon, succesfully defending his title, in a time of 2:45:24. Michasiw ran side-by-side with eventual second-place finisher, Kevin Morgans (2:46:10) for 35 Km. At that point, Morgans said: “Go get ’em, Brian” – and he never saw him again.
The women’s Marathon champion was Nancy Chong, of Midland, Ontario, in a time of 3:18:32. Chong is trying to do a marathon in each province and a friend suggested that she do the event in Saskatoon. Chong said after: `The course is beautiful … and the volunteers are fantastic`.
The half-marathon winners were Jody Draude (1:18:34) and Wendy Lepage (1:35:10). In the 10Km event, Jamie Epp won the men’s division in 32:24 and it was former marathon champion Brandi Pozniak (2003) winning the women’s division in 37:50.
The weekend’s activities also included a fun run on Saturday, in support of the proposed Children’s and Maternal Hospital. It is hoped that that event will continue to be offered in the future. The guest speaker at the pasta dinner on Saturday night was John “The Penguin” Bingham, whose humourous talk was appreciated by all in attendance. Organizers were pleased to have the winner of the first Saskatchewan Marathon in 1979, Ted Hawes as the honourary starter.
Runner photos courtesy The StarPhoenix.
9am wind: NE 33Kmh, 7am: 10°C, 11am: 9°C