Submitted by Maurice Wilson
The Pacific Road Runners “First Half” Half Marathon on February 8th promises to be one of the most competitive in the 16-year history of the event. Included in the entries are at least three athletes who are hoping to compete in this years Olympics in Athens. There will also be eight former winners of the race lining up at the start, plus many more of BC’s best distance runners.
The top entries include Englishman Jon Brown who finished 4th in the 2000 Olympic marathon, Canada’s top marathoner Bruce Deacon, Somalian Mohamed Abukar, and locals Scott McClennan, Mark Bomba, Neil Holm, Colin Dignum, Jorge Parra, Shane Bilodeau and Bertrand Plouvier.
Close behind will be top masters runners Norm Tinkham, Richard Lee and Anthony Skuce, who might all be under the current masters course record.
On women’s side expect a three-way battle between BC’s Tina Connelly and Lucy Smith and Alberta’s Lisa Harvey, all former winners of the race. They will be hotly pursued by top master Nancy Tinari.
There will be equally competitive races through all the age groups, but most of the 2000 runners will be aiming for their own personal glory.
The event sold out in December, but spectators are very welcome. Event proceeds benefit Variety—the Children’s Charity. The race starts at 8:30am with the winner expected shortly after 9:30am. Start and finish are at the Roundhouse Community Centre, downtown Vancouver, with the race route following the seawall around Stanley Park.