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GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon Announces Elite Athlete Field

October 06, 2017

(Victoria, BC – October 6, 2017) Three-time winner of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Daniel Kipkoech, will be back on Sunday hoping to make it four in a row it was announced today at the pre-race media conference. The 2016, 2015, and 2014 champion will be joined by Kip Kangogo and Teklu Deneke in the 38th annual event. In the women’s field Andrea Lee, Lissa Zimmer and Margreet Dietz, all from Vancouver, will be vying to be the champion. The event will also feature Olympians Evan Dunfee (Marathon Race Walker), and Reid Coolsaet (Marathon) who will be competing in the Half Marathon.

Kipkoech, who has a PB of 2:19, is the favourite on Sunday having already won the Calgary Marathon and the BMO Vancouver Marathon this year. Kangogo is the 2017 Canadian Half Marathon Champion and Deneke won the BMO Harris Bank AZ Marathon – his PB is 2:12. Dunfee, from Vancouver, was 4th in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and made headlines by not contesting a clash in the race that denied him a potential podium finish. Zimmer is the top seed in the women’s field. With a PB of 2:42 she was the top Canadian in this year’s Boston Marathon. Lee was third in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon last year, and Dietz has medaled at the Seattle Marathon and Bellingham Bay Marathon.

The Half Marathon field sees Rob Watson from Vancouver back with a goal to better his second placing last year (1:09:55). With a PB of 1:03 he will have competition from Geoff Martinson (PB – 1:05) and Olympian Coolsaet. Coolsaet – Canada’s second fastest Marathoner – is coming off injury but has a PB of 1:02:42. Jim Finlayson is top master, with a personal best of 1:05:42 at the Comox Valley Half Marathon in 2005. Finlayson set the Canadian M45-49 half-marathon record in August in Reykjavik, Iceland in a time of 1:09:18. The women’s field is led by BC 1500 metre champion Sarah Inglis from Langley, who has a PB of 1:14:51. Lisa Brooking and Nicole Roberts, both with a PB of 1:16, are second and third seeds.

The men’s 8K field is led by Patrick Cheptoek from Uganda (PB of 22:54), followed by Alex Cameron from Portland (PB 24:44) and local Victoria athlete Thomas Riva with a PB of 25:05. Lindsay Carson, the 2016, 2015 and 2014 8K champion from Whitehorse, now residing in Burnaby, is returning to defend her 8K title. She won in 27:35 last year. She will be challenged by Kim Doerksen who won the 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon, and has an 8K PB of 27:15 set in Victoria in 2014. Justine Stecko, from Victoria, who was second last year, will also be in contention.

For the ninth year in a row the event will host the BC Marathon Championships. The total prize purse for the High Performance Athlete Program in the Marathon and Half Marathon is $32,800, with $3,000 each going to the top male and female Marathoner, and a $4,000 bonus for a new men’s or women’s Marathon course record. The Men’s course record was set in 2013 by Lamech Mokono in 2:13:42 and the Women’s by Lucy Njeri in 2011 (2:37:56). Natasha Wodak-Fraser set the women’s Half Marathon record in 2012 (1:14:06). The Men’s Half Marathon record is held by Jon Brown (2002 – 1:02:32). Gary Barber holds the men’s 8K Road Race course record (1989 – 23:23), and Ulla Marquette holds the women’s record (1991 – 26:24). Two World Records have also been set in Victoria - Gwen McFarlan in 2010 in the W75-79 (4:02:27); and Betty Jean McHugh in the W80-99 in 2008 (4:35:52).

Over 8,000 have registered for the event so far which features the Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, 8K Road Race and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run.

Late entries for the Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K, and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run are being accepted at the Race Expo, at the Victoria Conference Centre, from 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm on Friday, October 6, and 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 7. There is no race day registration.

For more details visit www.runvictoriamarathon.com