The weather on Haida Gwaii this summer was cool and wet. It rained hard race day morning, but about an hour before the start the rain stopped. The day stayed cool, with the odd shower, but, essentially, from the start until the last marathoner came in, the rain stayed away. For the runners, it was pretty much perfect race conditions.
Our race this year was dedicated to Jaylund Russ. Undoubtedly inspired by Jaylund, Desi Collinson, a long-time Saints player, won the 10 km run, and Jaylund’s father, Frank Russ, came third. Marco Calara of Surrey was second in the Men’s event. Julie Iverson, a past 10 km winner, took first place again this year, with Margaret Ormand of Queen Charlotte and Caitlin Meredith – the last runner to sign up for the 10 km – coming third. The turn out for the 10 km run was great, with kids and families and dogs – who ran with people, not on their own. We had a good number of participants who turned out to walk the 10 km.
Participation in the half marathon was down this year from 2016. Nevertheless, a new record was set in the women’s event by Adrienne Kaul of Terrace, with a time of 1:31:16. Carmen French of Kamloops and Wendy Geisbrecht of Cecil Lake rounded out the top three. Special congratulations to May Russ and Delavina Lawrence of Old Masset, who walked the half marathon.
Ryan Barber of Queen Charlotte, who ran the full marathon last year, won the half-marathon this year. Christopher Lightfoot of Prince Rupert took second place, while Dale Robinson, another past marathoner and 10 km participant, took third. Ben Davidson and Bernie Howlett came out again to run the half. Brody Rogers, who had some trouble with blisters early in the race, finished strong. Brody, at the age of 10, is the youngest finisher in the half-marathon at T2T. He beat his father across the finish line.
The men’s marathon was won by Dave Medicus of Colorado. James Thompson posted another sub-4 hour marathon , coming second in this year’s race. Darcy Venne of Calgary finished third. On the women’s side, Anna Kessler of Edmonton came first, Johanna Price of Calgary came second and Marilyne Tovar of Masset took third. Both Dave Medicus and Johanna Price qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Finishing a marathon by anyone’s standard is a real achievement. To the ladies from Prince Rupert who came to run it together, to Shannon, Leah, Yoolina, Donna, George and David congratulations. Two of this year’s participants have run more than their share around the world, finally coming to Haida Gwaii. Maria Pemberton of Vancouver ran her 61st marathon and Garrath Douglas of Calgary ran – well – he’s lost count – but he thinks it’s somewhere close to 80.
Congratulations to everyone who ran this year. Thanks – Howa’a – to all the volunteers.