There was another capacity crowd for the annual Vancouver Sun Run in Vancouver this past Sunday, as more than 56,000 runners took to the streets to finish a 10 km course. As always the field included everyone from professional international runners to people who spent months training for their first organized race.
Times were fast this year. Willy Kimosop of Kenya was the fastest runner in 29 minutes and four seconds, while Abebu Gelan of Ethiopia won the women's race in 34:04. Top Canadians were Dylan Wykes of Ontario in 29:12, placing second overall, and Chantell Widney of Edmonton in 34:24, also second overall.
It was a good day for 91 Whistler and 23 Pemberton runners that took part. Whistler's Kristina Rody placed fourth among women in 34:28, averaging around 17.4 km/h to win $1,000. James Hustvedt, who lives in North Vancouver but spends time in Whistler to cross-country ski, won the quad men's wheelchair division in 41:39.
In the age categories, Whistler trainer John Blok placed 279 th overall, in the top 0.5 per cent of runners, with his time of 39:05. He was also 10 th out of 1,319 runners in the men's 50 to 54 age group.
Joe Michi was wasn't too far behind in 377 th place, breaking the 40-minute barrier with a time of 39:51. He was also 83 rd out of 2,606 runners in the men's 25 to 29 age group.
Chris Devling, an Australian working for Pique Newsmagazine, placed 466 th overall in his first ever road race in 40:40, as well as 70 th out of 1,881 runners in the 19 to 24 age category. Until about eight weeks ago he never ran or jogged, and the only competition he raced in was a three kilometre cross-country race in high school.
"I was inspired by my Whistler friends and the active lifestyle up here," he said.
He overdid his training a little bit, and pulled his calf a few weeks before the Sun Run. He felt better heading into the race, but made another rookie mistake of going out a little too fast.
"I went pretty hard from the start and did the first three kilometres in 11 minutes," he said. "At about six kilometres I felt a twinge in my calf and slowed down for the last four km."
Devling says he has learned about pacing, and will change his strategy when he attempts the half marathon in Vancouver in May. He also plans to run the Whistler Valley Trail Run on May 24 and the 25 km Comfortably Numb Trail Run on June 27.