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Whistler Half Marathon wows runners

Two Whistler women and a Pemberton runner on top in new 10km race

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It has been a good week for runner David Jackson of Abbotsford. His time of one hour, 11 minutes and 24 seconds was the fastest half marathon time of the day on Saturday, June 1.

The win for Jackson came after he took first place at a race in Abbotsford the previous weekend.

Nicholas Brown of Vancouver finished the Whistler race in second place with a time of 1:14:39 while Ed McCarthy, also of Vancouver, did the course in 1:15:23 to claim third place.

"I got away from the other two guys on the first big uphill," said Jackson at the finish line on Saturday. "I just maintained my speed."

Jackson noted after the race that it was the fourth long distance race he's competed in already this season. He held a bit back at the Abbotsford race in anticipation of his Whistler run.

"I knew this one had a couple of good runners," Jackson said of the competitive field at the Whistler event.

Jackson and Brown didn't compete in the event last year but McCarthy did. The third place finish for McCarthy is a copy of his placing last year with a 2013 time that was faster by three minutes compared to his 2012 result.

Catrin Jones was the fastest woman in the half marathon event. She placed second last year with a time that was about three minutes faster. The Victoria runner was followed by Anne-Marie Madden of Vancouver in 1:23:46. Madden was followed a minute later by Victoria's Care Nelson.

According to Jones, the weather on Saturday was perfect for a running event.

"I was more-or-less alone at the halfway," said Jones. "I'm usually strong in the second half but I did race a marathon last weekend so my legs were definitely a little bit fatigued."

She said she paced the last kilometre with a male competitor but noted she didn't mind running much of the race on her own.

"It's kind of a nice course to be alone on, it's just so beautiful out there," Jones said.

She added that she's working toward representing Canada at the Francophone Games in France. Jones runs 10km races, half marathons and full marathons with a preference for the marathon distance, which she hopes to run at the Francophone event in September.

Tara Gorman of Whistler was the fastest woman in the 10km event with her time of 41 minutes and 40 seconds. She was followed just 13 seconds later by Laura Bestow, also of Whistler. Emma Chadsey of Pemberton completed the Sea to Sky podium sweep with her third place finish in 43:25.

The top finishers in the men's 10km race were Geoff Reid of Vancouver, followed by Whistler's Alex Katzer-Dunn in second and Christopher Drozda of Vancouver in third. Reid crossed the finish line in 37 minutes and 47 seconds while Katzer-Dun followed in 38:25.

Reid said he doesn't race as competitively as he used to, but got away from the pack early.

"Blueberry Hill is a pretty tough uphill section, and that broke up the pack pretty quickly. By the time I came back around (Alta Vista) I could see that I had a bit of a lead on the others. I just tried to keep a good pace after that," he said.