Age category champions announced at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon

Athletes of all ages joined in at the historic 45th annual Vancouver Marathon

Vancouver, BC – May 10, 2016

Ranging from 19 to 86 year’s old, top Age Category champions were announced this week for their incredible accomplishments at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8KM races. A total of 97 runners claimed victory in their Age Category with the first place finishers receiving free entry into the next BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7, 2017.

“We were astounded by the incredible efforts from runners of all ages,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the non-profit Vancouver International Marathon Society, organizers of the annual event. “It was incredible to see the talent, camaraderie and history on display during the event’s celebratory 45th year.”

Fastest Age Category

The 30-34 Age Category produced the fastest Marathon times this year, excluding Elite Athletes, with two Washington, USA, runners – Josh Kaplan and Samantha Mazer – posting times of 2:39:49 and 2:57:13, respectively, over the stunning 42.2KM course.

“The views coming down from UBC and then running along the seawall were breathtaking, which was a problem because I needed all the oxygen I could get!” says Kaplan, who started running in 2009 while completing a PhD program in Oregon.

30-34 was also the winning men’s Half Marathon Age Category time set by North Vancouver’s Mike McMillan at 1:13:38. Elisa McCarthy from Illinois, USA, in the 25-29 Age Category, had the fastest female Half Marathon time outside of the Elite Athletes at 1:21:19.

“We are happy to reward all of these remarkable performances,” adds Krepiakevich, noting the Vancouver International Marathon Society encourages runners to reach for their best. The Top 10 Age Category winners by gender – excluding Elite Athletes – are now published on the event’s website, bmovanmarathon.ca. Nearly 800 names are recognized.

Oldest Age Category

The event’s eldest finisher said through an interpreter that he chose to race at the BMO Vancouver Marathon because his hockey coach was from Canada. “So beautiful, so wonderful,” says Minghui She of the scenery. The 86 year old from Shanghai, China, completed the Half Marathon in 2:59:07 to win his M85-89 division.

The eldest female Marathon finisher and champion of the F75-79 age category was Tricia Longworth who conquered the 42.2KM distance with her son by her side. “We couldn’t have been more delighted, and the spirit of the organizers, staff, volunteers, and observers increased our enthusiasm and determination along the route,” adds Longworth.

Family was a theme throughout the 45th year of Vancouver’s only marathon. Tom Howard – the first-ever Marathon winner in 1972, 1973 and 1974 – ran in the event’s 8KM race along with his eldest daughter and two grandsons, while his 30 year old son completed his first marathon. Howard would go on to win his M65-69 Age Category in the 8KM with an impressive chip time of 36:15.

Youngest Age Category

In the young U19 Marathon Age Category, Malcolm Suarez from North Vancouver, BC, and Kiana Cowger from Grande Prairie, Alberta, won with respective times of 3:24:43 and 4:02:37.

Brendon Ponte from Utah, USA, and Simrin Purhar of Coquitlam, BC, won the U19 Half Marathon with great times of 1:31:02 and 1:35:02, respectively.

“I felt the comrade of being part of the running world as the athletes around me – whether I knew them or not – were happy to tell me about their goals for the race, how far they travelled to be in Vancouver, their training and more,” says Purhar, who beat her previous Half Marathon personal best time by 20 minutes.

All Ages Celebrated

In total, nearly 500 children ran in the Kids Run, and more than 1,000 participants over the age of 60 joined in during the event’s celebratory 45th year. Participation in 2016 actually soared to an all-time high as nearly 16,500 athletes registered for one of the six races taking place during Marathon weekend.

BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, the Yukon Territory, Washington, California, Colorado, Portland, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan and China, all had runners represented in the Top 10 Age Category rankings of the Marathon, Half Marathon and 8KM races.

For a complete list of Top 10 Age Category finishers by gender, please click here.

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