Strong Elite Athlete field compiled for the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon

Vancouver, BC – April 29, 2016
Elite

Strong Elite Athlete field compiled for the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon

Fast field of local and international Elite Athletes will compete on BC Half Marathon Championship course, and at the 45th annual Vancouver Marathon

Vancouver, BC – April 29, 2016

Over 60 Elite Athletes, representing eight countries, have been granted entrance into the BMO Vancouver Marathon and Half Marathon Elite Athlete Field on May 1, 2016.

Half Marathon

The BMO Vancouver Marathon was selected by BC Athletics to host the BC Half Marathon Championships in 2016, and its fast 21.1KM point-to-point course into downtown Vancouver will feature some of BC’s best.

On the women’s side, five BC athletes have a shot to claim the BC Half Marathon Championship title, including Sabrina Wilkie, ranked Top 10 nationally in the distance. 2015 Champion Jane Murage of Kenya will return to defend her title and chase her course record of 1:12:53.

On the men’s side, there are seven runners with Personal Bests under 1:04 including Ethopia’s Wabi Abdisa Gudeta (1:01:24 PB) and Kenyans Christopher Cheruiyot (1:01:42), and Solomon Rotich (1:02:56). Top BC male athletes include Terence Attema, Kevin Coffey, Jim Finlayson and Nick Hastie of Vancouver. Nearly 25 EliteAthletes will battle it out on the men’s side.

Expect the first finishers to cross the downtown Finish Line (West Pender and Bute) around 8:00am on Sunday, May 1.

Marathon

Vancouver’s only marathon celebrates its 45th year with a strong field including three contenders with personal bests around 2:10:00.

For the men, watch for Ethiopian Habteselassa Lemma Gemechu* who posted a blazing Personal Best of 2:10:00 over the 42.2KM race distance, and Kenyan Jonathan Kipchirchir Chesoo. Top Canadian and BC Athlete Ryan Day will also be near the front of the pack with Oliver Utting of Burnaby, Jason Loutitt of Squamish, and Vancouver’s own Jordan Maynard.

For the women, Canadian Lioudmila Kortchaguina returns to defend her title against Hirut Guangul of Ethiopia, last year’s runner up, and Vancouver’s own Ellie Greenwood. Champion in 2012, Greenwood took third last year despite being injured in a bike crash just a month before the race. Also watch for Catrin Jones who is ranked top in BC and won bronze at the recent 50KM World Championships in Doha, Quatar.

Mass start

New this year, the Marathon will feature a mass start so the every-day-runner will have an opportunity to run right behind the Elite Athletes – for a few short seconds at least! The Half Marathon and Marathon both start in Queen Elizabeth Park at 7:00am and 8:30am, respectively. All races conclude at a shared energized downtown Finish Line located on West Pender Street at Bute.

Awards will be presented on the main stage near the Finish Line for the Top 3 overall finishers, the Top 3 Canadians and Top 3 BC Athletes. The Half Marathon Awards Ceremony takes places at 8:30am and the Marathon Awards Ceremony at 11:30am.

Records

1:02:36 for the men and 1:12:53 for the women are the Half Marathon course records to beat. The Marathon course records are 2:18:37 and 2:37:00 for the men and women, respectively. Should course records be broken, the champion will receive an extra Time Bonus of $500 for the Half Marathon, and $1,000 for the Marathon. In total, $40,000 in cash prizing is up for grabs.

View the complete Elite Athlete field now online here.

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