Local and international winners create excitement in celebration of 45 year history

Kenyan and Ethiopian runners return to take titles after finishing second last year

Vancouver, BC – May 1, 2016 –

Top local and international BC athletes competed at the 45th year of the Vancouver Marathon and BC Half Marathon Championships with top times from runners out of Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States, and Canada.

The overall Marathon champions were Kenya’s Daniel Kipkoech with a time of 2:21:04, and Ethiopia’s Hirut Guangul, who finished with a time of 2:39:52. Both Elite Athletes came back to win after placing second last year.

“This is a beautiful course. I like the fans, the people are so nice,” says Kipkoech of the BMO Vancouver Marathon. “They motivate me. I like their cheering, it’s a very good thing. They give us energy after 42 kilometers.”

Local Canadians and international Elite Athletes battled for the other podium spots in the historic 45th year of the Marathon.

In the men’s Marathon, Ethiopian Habteselassa Lemma Gemechu took second this year in a time of 2:23:34. British Columbia’s Ryan Day took home third-place, and was the top Canadian with a time of 2:36:45.

Chief of the Bonaparte Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation, Day ran the race alongside fellow BC Elite Athletes Oliver Utting and Graeme Wilson before breaking away around Siwash Rock in Stanley Park.

“It’s a beautiful course,” adds Day. “The cheering is awesome. I know lots of people here. It’s good to get out, run hard, and healthy.”

American runner Allison Macsas claimed second in the women’s Marathon with a time of 2:42:07, and North Vancouver’s Ellie Greenwood was third in 2:45:21.

In the BC Half Marathon Championships, Langley’s Lisa Brooking won the women’s division with a time of 1:16:03. “It was fabulous. It was such a beautiful day, great course, good crowds,” says Brooking. “It’s definitely one of my favourite Half Marathons, just because of the scenery, and it really showcases Vancouver well… the time just passes, the kilometers just kind of click by.”

Vancouver’s Neasa Coll and Ellen Chappell took home second and third at the women’s BC Half Marathon Championships with respective times of 1:19:15 and 1:22:15. Jane Murage of Kenya clocked in at 1:14:41 to take the overall women’s Half Marathon title.

On the men’s side, Terence Attema, 26, of Smithville won the men’s BC Half Marathon Championships with a time of 1:07:02. Jim Finlayson, 43, of Victoria pushed through to second place with a stunning performance of 1:09:54, and Jeremiah Ziak of Vancouver took home third-place with 1:11:05.

Kenyan Paul Kimugul was the overall winner of the Half Marathon at 1:05:01. At the Finish Line, the African embraced his two-year old daughter Lynn, named after the event’s Elite Athlete coordinator, in a nice celebration of his third BMO Vancouver Half Marathon championship title.

Still winning after 45 years, Tom Howard, the first-ever Marathon winner in 1972, 1973 and 1974, took home first in his age category of 65-69 with a time of 36:42 in the 8KM.

“It was a celebration of history, and of amazing regional athletes, recognizing both the 45th year of the Vancouver Marathon and the BC Half Marathon Championships,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the non-profit organization responsible for annually organizing the world-class event.

“Local, regional and international athletes performed for thousands of raving fans around the city to clock podium finishes at the electric downtown Finish Line under blue skies and sunshine.”

“Everyone who crossed that Finish Line is winner,” adds Krepiakevich. “Congratulations and thank you to all for making this another successful event.”