‘Races within the Race’ champions at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon

Winners of the Camosun Hill Challenge, Relay, and Team Challenges crowned at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Vancouver, BC – May 11, 2016

Although not all runners could finish with the ranks of the top Elite Athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, United States, and Canada, many runners were still crowned champions at the fun ‘Races within the Race’ challenges during the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Winners of the Camosun Hill Challenge, Relay, Team Challenge, Largest Team and School Challenge at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon were announced this week honouring athletes from all backgrounds.

Camosun Hill Challenge

One runner who did keep up with the Elite Athletes, and also came an astounding sixth overall in the Marathon was Josh Kaplan who was crowned ‘King of the Hill’ in the Camosun Hill Challenge that timed Marathon runners on the famed 1230m hill in the Dunbar neighbourhood.

Hailing from Seattle, Kaplan conquered the hill in 4:56 and finished the Marathon course with a strong time of2:39:39, ranking him sixth and among the event’s top Elite Athletes.

Also from Washington state, Samantha Mazer from Kirkland was crowned the ‘Queen of the Hill’ climbing Camosun street in 5:29. Washington state runners dominated the Camosun Hill Challenge as seven runners were placed in the Top 10 of the female and male categories including Paula Havu, Rhea George, Shelley Chestler, Derek Lactaoen, David Fort.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of solo miles during training, but living on top of a hill prepared me well for the Camosun Hill in Vancouver! The fans that lined the streets certainly helped power us to the top,” says Kaplan, who shocked the Finish Line crowd as he finished behind only five Elite Athletes and seconds in front of the Top Overall Female Elite Athlete in the marquee Marathon event.

“I never ran in college, or in high school, I actually played keeper in soccer so that I didn’t have to run! I started running when I moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2009 for a PhD program,” says Kaplan. “I quickly fell in love with the sport, but didn’t have the drive to run marathons until my father – who also participated on Sunday and ran the Half Marathon – told me that he wanted to run the Boston Marathon together. So I trained, qualified, and ran Boston in 2011. I thought that would be it, but I got “the marathon bug” so they say.”

“It was well organized and an absolute blast,” adds Mazer. “I broke three hours for the first time and couldn’t have been any happier with my day. As for the hill, it was early on in the race so I was just focusing on staying relaxed and finding a good rhythm that wouldn’t cause me to burn all of my matches too early on in the race.”

Kaplan and Mazer also finished with the fastest overall Marathon times outside of the Elite Athletes.


Winning the female division and overall category of the Relay event was the ‘Speedy Runners’ from Langley, BC, who finished the Relay course together in a speedy time of 3:09:28. Team members included Diane Butler, Mia Douglas, Jaylene Mennen, and Leslie Stevens.

‘Rackets and Runners Personal’ and ‘Team Sophia’ were the first mixed and male Relay teams to cross the Finish Line, respectively. Other ranked teams were the Cordova Chasers – the defending female Relay champions, Orca Quad Squad, Run-D.m.c./e., Eh Team!, and Don’t Panic, who all completed the course in under3:30:00.

“Events such as the BMO Vancouver Marathon encourage people to push themselves and the Relay event provides an opportunity to have fun while doing it,” says the Speedy Runners captain Diane Butler. “The BMO Vancouver Marathon is one more stich in our bond of friendship.”

Fastest Teams

Among the hundreds of teams at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon was Team Fortius. Scored by adding the times of the three fastest male and two fastest female runners of each team, Team Fortius rose above all with five runners running under the four hour mark.

LaPower from China, The Run Centre by Kintec, Team Devi, Running Room Cambie, Running Room Denman, and Club Tourism from Japan also ranked among the Top 10 fastest teams.

“We had two strong training groups both in Burnaby and Vancouver, and everyone is excited to race at the same race next year,” says Dita Grunte of Team Fortius, also an Age Category award winner. “ ‘Where the attention goes, energy flows.’ Our coach Curb Ivanic made sure we stayed mentally strong and ready on the race day!”

Largest Teams

Team Devi and World Vision were the two largest teams at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Both teams had over 100 runners racing to support charitable causes.

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