By Eric MacKenzie, Whistler Question
David Jackson said he wanted to have a comfortable start to The North Face Whistler Half Marathon on Saturday (June 1). By the end, it was his huge lead over the rest of the field that looked pretty comfy.
The Abbotsford runner captured top spot in the third annual 21.1-kilometre race, crossing the Whistler Olympic Plaza finish line in one hour, 11 minutes, 24 seconds to take the victory.
Jackson led by a full minute when reaching the halfway point at Rainbow Park Saturday, and stretched the gap to more than three minutes by the time he reached the finish. Browne (1:14:39) took runner-up honours while McCarthy (1:15:23) placed third, reaching the podium for the third year in a row.
Catrin Jones similarly opened up a big lead over the rest of the field to capture the women’s half marathon, one year after she finished in second place. The Victoria resident clocked in at 1:20:21 to hold off Vancouver’s Anne-Marie Madden (1:23:46) and 2011 winner Care Nelson (1:24:47) for the title, recording the sixth-fastest time overall.
This year’s race featured a 10 K distance for the first time and Sea to Sky runners posted several impressive results, as the women’s 10 K was swept by locals. Tara Gorman battled with fellow Whistler resident Laura Bestow before taking top spot in a time of 41:40. Pemberton’s Emma Chadsey finished 13 seconds behind Bestow for third, and Whistler’s Karen Elliot was the fourth women’s finisher.
Full results are available at www.racedaytiming.ca.
Race director Dave Clark said this year’s race raised $20,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. Olympic Plaza buzzed with activity and excitement throughout the day as hundreds of supporters came out to cheer on runners taking on the two distances or the Little Rippers Kids Run through the Village.