Twenty years ago, participants in the first-ever Edge-to-Edge Marathon remember enduring horribly wet West Coast weather to cross the finish line.
Thus it was only fitting that, to commemorate its 20th anniversary, the moody coastal skies would dump buckets of rain over the 464 runners during Sunday morning’s soggy half marathon and 10-kilometre races.
“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments,” said longtime volunteer John Lane who always helps with the Jimmy Buffett themed water station at the entrance of the Wild Pacific Trail. “What was so silly is later in the afternoon the sun came out,” Lane went on to say.
Tom Morrison of North Vancouver, a former NCAA athlete and Canadian Junior National champion in the 1,500-metre, led a pack of 262 half marathoners from start to finish.
“Man that was tough. It was good until 16K and then we got hit by the strong wind and rain coming out. It got really tough,” said Morrison, 29, who finished in a winning time of one hour 35 minutes 39 seconds.
“Everybody up front was giving each other high fives. It was really nice,” he said, adding the garbage conditions made for some “type two fun”.
“It’s not fun at the time, but it’s fun to talk about after,” said Morrison.
Ucluetian Giordano Corlazzoli placed second in the half marathon for the second consecutive year with a time of one hour 36 minutes 50 seconds.
“It was challenging with the weather, but I think it makes it more fun. Maybe gave me a little bit of a local advantage being used to the rain and cold. It’s just a fun course,” said Corlazzoli.
Parks Canada staffer Kelly Forbes of Ucluelet was the fastest of 184 female half marathoners with a time of one hour 53 minutes 47 seconds.
“It was really wet, but it was lots of fun. Everyone was on the sidelines cheering us on which was really good. It made me feel supported,” said 30-year-old Forbes.
“There was another girl in second who I kind of followed for a while and I guess I had a little bit more energy at the end. It was cool because I knew she was the only person in front of me. It’s a really well run event and it’s a beautiful trail. We’re so lucky to have the Wild Pacific Trail,” said Forbes, adding that she was looking forward to having a shower and snuggling up next to the wood stove.
In the 10-kilometre race, Ucluelet’s own Robin Lavigne, 36, bested 202 participants with a time of 41 minutes 43 seconds.
“It was so wet,” said Lavigne with a laugh. “I run a lot on the trails. Every time you get out there and you are really tired, the hills really beat you up, oh man, but the views are great and the volunteers were amazing out there.”
Dana Henson of Vancouver placed fifth overall and first in the women’s 10-kilometre with a time of 49 minutes 39 seconds.
“It was my first time doing [the Edge to Edge]. It rains a lot in Vancouver, so I thought we just had to be tough. It was really fun to see a lot of Ucluelet. The views were really cool. I just kept looking out at the ocean and thinking that we could keep going,” said Henson.
10-kilometre race winners Dana Henson of Vancouver and Robin Lavigne of Ucluelet. Nora O’Malley Photo
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
READ MORE: West Coast becoming vibrant bike community
READ MORE: Tofino’s West Coast Winter Music series warms hearts