Thanksgiving weekend saw the return of the Royal Victoria Marathon, where thousands took to the start line seeking glory. And many Sooke runners were in the mix.
Thirty-two runners from Sooke took part in the Sunday (Oct. 10) event – 21 in the half-marathon and 11 in the 8K road race.
Matthew Chiaradia was the first Sooke resident to finish in the half marathon (21.1 kilometres). He came across the line in one hour, 28 minutes and 11 seconds for 129th overall.
The second-place Sooke man was Terry Slater, who finished 468th, while Steven Eriksen was third across the finish line and 566th overall.
The top Sooke woman in the half marathon was Mackenzie Leslie, who clocked 1:51:24, which placed her 787th overall.
Calgary runners Leanne Klassen (1:17:15) and Matthew Travaglini (1:06:44) won the half-marathon women’s and men’s titles, respectively.
In the 8K road race, Evan Humphries, of Sooke crossed at 38:48, placing at 171st on the men’s side, while Madison Frost was the first Sooke woman across the finish in a time of 38:49, for 173rd.
Reid Muller of Langley won the men’s 8K in 24:01. Scotland native Sarah Inglis of Surrey, who runs for Great Britain, won the women’s 8K race in a course record 25:35 to breach her own former standard of 25:43 set in 2019.
The Royal Victoria half-marathon and 8K were the first large-scale road races in more than 18 months on the Island.
The pandemic-reduced field featured 2,715 people who signed up for the half-marathon and 1,704 for the 8K. The Royal Victoria Marathon, a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, was not conducted Sunday due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. The total number of runners and walkers usually number about 9,000 in a normal year. A full event, including the marathon, is planned for 2022.