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Marathon director thrilled with turnout

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The director of the Manitoba Marathon said she was thrilled by the turnout and clear skies for today's annual event, which drew 13,367 runners to the University of Manitoba to participate in six different races.

"I’m so proud of Manitoba to have that many people come together and celebrate their fitness and their wellness and help us with fundraising," said Shirley Lumb, executive director of the Manitoba Marathon, celebrating its 34th year. "It is totally amazing and I’m thrilled."

Despite weather forecasts earlier in the week predicting showers, blue skies prevailed throughout the day.

"That’s because we’ve order this (the weather)," joked Lumb. "A little bit more breeze would have been perfect but we can’t complain about this at all. After the rain and stuff we’ve had this past week, this is totally awesome."

Thomas Omwenga from Kenya took home the day’s top prize. Omwenga, 33, won the full marathon with a time of 2:25:13.

"The course is good, flat, except that you know running throughout it, I was alone and so it’s mental," Omwenga said, referring to the challenge of finishing the race with no one pushing from behind.

Omwenga said he has run 20 marathons with this being his 10th win. His personal best time is 2:10.24.

Finishing second in the men’s full marathon was Brian Walker of Winnipeg with an unofficial time of 2:33.18. Bradley Keefe of Winnipeg placed third with a time of 2:37.40.

Four-time full marathon winner Michael Booth of Winnipeg came in with a time of 2:42.10.

Anna Kibor, 48, of Kenya hasn’t run a marathon in two years after recovering from a knee injury but has won the women’s title in the 2012 Manitoba Marathon.

Kibor crossed the finish line at the University of Manitoba Stadium with an unofficial time of 2:49.45.

"I’m very happy," said Kibor.

The victory marks the first race in 2 years for Kibor - a break as the result of injury.

"I felt good out there. My injuries are fully recovered," she said.

Second was Nadyia Fry of Invermere, B.C. with a time of 2:51.14 and Winnipeg’s Cathy Cullen was third at 2:54.37.

Kibor arrived in Winnipeg on Wednesday after the race was recommended to her by a friend.

Nadyia fry was the second women to cross the line in the full marathon with a time of 2:51:14 and Cathy Cullen placed third with a time of 2:54:37.

Corey Gallagher of Winnipeg was announced as the men’s winner of the 2012 Manitoba half Marathon with an unofficial time of one hour and 10 minutes.

Kate Gustafson took the women’s half with a time of 1:22:23.

There were only three entrants in the full wheelchair marathon but Chester Draper topped the field in the event. Draper crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of one hour and 39.48 minutes at the University of Manitoba Stadium.

Next year will mark the 35th anniversary of the Manitoba Marathon, a milestone that has Lumb issuing a provincial-wide challenge.

"A challenge for next year, 20,000 people [for enrollment]," she said. "Come on people, let’s go."

Since the event’s inaugural year in 1979, the Manitoba Marathon has raised over $4-million to help kick start 300 different programs aimed at aiding people living with intellectual difficulties.

video player to use on WFP

Updated on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 8:15 AM CDT: Adds winner of men's half marathon

8:41 AM: Adds women's half winner

8:44 AM: Adds wheelchair winner

9:27 AM: Adds full marathon winner

10:01 AM: Adds quotes from winner

10:11 AM: Adds results from women's full

2:25 PM: Adds links to all results

2:32 PM: updated with director comments

3:26 PM: Adds video embed

June 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM: corrected Kibor's age to 48

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