May 26, 2015


Local

Winnipeg all-stars

City runners sweep marathon, half-marathon titles

It was wet. It was windy. It was cold.

But if you asked the runners at the University of Manitoba, it was perfect weather for a marathon.

Thinking about her students, Alice Sherwin kept going to win the women's full marathon with a time of 3:04:38 Sunday during the Manitoba Marathon. More than 12,000 runners took part in this year's event.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Thinking about her students, Alice Sherwin kept going to win the women's full marathon with a time of 3:04:38 Sunday during the Manitoba Marathon. More than 12,000 runners took part in this year's event. Photo Store

About 12,200 runners took part Sunday in the Manitoba Marathon's full marathon, half-marathon, 10K, marathon relay, 2.6-mile Super Run and Mini Mites kids run.

Preparations began as early as 2 a.m. as some of the more than 2,000 volunteers helped set up arches, direct runners and prepared for a long day.

Less than 70 minutes after the 7a.m. start, 20-year-old Abduselam Yussuf kicked off the Winnipeg sweep, winning the men's half-marathon with a time of 1:09:32. He's been running since Grade 9 and was hoping he'd win Sunday, but wasn't necessarily expecting it. The rainy weather, he said, was great for running.

"It was really nice, because it wasn't too humid. I didn't have to stop for water because I was already getting enough," he said.

About 15 minutes after Yussuf's win, Cathy Cullen clinched the title of women's half-marathon winner, at 1:25:22. She already had a few wins under her belt, as the women's full-marathon winner in 2009 and third place in 2012. She decided to try the half this year after the birth of her son just six months ago.

"It was kind of my way to get myself to get back in shape," Cullen said.

Like Yussuf, she likes the rain better than a hot, sunny day.

"For me, cool rain is way better than heat," she said.

Just over an hour after Cullen crossed the finish line, Brian Walker ran in to win the men's full marathon with a time of 2:36:44. Walker is a familiar face at the marathon: Last year, he came in second place, as well as the year before. He won the men's half-marathon in 2011.

As Walker crossed the finish line, he immediately fell into the arms of two safety workers, who escorted him to the medical tent. Even an hour later, he was still limping as his leg kept cramping up, and his Achilles heel wasn't as trained as it usually was. He said he'll spend the next few weeks recovering.

Walker said he "hit the wall" during the run, a term used by runners to describe a sudden fatigue that's related to depleting glycogen in the muscles. Fighting through that fatigue was challenging, he said.

"I hit the wall pretty good and was trying to hold on... when I'm out there for so long by myself and I don't feel good, it's a huge mental test," Walker said. What got him through was the support he got from his family, many of whom are also runners. His wife, Darolyn, won the women's half-marathon last year, and his uncle, Bob Walker, holds the race's marathon record by a Manitoban.

"I have lots of family out there cheering, and it's been a huge support for me," he said.

Walker said he's been targeting first place in the full marathon for a few years. He's been running since he was a child, and his father took him out to take part in the Super Run.

"It's a huge relief in a way, because it was really hard out there today," he said.

Finishing second was Winnipeg's Bradley Keefe, in 2:39:29, followed by East St. Paul's Darren Klassen in 2:41:23.

A little after the three-hour mark, Alice Sherwin became the winner of the women's full marathon with a time of 3:04:38. Like Walker, she said the race was gruelling. "After 15 miles was awful... my boyfriend, who is also my coach, was meeting me at certain points in the course and saying 'You're four minutes up! You're four minutes up!' " Sherwin said. Sherwin said she hit the wall a few times, but as a new teacher the thought of her students kept her going.

"I wanted to stop so badly... a few times I thought about my class, and I know my school's going to be proud tomorrow," she said.

After winning a few half-marathons and getting second place in the full marathon, she said she's happy with finally being first.

"I don't know how I can get better for next year. I guess go faster," she said.

In second was Saskatoon's Jennifer Kripki in 3:07:20 while Winnipeg's Reesa Simmonds was third in 3:11:46.

As has been the trend in recent years, the number of marathoners is dropping. There were 579 finishers this year, compared with 636 in 2013. The bulk of the participants ran the half-marathon -- 3,126 -- and the 2.6-mile Super Run, with 2,890 runners.

In the wheelchair event for the marathon, Kris Cowley of East St. Paul won in 2:26:34. Danny Fletcher of Portage la Prairie was second in 2:42.59.

Runners started arriving as early as 5:30 a.m.

Neville Ratwatte and his son, Yehen Ratwatte, were preparing for their run before the sun had completely risen. Neville ran the half-marathon, while Yehen, 10, ran the 10K. Ratwatte said he trained all winter, but inside on his treadmill, to avoid the cold. He wasn't expecting to set any records, though.

"I'll be glad if I finish with a reasonable time," he said.

Adrian Heidinger ran the Super Run together with his daughter, Anika. Anika, 11, runs as part of school and said she loved seeing so many people that enjoy running as much as her.

Anika's goal was to beat 25 minutes, and she easily beat that goal, but also ended up finishing the race almost a full minute faster than her father, finishing at 22 minutes and 35 seconds.

The opening ceremonies paid tribute to John Robertson, founding father of the marathon, who died this year.

Shirley Lumb, executive director of the Manitoba Marathon, said each marathon brings a fresh start.

"Nowhere else do you find such camaraderie, such community support," she said.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2014 B1

Manitoba race times compared to world records:


Phillip Duncan nears the finish line.
Alice Sherwin wins the women's full Manitoba Marathon.
Super Run participants double up.
El Scorcho is always a participant at the Manitoba Marathon.
A young Super Run participant doesn't appear to like it.
Volunteers hide under shelter during the marathon.
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning.
Phillip Duncan, left, and Jason Campbell, centre, near the finish line Sunday.
Spectators and supporters with umbrella's during the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba Sunday.
Brittany Savoie and her daughter, Ophelia Savoie, 1, near the finish line of the Winnipeg Free Press 10-kilomtre run.
Ray McCoy and his son Kyle McCoy, 18, after completing the full marathon.
Brian Walker is the winner of the men's full marathon.
Men's half-marathon winner, Abduselam Yussuf, heading towards the finish line at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Women's half marathon winner, Cathy Cullen, heading towards the finish line at the University of Manitoba on Sunday. Her official time was 1:25:22.5.
Half Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Half Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Marathon participants and spectators arrive at the University of Manitoba on Sunday morning.
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning.
Runners head over the Elm Park Bridge an hour into the marathon.
The leaders of the Full Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning. Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Supported by her brother Zachary, 8, and mother, Kristene, Emma Pauls, 5, wins the Mini Mites race at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Full Marathon participants prior to the start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Emma Pauls, 5, wins the Mini Mites race at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Supporters at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014.
Runners head over the Assinboine park foot bridge.
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning.
Having tutu much fun?
Finish-line hug.
Runners head over the Assinboine park foot bridge.
Phillip Duncan nears the finish line. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Alice Sherwin wins the women's full Manitoba Marathon. - Trevor hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Super Run participants double up. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
El Scorcho is always a participant at the Manitoba Marathon. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
A young Super Run participant doesn't appear to like it. -
Volunteers hide under shelter during the marathon. -
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Phillip Duncan, left, and Jason Campbell, centre, near the finish line Sunday. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Spectators and supporters with umbrella's during the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba Sunday. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Brittany Savoie and her daughter, Ophelia Savoie, 1, near the finish line of the Winnipeg Free Press 10-kilomtre run. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Ray McCoy and his son Kyle McCoy, 18, after completing the full marathon. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Brian Walker is the winner of the men's full marathon. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Men's half-marathon winner, Abduselam Yussuf, heading towards the finish line at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Women's half marathon winner, Cathy Cullen, heading towards the finish line at the University of Manitoba on Sunday. Her official time was 1:25:22.5. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Half Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Half Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Marathon participants and spectators arrive at the University of Manitoba on Sunday morning. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Runners head over the Elm Park Bridge an hour into the marathon. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
The leaders of the Full Marathon participants start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning. Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Supported by her brother Zachary, 8, and mother, Kristene, Emma Pauls, 5, wins the Mini Mites race at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Full Marathon participants prior to the start at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Emma Pauls, 5, wins the Mini Mites race at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Supporters at the Manitoba Marathon at the University of Manitoba, Sunday, June 15, 2014. - Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press
Runners head over the Assinboine park foot bridge. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Marathon participants run over the Elm Park Bridge on Sunday morning. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Having tutu much fun? - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Finish-line hug. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
Runners head over the Assinboine park foot bridge. - Sarah Taylor / Winnipeg Free Press
History

Updated on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 6:37 AM CDT: Replaces photo, adds video, adds slideshow, removes photos

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