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. 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.
The event, which started in 1979, saw almost 12,200 people run in the full and half marathon, as well as the 10k race, relay and 2.6 mile super run.
Two participants in wheelchairs started this year, both doing a full marathon.
Shirley Lumb, executive director of the Manitoba Marathon, said the preparations began as early as when the last marathon ended.
"It all comes down to the last few days, and you're going, 'Oh my god, I hope we've got everything covered,'" Lumb said.
The opening ceremonies paid tribute to John Robertson, founding father of the marathon, who died this year.
At the opening ceremonies, Lumb said each marathon brings a fresh start.
"Nowhere else do you find such camaraderie, such community support," she said.