Manitoba Marathon runners cross finish line

More than 13,000 runners in Winnipeg are recovering after they ran in the 34th annual Manitoba Marathon on Sunday.
Spectators at the start and finish line of the Manitoba Marathon on Sunday morning. (Kiran Dhillon/CBC)

More than 13,000 runners in Winnipeg are recovering after they ran in the 34th annual Manitoba Marathon on Sunday.

Thomas Omwenga of Kenya was the first to cross the finish line in the men's full marathon, with a time of two hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds.

"I was excited and happy, [it] being the first time to come to Winnipeg," Omwenga told reporters.

"I've enjoyed staying here, I've enjoyed running the race and hanging around with people."

Anna Kibor, also from Kenya, won the women's full marathon with a time of two hours, 49 minutes and 45 seconds.

Kibor, 38, said her victory was especially special because a knee injury had kept her from running in marathons for the past two years.

"I feel so good, I feel great, yeah, to be a champion," she said.

Corey Gallagher of Winnipeg won the men's half-marathon, completing the race in one hour, 10 minutes and 14 seconds, while Kate Gustafson of Toronto won the women's half-marathon with a time of one hour, 23 minutes and 22 seconds.

The marathon relay was won by a team from Stride Ahead Sports in Winnipeg, which had a time of two hours, 33 minutes and two seconds.

More than 13,000 runners took part this year in the Manitoba Marathon, which raises money to support those who live with intellectual disabilities.

The marathon participants received vocal support by thousands of spectators who cheered from the sidelines along the marathon route.

Among those who took part in Sunday's marathon was a group of high school students from Garden Hill First Nation, located 475 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The 18 students, who are between 12 and 20 years old, had been training for the half-marathon since February, said gym teacher Wayne McLeod.

McLeod said the students had also raised money to cover the costs of their flights to Winnipeg, hotel accommodations, transportation and marathon registration fees.

"This might be the only time that they could actually do this," McLeod said before the race.

"I'm trying to show them that if they work hard and if they are committed … they could succeed in doing this."