Exhausted — but happy — faces cross the finish line of 41st annual Manitoba Marathon
David Mutai places first in full marathon, beating last year's winner by 10 minutes
Thousands of people laced up for the Manitoba Marathon Sunday, with some hoping to beat a time, some running for a cause and some just there for the joy of crossing the finish line.
David Mutai came in first place for the full marathon, crossing the finish line at IG Field in Winnipeg with a time of 2:27:09. Originally from Kenya and now living in Etobicoke, Ont., this was his fourth marathon in Canada. He beat last year's winner, Corey Gallagher, by nearly 10 minutes. Gallagher finished with a time of 2:37:48.
Selene Sharpe of Winnipeg was the first woman to cross the finish line for the full marathon, with a time of 2:53:39.
This was the second marathon for 19-year-old university student, who place second in the women's category for the full marathon last year.
"I've been imagining this for a really long time. It means a lot," she said.
Olympian captures gold in half marathon
For the women's half marathon, which doubled as the Athletics Canada national championships, the top spot was captured by Malindi Elmore, an Olympian from Kelowna, B.C.
"It's pretty cool to win a Canadian championship. That's why I came, was the opportunity to drape myself in the flag and race against some of the top runners in Canada," she said.
Elmore competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the 1,500 metre category.
Elmore said she's been running since she was a kid, after seeing Joan Benoit win the first-ever women's Olympic Games marathon in 1984.
After the birth of her second child, who is about to turn one, she started running again last fall to get back into shape.
"And then I got really fit and started racing. And it's been going well," she said.
Running is also how she met her husband, Graham Hood, who is a retired track and field athlete who took home the gold medal in the 1,500 metre category during the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.
"He coaches me now, he's my biggest fan," she said.
Race was 'precious time' with son
Close to 10,000 people participate in the Manitoba Marathon events each year.
For one runner, Sunday's half marathon was all about spending precious quality time with his son.
Kyle Gagner drove up from North Dakota to run the half marathon while pushing his son, Levi, in a chair.
Levi, who is five, has a rare form of congenital muscular dystrophy, which severely limits his mobility, and means he has a much shorter life expectancy than most people, Gagner said.
"We don't know how long we're gonna have him, and that's the harsh reality that really sucks to think about. But we just make the most of every moment we have," Gagner said.
Being out on the race track pushing his son is "incredible," he said.
"It's really really precious time. It's even more precious to be doing it on Father's Day," he said.
For Pam White, Sunday marked a huge milestone in her goal to get healthier.
White, 68, crossed the finish line for the Super Run race—about four kilometres in length—pushing her walker, describing it as "difficult, but doable."
She said she decided to start exercising once she retired, to finally try to get in shape.
"I decided that I was gonna do something for myself. I was gonna get fit for the first time in my life," she said.
Since then, she said she's been going to the ReFit Centre "religiously."
"It's amazing how much more I can do and how much better I feel."
You can find the full results for the marathon races here.