Nova Scotia

Halifax runner Dennis Mbelenzi wins Blue Nose Marathon

Dennis Mbelenzi was the first man to cross the finish line in the 2021 Blue Nose Marathon held in Halifax.

Quinlan Hickey was the first woman to cross the finish line

Runners set off at the start of the 2021 Blue Nose Marathon. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The Blue Nose Marathon made a triumphant return to the streets of Halifax on Sunday after going virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Halifax runner Dennis Mbelenzi was the first person to cross the finish line in a time of 2:29:12, well ahead of second-place finisher Mark Brown of Porters Lake with a time of 2:44:01.

Halifax's Dennis Mbelenzi was the first to cross the finish line of the Blue Nose Marathon in a time of 2:29:12. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

This was the third marathon this fall for Mbelenzi, who is originally from Kenya, having also run marathons in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — where he set a course record.

He said conditions were good and it wasn't too cold.

"For a long time I was trying to break 2:30 and I kept coming close but not quite doing it," he said. "Really the reason I do it is just to challenge myself and if I can inspire anybody out there, that's great."

Mbelenzi said he can typically do about four marathons a year. He is planning to run the Boston Marathon in April and the Chicago Marathon in October. 

Toronto's Quinlan Hickey was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 2021 Blue Nose Marathon. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

Quinlan Hickey, 26, from Toronto was the first woman to cross the finish line in a time of 3:02:48, a personal best.

She said she was aiming for 3:10 and is really happy with her time. Hickey said she hopes to break three hours soon. 

This was her first time in Halifax, she said. Having run marathons in Toronto in 2018 and Ottawa in 2019, she said this is her "favourite marathon ever."

Hickey said she wasn't sure she would participate but she needed to make a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon next spring and registered at the last minute. She made the required time by more than 27 minutes.

The Blue Nose Marathon allowed one N.S. man to check another thing off his bucket list

9 months ago
Duration 3:01
Phil O'Hara has terminal cancer and was able to complete the marathon thanks to his friend of 40 years.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

With files from Haley Ryan

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