Record set at Halifax marathon

Halifax's Greg Wieczorek sets a race record at Sunday morning's 8th Annual Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon.

There was a record-setting win Sunday morning at the 8th Annual Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon.

Greg Wieczorek, 29, of Halifax, grabbed the lead early and never looked back as he cruised to an easy win, more than 21 minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Scott Clark of Summerside, P.E.I.

Wieczorek won in a record time of two hours and 28 minutes, running the back half of the race in the exact same time as the front.

"I was a little conservative on the front half, knowing that it would be a challenge in the back half," he said. "I wanted to make sure I saved something for the back half and the hills of Dartmouth, and that strategy worked out pretty good."

This is Wieczorek's second win at the race in as many years.

"I couldn't have asked for a better day … the marathon gods were smiling upon us today," he said.

Three hundred and fifty runners took part in the 42-kilometre race.

Woman's winner runs personal best

Mylene Sansoucy was the women's winner with a personal best time of three hours and one minute. ((CBC))
The women's winner was Mylene Sansoucy.

The 29-year-old — originally from Quebec but now living in Halifax — finished in a time of three hours and one minute, by far her personal best time.

"I was looking for 3:10, my best time before was 3:11 in Montreal, so I am completely satisfied."

A total of about 7,200 runners hit the streets of Halifax Sunday morning, most of them running in shorter distance races.

Many people were running for teams raising money for charity.

One woman was hoping to make a difference for people in Africa.

Thirty-year-old Erin Poirier of Halifax is leading a 110-member Blue Nose Marathon team that calls itself Love4Gambia.

Team raised $21,000 for Gambia

"My request of those people was that they each raise a minimum of a $100 for the Nova Scotia Gambia Association and as of today they have raised $21,000," she said.

Erin Poirier ran Sunday to raise money for Gambia. ((Paul Palmeter/CBC))

As a nurse who worked with the association in Gambia, Poirier knows first hand about the country's struggles, including the high number of children with HIV and malaria.

Poirier is also running across Gambia in July to raise even more money.

"I'm running clear across the country — so from the border of Senegal all the way through to the Atlantic Ocean. I'll be running east to west — 430 kilometres," said Poirier. "My plan is to run 25 kilometres a day and to take three rest days so I'm hoping that start to finish it'll be 20 days."

Poirier has been training for her run across Gambia since November and says the heat will be her biggest obstacle.