PEI

Halifax runner sets record at P.E.I. Marathon

Halifax's Dennis Mbelenzi set a record in the P.E.I. Marathon in 2:30:23.

Dennis Mbelenzi finished in 2:30:23

Dennis Mbelenzi of Halifax set the P.E.I. Marathon record Sunday with a time of 2:30:23. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Halifax's Dennis Mbelenzi broke the P.E.I. Marathon record Sunday.

Mbelenzi finished the 42.2-kilometre race in 2:30:23.

"Overall, I feel good, I ran well and I'm happy with my performance," he said.

He said he was hoping to break 2:30 but knew it would be difficult into a headwind. He said he was well inside his goal until the final kilometres of the race.

The race started in Brackley Beach at about 7:30 a.m. and finished just outside Province House. Half-marathon run, walk and relay races also happened Sunday. There were more than 1,400 entrants.

Participants ran through a scenic stretch of Queens County. ( Shane Hennessey/CBC)

The main event is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Mbelenzi, originally from Kenya, had to run the virtual Boston Marathon last year after the actual event got cancelled due to COVID-19. He plans to be in Boston for the 2022 race.

"Before that I'm going to the Blue Nose in Halifax," he said. "Everybody will say that's too many marathons back to back but, yeah, I'll just go out and see what I can do."

The P.E.I. race is his third marathon of the year. He also ran a half-marathon and a 10-K.

UPEI student Rachel Barich finished first for women with a time of 2:56:55. (Tony Davis/CBC)

UPEI nutrition student Rachel Barich topped the women's field in 2:56:55. Her time was good for 10th overall.

It's her first marathon.

"It feels pretty good. I was chasing that three-hour mark and I got it, and I had a lot of support to get here, so I'm super happy," she said.

"I was dreading that 35-kilometre wall that everyone talks about, but I kind of just powered through it and started passing people."

Originally from Ontario, she said she started training for the race as a way to explore Charlottetown.

"I love running regardless. I'll never stop running until my body tells me to stop," she said. "I think I have more marathons in my future, though, because that was awesome."

With files from Tony Davis

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