WINNIPEG – The skies cleared just in time for almost 11,000 runners to arrive at the start line of the 38th annual Manitoba Marathon.
A Father’s Day tradition, runners of all skill levels came with family and friends to accomplish goals, honour someone’s memory, or celebrate a healthy lifestyle.
Bradley Keefe won the men’s full marathon on an especially humid morning.
His fifteen marathon, he had worked up to his first victory. The last two years he has finished second. The three years before that, he finished third. He says this victory completes a pyramid.
“I knew with a mile to go after five years of being third or second, I had the motivation to hurt for the last while. I really wanted to win. That was the goal,” he said.
Keefe took the lead part way through after last year’s winner Thomas Omwenga pulled out with an injury. He was then passed by the second-place finisher, but pulled through to win near the end.
Heather Magill took home first place in the women’s full for a second year in a row. Since the marathon route was reversed this year, she’s won it backwards and forwards.
She said as the reigning champ, she was feeling the pressure this year.
“Last year, I had no idea what to expect. This time coming back and having won it, and checking the weather all last week, I knew it was going to be warm. I don’t typically do well in the humidity, so it made me nervous,” she said.
Abduselam Yussuf won the men’s half for the third year in a row. But he says the humidity wouldn’t let him beat the course record he set last year. He says he felt drained two miles into the more than 13 mile race.
“Mile two and I’m like, I don’t know what to do. I went through and I was like, ‘oh yeah, I’m going really fast, I think I’m going the same pace as last year’, but I went through my first mile and went, ooh, no I’m not,” he said.
Nicole Walker won the women’s half marathon.
But for many it was about spending time with people they love. Fathers with their kids or best friends crossing the finish line together.