Vancouver International Marathon
May 7, 2006
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 7, 2006, Lenore and I left the North Vancouver home of our friends Karl Jensen and Lorraine Suomi to drive to the starting area of the Vancouver International Marathon & Half Marathon by the BC Place Stadium.
At this time, it was raining, there was no breeze, and the temperature was in the 50's. This weather, which many of us consider ideal running conditions, continued for most of the day.
By arriving early, we found parking close to the starting area. Alanna Murray, a marathoner from Duncan, BC, joined us in our car as we waited for the beginning of the race. When it was time to assemble, Lenore and I said our goodbyes. I found a few running friends to visit with while she went to the VIP tent to make and renew friendships.
We learned later that our friend, Events Director Janet Anderson, was concerned about the 2005 winner when it appeared that Kassahun Kabiso of Ethiopia might miss the start of the marathon. With only a few minutes left in the countdown, he hadn't joined the other elite runners. Finally, with 20 seconds left, he appeared, handed his warmup clothing and backpack to Janet and took his place in the front row. She, in turn, pointed to the VIP tent to indicate where his gear would be kept during the race.
Kassahun (who resides in Peekskill, NY) lunged forward at the gun and took off at a 5 minute pace or faster. He and Joseph Kahuga of Kenya ran together, side by side, for 20 miles before he pulled away to a narrow lead. He maintained his position in the rolling last 10K and finished in 2:18:29 (5:17) only four seconds ahead of Joseph's 2:28:33.
Greg Crowther of Seattle, WA, came in third with an excellent time of 2:23:25.
It was one of the closest finishes at the Vancouver Marathon in its history (if not the closest). Kassahun's time was only three minutes off of the course record that he set last year. He earned $3,000.00 (US) prize money, a place on a permanent trophy and other awards. Before the race he was concerned about a calf injury that had occurred two weeks earlier. Luckily, it didn't bother him during the race.
The women's race was also exciting as Malgorzata Sobanska of Poland ran unchallenged to a 2:37:06 victory to establish a new course record for women. For these accomplishments she received $3,000.00 for the win and $2,500.00 for breaking the course record, plus other awards. Her 6th place overall finish was another record! Mary Akor of Gardena, CA, came in second with a 2:45:33, and Rima Dobovik was close behind with a time of 2:46:31.
My race went as well as I expected it would, which wasn't great. I had injured my left knee on a downhill at the Little Rock Marathon on March 5, 2006. Since then I had run two marathons, but I limited my other exercise to short walks in hopes that the knee would get better. It did….but I came to Vancouver "detrained."
After the first mile of the race I could tell that it was going to be a long day with a lot of walking, but I had hopes of finishing in six hours. Although my legs didn't work well, I felt fine and enjoyed the rainy weather and the Vancouver scenery. The city center, suburbs, inlets, open sea and forests of Stanley Park all contributed to an interesting run.
At Mile 20 my projected finish time seemed doable if I worked at it, but I would have to run the last mile to make it happen. I crossed the finish line in 6:00:13 to accolades from the announcer, Steve King, and received a finishers medal and a hug from Lenore. Later I learned that my chip time was 5:59:25. I had made my goal!
At the awards ceremony in BC Place, we met Ryozo Mizutami, 78, of Yokahama, Japan, who was first of three in the 75-79M division with a time of 5:35:40 (chip time). I finished second, and Titus Cusiak of Vancouver came in third with a 6:33:31.
The awards were unique replicas of Inuit Native American man-like figures that are used as symbols of welcome in their treeless homeland. They also serve as cairns (mounds of stones erected as a marker or memorial).
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Vancouver Marathon, monetary awards in the amounts of $100.00, $50.00 and $25.00 were also given to the first, second and third place age division winners.
When we returned to North Vancouver, our host and I compared notes about our weekend races. Karl had run the Elk/Beaver Lake 100K near Victoria, BC, the day before. He ran the 62 mile distance in 10:50:38 to place fourth in the masters division.
He's an ultrarunner who was the first Canadian to run six major 100 mile North American trail races in one year. It was a Grand Slam accomplishment.
Congratulations to Marathon Maniac Al Harmon for his big ultra/marathon weekend. On Saturday he, too, ran the ten 10K laps at the Elk/Beaver Lake 100K and finished in 11:25:15. Then on Sunday he ran in Vancouver to complete his 50th Marathon in a time of 4:23:56.
I had seen a few other Maniacs at the two out-and-back sections on the course and at Packet Pickup and the Expo that we attended on Saturday at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. It was at the Expo that we visited with Steve King and Dan Cumming at their booth. They're the editors of the book Running in the Zone (A Handbook for Seasoned Athletes), and each one contributed a chapter as well. As a chapter author myself, I enjoy reading this book to learn more about the life experiences and running accomplishments of the well-known contributors. If you don't see Steve or Dan at a future Expo to purchase a copy, on-line orders are taken at trafford.com/05-1768.
A fringe benefit of attending race directors workshops is meeting a lot of race directors and staff from other marathons. The "bonus" for us at the Vancouver Expo was visiting with Calgary's race director Jacqui Sanderson, Royal Victoria's race director Rob Reid and Jared Lorranger of the Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon at Seafair (Bellevue, WA).
It was at our first attendance of the Portland Marathon's Race Directors Workshop in 2000 that we met Janet Anderson, Derrick Hodge and others of the Vancouver Marathon staff. We congratulate all of them and their volunteers for putting on another great event.
We'll be back next year!
Written by Bob Dolphin
Edited, typed and distributed by Lenore Dolphin
Now is the time for all good men to come
Partial Results….Vancouver International Marathon - May 7, 2006
2:18:29 Kassahun Kabiso, Ethiopia, 20-24M, First Overall, 1st Age Group
2:18:33 Joseph Kahuga, Kenya, 30-34M, Second Overall, 1st
2:23:25 Greg Crowther, Seattle, WA, 30-34, Third Overall, 2nd
2:37:06 Malgorzata Sobanska, Poland, 35-39F, First Woman Overall, 1st
2:45:33 Mary Akor, Gardena, CA, 25-29F, Second Woman Overall, 1st
2:46:31 Rima Dobovik, 40-44F, Third Woman Overall, 1st
2:51:40 Pete Hansen, Ferndale, WA, 45-49M, 2nd
2:58:07 Trisha Steidl, Shoreline, WA, 25-29F, 2nd
3:08:42 Ruben Contreras, Stanwood, WA, 50-54M, Marathon Maniac (MM)
3:13:16 Jennifer Yogi, Seattle, WA 30-34F, MM
3:13:54 Eric Gierke, Shoreline, WA, 40-44M, MM
3:15:18 Steve Yee, Renton, WA, 45-49M, MM
3:18:07 Chris Warren, Renton, WA, 35-39M, MM
3:44:56 Janet Green, Courtenay, BC, 50-54F, 1st
3:48:40 Philip DeYoung, Dallas, TX, 35-39M, MM
3:53:52 Jon Mahoney, Vernon, BC, 50-54M, MM
3:55:09 Michael Shiach, Bainbridge Island, WA, 55-59M, MM
4:00:56 Mae Palm, Squamish, BC, 65-69F, 1st
4:07:53 Ken Bonner, Victoria, BC, 60-64M
4:23:56 Al Harman, West Vancouver, BC, 40-44M, MM
4:24:57 Alanna Murray, Duncan, BC, 45-49F
4:34:54 Nester Slywka, Burnaby, BC, 70-74M, 1st
4:35:49 Dan Cumming, Vancouver, BC, 60-64M
4:37:21 Roger Roufosse, 70-74, Surrey, BC, 2nd
4:52:43 Nathan Greene, Tacoma, WA, 20-24M, MM
4:53:54 Jon Nevitt, Burlington, WA, 65-69M
4:57:13 Evan Fagan, Victoria, BC, 65-69M
5:03:08 Sue Fauerbach, Renton, WA, 55-59F, MM
5:15:19 Mel Preedy, Ravensdale, WA, 70-74M, MM
5:19:20 Cynthia Whitman, Walla Walla, WA, 50-54F, MM
5:30:33 Roger Hauge, Excelsior, MN, 70-74M
5:35:40 Ryozo Mizutami, Yokahama, Japan, 75-79M, 1st
5:39:33 Susan Miller, North Vancouver, BC, 50-54F, First Marathon!
5:40:50 Ultra Al Miller, Deer Island, OR, 50-54M
5:57:49 Stacey Lissit, Seattle, WA, 25-29F,
5:59:25 Bob Dolphin, Renton/Yakima, WA, 75-79M, 2nd, MM
6:10:29 Avrum Miller, North Vancouver, BC, 55-59M
6:33:31 Titus Cusiak, Vancouver, BC, 75-59M,3rd
8:12:59 Joanna Blank, Libertyville, IL, 50-54F, Last Finisher
No Time Reported:
Harvey Nelsen, Surrey, BC, 70-74M
Al Homenchuk, Burnaby, BC, 70-74M