Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon
October 21 2017 // Victoria, BC
On a perfectly cool and cloudy sunday morning, the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon presented by New Balance delivered some lightning fast times across the board.
Fall marathon season is in full swing by early October, and with cooler temperatures, a lot of runners are out to grab some late season PB’s. Today at the Victoria Marathon is no different. The temperature is about 8C at the start of the race, the sky covered in clouds, and a breeze out on course that will keep runners in ideal conditions throughout the morning.
Get out fast. Stay fast. Finish fast. It’s just that easy.
My goals for the day are simple, get photos of everyone I know. Ha, simple. I know far too many folks out on course today, so I am going to wing it. I want to stick with the lead pack half marathoners to watch those races unfold, then head back out to pick up some full marathoners — shooting as many folks as I can along the way.
I’ve got a bike. I’ve got gels. I’m ready to roll. Let’s do this.
The Mile2Marathon crew is out in full force at Victoria with nearly 20 runners ready to rip the 8k, half marathon, or full marathon. Such a great group of folks I have the pleasure of training with when out in Vancouver. Hi team!
07:35:34 am on 08.10.2017
Matt Setlack is smiling right before the race starts, but with a low-60 minute half marathon on his mind, that smile won’t last long.
07:58:07 am on 08.10.2017
And the 2017 Victoria Marathon is underway. Shit…I gotta scramble to get out of the way before I get trampled. Matt Cecill is right beside me shooting for the race, so I stay out of his way, but it forces me to not quite get the entire start line. One of the very few downsides to rocking prime lenses.
07:59:39 am on 08.10.2017
I catch Robbie Watson heading into the park sitting in 4th place for the half. Geoff Martinson has already opened up a sizable 11 second lead at the 6km mark here. That sets the tone for the guys…Geoff is on it this morning.
08:19:02 am on 08.10.2017
By the time the guys are exiting Beacon Hill Park after doing a 1.5km loop, Geoff Martinson has made it clear that he is going out fast — daring anyone to try and stick with him. His lead is now 24 seconds over Julian Florez in second place. This could be a huge run for him, or it could end in disaster. Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch unfold.
08:21:25 am on 08.10.2017
I get photos of a number of my other runners at this spot including Shawn Lywood who appears to be on track sticking to a sub-4 minute/km pace which will result in a blistering 2:47:xx full marathon time — which would be a huge PB for him.
08:28:33 am on 08.10.2017
Unbeknownst to me, Victoria is just a tune up half for Gemma Slaughter. She wants to chat during this photo because we hadn’t seen each other since a 5k time trial on the track in Vancouver, but I am a jerk and tell her to focus on the race. How am I suppose to know. It’s Gemma…even if she was racing, she would still want to chat. She simply can’t turn the nice off. Great seeing you out there Gemma.
08:38:27 am on 08.10.2017
I give up trying to catch the boys finish the half marathon when I see Meg Lewis-Schneider absolutely destroying that hilly course out there. She is just ahead of Catherine Watkins at this point, but they dropped Lisa Brooking some ways back. I decide to tag along right as Meg is about to make a move in 3…2…1…
09:05:24 am on 08.10.2017
Needless to say, in the finish line coral, Meg is all smiles. This might be the cutest look I’ve ever captured of a runner post race. Pure elation, surprise, and relief…all wrapped up in a single smile. I’m so excited for you Meg, and proud of the progress you’ve made this year. It has been an absolute blast watching you PB on the regular. That’s another podium for ya!
09:19:15 am on 08.10.2017
I am so friggen inspired by this guy, and honoured to share miles and beers with him. I first met Asita Perera at the BMO Vancouver Marathon on course. Classic Asita. Making friends while running a race. For three weeks after that race, I saw Asita probably three times a week…he is that involved in the run community in Vancouver. Needless to say, I am stoked to be catching Asita crossing the finish line for a huge PB half marathon. Congrats buddy!
09:23:09 am on 08.10.2017
More friendly faces stream past as Verner brings his 1:50 half marathon group past me. As soon as I am spotted Verner bee-lines over to me for a high five. I love how small the run community in Canada is, and how many folks I know at seemingly every race I shoot.
09:36:07 am on 08.10.2017
A huge shoutout to all pacers at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. You were all so amazing on course with your groups with support and straight up fun times. I’m not sure a single one of you passed me today without a wave, smile, and pep in your step. Races wouldn’t be the same without you.
10:10:32 am on 08.10.2017
Mr Olympian Evan Dunfee spends a lot of time in my viewfinder today. Perhaps it is the bright green New balance kit, or that massive smile he is flashing all day. Evan is such a treat on course. Chatting with other runners, and engaging with those cheering. As always Evan, a pure pleasure seeing you out there!
10:48:41 am on 08.10.2017
This is my whip today out on course. I hadn’t intended to bike the course today. Instead, just hang out around the finish line. Maybe strap the shoes on and rip around a little bit. But Friday night before the race, a comment on Instagram led to an offer, and then this fast bike showing up. Big shoutout to Dan Clayton and Shannon Kane for going out of their way to hook a “stranger” up. November Project for the motha f’in win! Seriously, these two are the best.
11:14:52 am on 08.10.2017
The last time I saw Allison, 10kms into here 42.2, she was climbing the menacing looking hill around Ross Bay in front of the 3:40 pace group she wanted to run with. A good sign. With a 16km gap between seeing a runner, I never know how they will react. How their race is going. Whether or not they even want to see me. Still in front of the 3:40 pace group, air under her stride, smiling and waving, it’s fair to say Allison’s race is on track.
10:19:27 am on 08.10.2017
From the moment I see Allison on pace, I forget all other objectives and simply want to coach Allison across the finish line under her goal of 3 hours and 40 minutes. I switch from photographer to on-course race coach often at races. It has taken me a long time to understand my value in this role, but now I embrace it.
11:12:20 am on 08.10.2017
The real battle starts 30kms into a marathon. I am still zipping around taking photos, but I make sure I get close and give Allison a cheer every few minutes. I know Allison is counting down the kilometres. I see the struggle in her stride. I feel the labour in her breath as I pass. I also know Allison is still only nine minutes behind the 3:30 pace group with 5kms to go. A great sign.
11:14:11 am on 08.10.2017
With the clock still under 3:40:00 in the background on Belville St. in downtown Victoria, relief washes over Allison’s face 3:38:36 after she crosses the timing strip at the start line — an unofficial Boston qualifier. A 10 minute and 13 second PB. Goal crushed is how we describe this moment within the running community.
11:39:03 am on 08.10.2017
This one is special for me too. I’ve been witness to all the work that has gone into this photo. The early morning row sessions. The post-work treadmill workouts. Intervals with @runcollective. The weekend long runs. The half marathon tune-up earlier in the fall. The endless pre-prepared lunches for the week made on Sunday afternoon. The chats with @mile2marathon coach Robbie. All leading to this one moment. This one photo of a smiling runner who just PB’d the snot out of their goal race for the season.
11:40:22 am on 08.10.2017
Almost one year ago to the day, Allison ran an amazing race in Toronto with a 21 minute PB, taking another 10 minutes off of that just a year later is incredible. Having her parents there to see her race for the first time makes it that much more sweet. I couldn’t be more proud, or more impressed. Now, it’s time to celebrate. Then relax and soak up Vancouver Island for a week of nature walks and Netflix with the folks.
11:43:41 am on 08.10.2017