David Jackson became The North Face Whistler Half Marathon's first-ever repeat champion, as the Abbotsford runner won the resort race for the second year in a row on Saturday, June 7.
Meanwhile, Vancouver's Anne-Marie Madden won the women's race over the 21.1-kilometre distance, after finishing as the runner-up in 2013.
Catrin Jones, last year's women's half-marathon winner, topped the 10K race on Saturday morning, and Whistler Secondary School exchange student Yannik Gerland was the first men's runner to the line on the shorter route.
Jackson beat his own course-record time from last year, reaching the Whistler Olympic Plaza finish in one hour, 11 minutes, five seconds. He was comfortably ahead of second-place finisher Jevin Monds (1:13:57) for the majority of the race. Aiden Lennie (1:21:12) secured third place.
"It feels good," Jackson said of becoming the event's first two-time champion. "I really enjoy coming here, it's obviously a very beautiful place to come, and it's a challenging course."
Jackson started to put some distance between himself and Monds around the seven-kilometre mark, pulling away after the course's hilliest sections in the first half of the race.
"He was running really well, but then I was able to move away from him after that," Jackson said of Monds.
"It's always nice to win, that's for sure."
Monds, a former middle-distance runner from Alberta, said the hilly sections in the first half of the course started to take their toll on him by the time he reached the halfway point. But Monds, who used to run for the High Point University Panthers in North Carolina, was thrilled to place second in his first appearance at the Whistler Half Marathon.
"It's a good day, and a beautiful course... but a hard run," he said. "Overall, I'm pretty pleased.
"My specialty used to be the 1,500, but over the past couple years I've moved up to 5K, 10K, and now I'm trying to tackle the roads and, one day, a marathon."
At 1:20:33, Madden was the third-fastest runner overall on Saturday while winning the women's half marathon. Her triumphant time put her nearly three minutes ahead of White Rock's Lisa Brooking (1:23:15), while third place belonged to 2012 winner Karen Tulloch (1:25:15).
"I wanted to try and pace well to not crumple on the second half of this course," said Madden. "It's pretty easy to fry your legs and then pay for it. But I think it went OK.
"(In 2013,) I had raced in Colorado on the Monday (before) and was definitely hurting last year, so it felt nicer to be a bit more fresh."
Brooking said she treated Saturday's race as a training event for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon later this month, so a second-place finish was a bonus.
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