Care Nelson has stood on the Whistler Half Marathon podium plenty of times, but that doesn’t mean every race is easy.
Finishing in 1 hour, 28 minutes and 24 seconds, the Victoria resident held on to the top women's spot on Saturday, June 1 after winning first place in 2018. (She’s also placed in the top three since 2011—the only exception being 2014 when she didn’t run.)
“I thought of this one a lot while I was running because she’s super fast,” she said while holding her daughter, Stella, in her arms after crossing the finish line. “She’s doing the kids’ race, so every time I got tired, I thought, ‘Oh, I have to get back to Stella.’”
Will she be back to defend her spot in 2020? “For sure,” she said. “(I’ll be back) every year that they do it.”
Coming in behind Nelson with 1:31:40 was Renee Lane in second spot, followed by Annika Austin at 1:32:44.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Alexandre Ricard crossed the finish line first in 1:14:07. Having moved from Quebec to Squamish a year ago, Ricard had mostly run five and 10-kilometre races before toeing the line in Whistler. “It’s my second half marathon,” he said. “I’m starting longer distances. It’s nice.”
Behind him with a time of 1:16:25 was Seattle’s Uli Steidl, who set a course record for the 30-km distance of the race last year.
“I thought, ‘I did the 30 K last year and got the course record; I’ll try something new,’” he said.
Just 15 seconds behind him was Victoria’s Nick Walker. “I’ve been out to help with the event in the first three years it started,” Walker said. “It’s amazing. It’s definitely a very challenging course, but rewarding as well.”
Taking the top spot in the 30K—which took place for a third year—was renowned ultra marathoner Rob Krar with a time of 1:56:28.
Krar, who has won both the Western States 100 and Leadville 100, was invited to the race this year to lead two guided trail runs on Friday, May 31 as part of the pre-race events. “I come from an ultra running and trail running background, so this was very smooth, very flat,” Krar said. “Definitely the pace was much faster than I’m used to, but I enjoyed it.”
The second-place runner, Lukas Fuesselberger, came in less than a minute behind him at 1:57:09, which added up to some fun competition, he said.
“The guy in front of me put a good gap on me halfway through the course. And I caught up to him with just over a kilometre to go and put in a hard surge. It was fun. It brought me back to my road running days, putting on the face and going by quickly,” he said.
Michael Stobart rounded out third place in the 30K men’s division. Trisha Steidl took first place in the women’s division with 2:12:52 while Christina Bauer and Chloe Eaton finished the top three.
In the 10K, David Jackson was the fastest man at 35:08, followed by Luke Armstrong, and Jan Kundoerfer. Catrin Jones topped the women at 39:01, with Lydia Tay in second, and Megan Morrissey in third.
The 5K, meanwhile, saw Mark Klassen cross the line first in 18:30, with Anando Naqui, and Hector Aro behind him. For the women, Marilyn Arsenault finished in 24:37, followed by Emma Elsner, and Willa Kriebel in third.
To see the full results, visit whistlerhalfmarathon.com/results.html.