Whistler runners conquer marathon course 

Ashley McMillan finishes 35th overall in a field of 2,396 competitors on new Vancouver marathon route

click to flip through (3) PHOTO BY KANGSOON PARK - THREE EVEN Margreet Dietz of Squammish shaved more than seven minutes off her 2011 BMO Vancouver Marathon time this year with her finish time of three hours flat.
  • Photo by Kangsoon Park
  • THREE EVEN Margreet Dietz of Squammish shaved more than seven minutes off her 2011 BMO Vancouver Marathon time this year with her finish time of three hours flat.

Most people would consider a 35th place marathon finish a great accomplishment, but Ashley McMillan of Whistler had greater expectations for his marathon run last weekend.

More than 15,000 people participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon Sunday on a brand new course that received mostly good reviews.

McMillan was the top Whistler competitor with his finish time of two hours and 53 minutes. McMillan placed 7th in his 35 to 39-age category. While he was happy with his placing he said he had expected to finish about 15 minutes faster.

"The wheels came off a bit around the 32-k mark," said the U.K. native in a post-race interview, adding that he did the 2009 Vancouver Marathon in about the same amount of time give or take a minute.

"Now all I can do is see what went wrong whether it was training, or tapering, or the diet or whatever it was," said McMillan.

The hotel industry worker did suffer a broken foot in October caused by too much running.

Despite that, he ran in the Vancouver Sun Run and finished 68th with a time just over 35 minutes.

McMillan is planning to participate in the Whistler Half Marathon on June 2 and is already looking forward to his next marathon, so he can cut his Vancouver Marathon time by 15 minutes.

Squamish's Margreet Dietz completed the 42.2km marathon course in three hours flat to win her 40 to 44-age grouping. Her time placed her 71st overall and she was the fifth woman to cross the finish line. Dietz cut seven minutes from her time at the event last year.

Tara Colpitts of Whistler was the 11th woman across the finish line placing 4th in her age category (30 to 34) .

"I actually was quite happy, I beat my former personal best, which was on a flat course, by 10 minutes," Colpitts said of her time of three hours and six minutes.

Her time was fast enough to allow her to enter in the April 2013 Boston Marathon in the elite group. She hasn't determined yet if she can compete in Boston, but if her work schedule allows it she will travel to the event on the east coast.

"I was really pleased for my friend Ellie who won first overall," Colpitts said of Ellie Greenwood who recently moved from Banff to Vancouver.

Colpitts said she knows Greenwood through work.

Brackendale triathlete Volker Schneider placed 66th overall and 10th in his age group (40 to 44). Schneider was about a minute faster than Dietz with a time of 2:59:24.

The marathon winner was Gezahgn Eshetu of Addis Ababa won the race in a time of 2:21:50.

Other Whistler participants included Barry McClure, Oisin Ruane, Erin Saari, Mike Quinn, Emma Beck, Sarah Prunier, Boris Van Moorsel and Charlotte Hoedt.

Mike Heiliger of Squamish completed the marathon in 3:26:21 and he was followed by Jennifer Schorz, Janet Bride, Ray Lalli, Emma Seguss, Spring McClurg and John Redpath also all from Squamish.

Carmen Svisdahl ran representing the community of Mount Currie.

The event also featured a half marathon and Maxwell Paul Vacirca, 27, of Pemberton was the quickest corridor resident. His time was 1:19:19 and he placed fourth in his age category.

Lisa Smart of Whistler finished fifth in her age group (40 to 44) in a time of 1:29:59 and Claire Daniels of Whistler followed her with a time of 1:31:28. Three Squamish men clocked very similar times to Daniels. Edgar Alejandro Mujica ran the half marathon in 1:31:18 while Roger Shirt followed him with a time of 1:32:53 and Jason Ross came in at 1:33:14.

Kip Kangogo of Lethbridge won with a time of 1:04:48 and Port Moody 's Natasha Wodak-Fraser was the top female with her time of 1:15:12.

Full results from the events are available at www.bmovanmarathon.ca.

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