© Copyright – 2017 – Athletics Illustrated

Former University of Victoria Vike, Geoff Martinson ran one of his best races of his career Sunday, when he won the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in the time of 64:28.

Martinson originally from Prince George, BC, attended UVic and became one of the fastest runners in the former CIS (now U Sport). He went on to qualify for and compete in the 2011 IAAF Daegu World Track and Field Championships in the 1500-metre distance.

“My coach Richard (Lee) figured that I could run about 64:30 today, so that is about what I ran (64:28),” Shared Martinson. “It was tough to run alone up front, but the lead vehicle had a clock on it and that helped with the splits.”

Martinson is in his final year of school at UBC. He will graduate with a degree in pharmacy in June 2018.

Asked about what this performance means for his future racing plans, he was careful to not confirm anything, but hinted at the possibility of going to the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships that are taking place in Spain. The qualification standard is 66:00.

Julian Florez of Albuquerque, N.M. finished second in the time of 66:04. Florez was dropped early by Martinson and ran alone for most of the race, while Canada’s second fastest all-time marathon runner Reid Coolsaet settled into third position, as he is just six weeks back into training after injury.

“Yeah, I have been running just six weeks. Prior to that, I haven’t done much running in 2017,” shared the Hamilton native, who trains with Speed River Track and Field Club in Guelph. “I have had a few workouts.” Earlier in the summer, Coolsaet assumed he might just run about 1:30:00 – but as his fitness was returning, decided on sub-70 and finally 67. He finished in 67:27.

His personal best is 62:42.

Coolsaet was recruited to talk in the Speakers Series at the Marathon Expo.  He fit in the race as part of the weekend. Like Martinson, he was not committing to any future races, however, suggested that he would like to run the Boston and New York Marathon and…”who knows, I might look at ultra-distances.”

Vancouver’s Rob Watson, a two-time 2:13 marathon runner, retired, and then sorta came back, but not really. He currently coaches other runners and continues to race at a fairly high level. Sunday, he finished the half in 68:44 for fourth position.

Victoria’s Jim Finlayson was the first master (45-49), crossing the line in the time of 1:10:41 and in fifth overall. The Canadian record is 1:10:00 as set by Frank Lewis in 1993.

Kevin O’Connor was the second master and first in his 50-54 age-category. He finished in the time of 1:14:09. The national record is 1:13:33 as set by fellow Vancouverite Mark Bennett from 2014. Cairns Price was the third master finishing in the time of 1:15:45.

O’Connor has upped his mileage recently and has seen improved performances. The previously fast-training master was hoping to take the national record.

The top female half-marathon runner was Scotland’s Sarah Inglis, who has competed for Trinity Western University.

She finished in the time of 1:14:20, which is 14 seconds off of Natasha Wodak’s course record from her running in 2012.

Inglis ran hard from the sound of the gun and established an early lead. She passed through 10K 34:59 approximately one minute faster than the next woman.

Asked about her upcoming season Inglis said, “I am going to run cross-country at BC Cross Country Championships and Canadian Championships taking place in Kingston, Ontario”.

The second female was Meg Lewis-Schneider, finishing in 1:16:42. She is a training partner of Catherine Watkins. Lewis-Schneider is coached by Dylan Wykes with their training group Mile2Marathon.

Vancouver’s Lisa Brooking finished fourth in the time of 1:18:08, in front of her was master runner Catherine Watkins, who took the Canadian record in the 45-49 age-group with her 1:17:02 finish time. Marilyn Arsenault of Victoria set the record at 1:17:04.

“In two weeks (in Toronto), I would like to take Marilyn’s Canadian record in the marathon, which she set during the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon at 2:40:20,” shared Watkins.

Victoria’s Lucy Smith, set a new Canadian record at 1:19:53 in the 50-54 age-group. The previous record was held by Diane Legare at 1:22:08.

Rounding out the masters division, Calgary’s Shari Boyle finished in the time of 120:25. She is a middle distance and steeplechase runner.