Yukon athletes travelled to British Columbia this Thanksgiving weekend to compete in two major marathon races.
Whitehorse native David Eikelboom won the Okanagan Marathon in a time of 2:34:27.
In his first time running this marathon, Eikelboom said it was a great day for running and the flat course helped him to beat his personal best by eight minutes.
He said his goal heading into the race was to break 2 hours and 35 minutes, a goal he had for the last two years.
This wasn’t the first marathon win for Eikelboom, but his first south of the Yukon.
“It feels pretty darn good,” he said of all his training coming to fruition.
Eikelboom won the race by a large margin of four minutes and 33 seconds ahead of Brian Yorke from Edmonton in second place in a time of 2:39:03 and Darryl Vanderwoude in third clocking in at 2:39:52.
Also from Whitehorse, Sheldon Lyslo finished the marathon in just over three hours in 17th place out of the 419 participants.
Seven Whitehorse competitors also competed in the Half Marathon with Johanna Smith leading the local runners in a time of 1:41:11.
Next for Eikelboom, he said he hopes to break his half marathon goal of one hour and 10 minutes, which he has had on his mind for a few years now.
“Hopefully next year I’ll travel for a half and will try to pick a race where a 1:10:00 would be competitive for a win,” he said.
Meanwhile, 67 runners from the Yukon took to Victoria for the Victoria Marathon races. Lindsay Carson won her fourth straight women’s 8-kilometre race in a time of 27:26. Carson, who said she still visits Whitehorse frequently, moved down to British Columbia in April to join an elite training group.
She said she love participating in the Victoria Marathon as it provides a great atmosphere during the Thanksgiving weekend.
“The atmosphere is awesome, the whole city comes alive for Thanksgiving,” she said. “The race itself is well put on. There’s three distances and something for everybody.”
Carson faced stiffer competition in this race than in the past with Justine Stecko finishing right on her heels, just 12 seconds back in a time of 27:38.
Carson said the toe-to-toe race allowed them to work together and push each other to their full potential.
She said she was able to pull away from Stecko with two to three kilometres to go in the race.
Her time was nine seconds faster than her finishing time in 2016, and just nine seconds behind her top time in 2014.
Next Carson will turn her focus to the cross-country season with the B.C. cross-country championships her next big race leading to the Canadian championships in Kingston later in November.
Thirty-three Yukon athletes ran the half-marathon with Susan Bogle finishing second in the 50-54 age group category with a time of 1:35:55 and Janet Clarke finishing right behind her in third place in 1:38:48.
Hanna Atmanspacher-Wirth won the women’s 1-19 age group in a time of 1:42:38.