Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BMO Vancouver Marathon debuts stunning new point-to-point courses to the thrill of thousands

VANCOUVER, BC, May 6, 2012 – Today under spectacular sunshine, the 41st annual BMO Vancouver Marathon wowed runners with two new world-class point-to-point routes. Runners experienced coastal mountain views, the coveted Stanley Park Seawall, iconic landmarks and were cheered on by spectators lining both courses.

Gezahgn Eshetu of Ethiopia became the new Champion in the men’s marathon event, finishing first in a time of 2:21:51. He was excited to run his first BMO Vancouver Marathon and win. “I was very happy coming to Vancouver for the first time. The new courses are great for runners and I had good competition from the field. I was happy to win.” Benard Onsare, formerly from Kenya, now living in Calgary, finished in second place with a time of 2:22:16. Onsare, the defending Champion, was happy to be back. In third place was top Canadian finisher, Ryan Day from Shuswap First Nation. “I was hoping to finish in the top three and I felt I ran a smart race today.”

In first place for the women was Ellie Greenwood, who moved to North Vancouver from Alberta, and is originally from Scotland. She came in with a winning time of 2:42:16. Having run the London Marathon two weeks ago, she was thrilled to post a personal best time today.

“The new course is so interesting, I really loved running through the neighbourhoods and everything was very well organized,” said Greenwood, won the Edmonton Marathon in 2011. “The volunteers at the water stations were amazing, and it was a deep competitive field,” added Greenwood. In second place at 2:46:01 was Mary Akor from California, a former three-time champion. The top Canadian woman was Catrin Jones of Victoria, who finished a respectable 3rd place 2:52:11.

One event course record was set in the Half Marathon as Kip Kangogo from Kenya, now living in Lethbridge, finished first at 1:04:48 beating the past record set in 2009 by Willy Kimosop at 1:05:03. Port Moody, BC resident, Natasha Wodak-Fraser finished first at 1:15:12 in the women’s half. Canadians did exceedingly well in both the Marathon and Half Marathon placing in the top five in both races.

The exuberant participants in the Marathon and Half Marathon were represented from as many as 50 countries.

2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon Final Results:

Full Marathon Male
1st – Gezahgn Eshetu, Ethiopia [2:21:51]
2nd – Benard Onsare, Kenya (Calgary resident) [2:22:16]
3rd – Ryan Day, Shuswap First Nation, BC [2:29:22]

Full Marathon Female
1st – Ellie Greenwood, Scotland (new resident of North Vancouver, BC [2:42:16]
2nd – Mary Akor, CA, USA [2:46:01]
3rd – Catrin Jones, Victoria, BC [2:52:11]

Half Marathon Male
1st - Kip Kangogo, Kenya (Lethbridge resident) [1:04:48]
2nd – Willy Kiptoo Kimoso, Kenya (Lethbridge resident) [1:05:07]
3rd – Kibet Rutto, Kenya (Edmonton resident) [1:06:28]

Half Marathon Female
1st – Natasha Wodak-Fraser, Port Moody, BC [1:15:12]
2nd – Allison Macsas, Austin, TX [1:15:31]
3rd – Lucy Smith, Vancouver, BC [1:18:38]

The BMO Vancouver Marathon and Half Marathon is organized and operated by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, a non-profit organization. The event is one of Canada’s largest marathons and has a 40-year history within Vancouver and the running community internationally.

For more information about the BMO Vancouver Marathon, please visit:

Media Contacts:
Deirdre Rowland, Vancouver International Marathon Society, 778-888-9974 cell,

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