Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Balcha, Boutin win men's and women's titles in 2022 Royal Victoria Marathon

7,934 registered for marathon, half-marathon, 8K and kids run; first full marathon since 2019. Runners acknowledge the inspiration provided by the cheering crowds.

Teferi Kebede Balcha, an immigrant from Ethiopia, is getting used to the streets of his adopted hometown. The 41-year-old again shunted aside age to win the 2022 Royal Victoria Marathon on Sunday in two hours, 25 minutes, 26 seconds to follow up his victory in the Times Colonist 10K last spring.

With a heady personal best time of 2:07:38 in his prime, he has been around with career victories from Israel to Shanghai. Balcha is coached in the Prairie Inn Harriers Club by two-time Olympic marathoner Bruce Deacon, who has brought to the surface untapped reserves as Balcha enters his masters running days.

“He is a champion and works very hard,” said Deacon.

Balcha led all the way and won by a wide margin.

“It was very nice out there today,” said the full-time janitor, who trains after work.

“I was happy and surprised. Marathon running is already hard enough, and you need lots of stamina, so I loved getting the support of people cheering along the route.”

Rozlyn Boutin, a resident physician at B.C. Children’s Hospital, won the women’s race in 2:46:49 in just her fifth marathon.

“Every day in life is a marathon,” quipped the 28-year-old native of Edmonton, of her busy work and training schedule.

“But I had a good day out there today in good competition. It was a beautiful day with all the people out and cheering us on.”

Former elite triathlete Andrew Russell, who came to Victoria in 2007 to train with Olympic-champion Simon Whitfield and stayed, won the Royal Victoria men’s half-marathon in 1:11:10. The engineer celebrated while carrying his two-year-old son, Alistair, on his shoulders.

“He’s watched enough races now to know when to clap,” said Russell.

Russell was chasing the Royal Victoria half-marathon record of 1:02:32, set by his former coach Jon Brown, who was the fourth-place marathon finisher in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics.

“There were beautiful conditions out there,” said Russell, whose career victories include the 2012 Kelowna Apple Triathlon, 2012 ITU World Cup race in Magog, Que., 2014 Victoria Ironman 70.3 and the 2019 Island Race Series.

“It’s a great rolling course that is not monotonous. And the people cheering made it a lot of fun.”

Sally Crowther of Kirkland, Washington, won the women’s half-marathon in 1:16:48.

“It was my first run in Victoria and it felt great,” said the former NCAA Div. 1 athlete at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

“The course was beautiful and there was so much cheering. It’s rolling but you can definitely run fast on it.”

Thomas Broatch of Vancouver won the men’s 8K in 23:42. Courtney Brohart of Vancouver was women’s 8K champion in 27:41.

Of note, Victoria-based Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, fifth in the 1,500 metres last year in the Tokyo Olympics, used the 8K race as part of her continuing rehab from injury and was fourth in 28:47.

As usual, many of the compelling stories were further back in the pack. Terry Slater kept alive his streak of never having missed running a Royal Victoria Marathon in over four decades. Janet Green of Courtenay ran her 30th Royal Victoria Marathon, among her career 425 marathons and 39 Ultramarathons. Sasha Perron, who ran 215 kilometres last year in acknowledgement of the residential school graves found in Kamloops, ran the marathon to raise funds for PEERS.

Kate Little, 29, of Victoria ran her first marathon and was supported by several family and friends wearing T-shirts reading “Team Kate” and “Go Kate Go.” Fiance Tanner Carter and sister Nicole Gierc had added messages of encouragement on their shirts: “Cocktails at the finish line” read Gierc’s and “Kate is running for the snacks” read Carter’s.

“We are all so absolutely proud of Kate,” said mom Christine Little.

“This is her first [organized] run, and for her first run, she chose the full marathon.”

Kate Little was among the ribbon of humanity numbering 7,934 pounding the pavement of the B.C. capital. That included 1,561 in the marathon, 3,439 in the half-marathon, 2,354 in the 8K and 580 in the Thrifty kids run.

It was the first running of the full marathon since celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019. The entire 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic and only the half-marathon and 8K were contested in 2021.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

 

2022 Royal Victoria Marathon, top finishers in women's marathon

ROZLYN BOUTIN

VANCOUVER BC CAN

2:46:49

KAT DREW

VANCOUVER BC CAN

2:49:26

ANDREA LEE

NORTH VANCOUVER BC CAN   

2:51:04

KAITLYN MCNAMARA

WHITEFISH MT USA

2:56:52

ALICIA KELAHEAR

VANCOUVER BC CAN

2:57:25

KELLY CHALLINOR

KELOWNA BC CAN

2:59:13

NATASHA PARSONS

NANAIMO BC CAN

2:59:30

ELIZABETH TOMCZAK    

REGINA SK CAN

3:03:12

JULIA HAWKINS

VANCOUVER BC CAN

3:04:18

MEGHAN LYLE

SEATTLE WA USA

3:08:42

 

2022 Royal Victoria Marathon, top finishers in men's marathon

TEFERI KEBEDE BALCHA   

VICTORIA BC CAN

2:25:26

AIDAN ANDERSON

NORTH VANCOUVER BC CAN

2:29:55

JONATHAN WALKER

VICTORIA BC CAN

2:33:46

MICHAEL MITCHELL

FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS BC    

2:34:40

GEOFF DUNBRACK

WHITEHORSE YT CAN

2:35:36

PAUL YOUNG

NORMANDY PARK WA USA

2:37:14

JESSE KITTERIDGE

BANFF AB CAN

2:44:37

SIB KALSBEEK

CALGARY AB CAN

2:45:15

JOSH GUENTHER

SPRUCE GROVE AB CAN

2:46:57

MATHEW HEWITT

COLDSTREAM BC CAN

2:47:09

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks