Six Rupert Runners endure to the end at Victoria Marathon

Six Prince Rupert runners took part in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in Victoria on Oct. 9.

L:R Ryan Staschuk

The running season might be over in Prince Rupert, but that wasn’t enough for six Rupert Runners.

Crystal Sawatzky, Jamie Komadina, Ryan Staschuk, Emma Payne, Christine Franes and Brittanne O’Connor all took part in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in Victoria on Oct. 9.

It was the first marathon for Rupert Runners’ vice-president Sawatzky, but it won’t be her last.

“I found it really exhilarating,” she said, already thinking ahead to what her next marathon might be.

The group didn’t plan on doing the marathon together, but met up after realizing they were each going individually. Besides Komadina and Staschuk, who were running in their second marathon, it was the first full one for the rest of them.

“It was just kind of a goal,” said Sawatzky. “I had done five or six half marathons over the past three years so I thought this would be the next step.”

Staschuk ran the marathon in 2014, placing 146th with a time of 3:21:13. For the rest of them, it was their first attempt at the Victoria Marathon.

It wasn’t even about trying to finish first, but about enduring to the end. Although Sawatzky had a great experience and plans to run more marathons, it wasn’t without challenges. It is 42 kilometres, after all.

“Definitely challenging, just to maintain a pace. The whole issue with a marathon is managing to maintain a pace so you have to slow yourself down,” she said.

Something that helped her was running virtually the whole way with O’Connor and Franes. She said it helped them finish the race with a good time.

“I can’t say enough about having someone to run with you. We didn’t plan that at all, just kind of started at the start line together and then just kept running together.”

Sawatzky’s goal going into the marathon was to finish in less than five hours and she more than accomplished that, crossing the line in 4:31:08.

Staschuk led the group with his time of 3:46:19, good for 294th overall. Komadina finished in 4:25:06, shaving off 16 minutes from her time at the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May.

The other four women all finished within 10 minutes of each other. O’Connor completed the marathon in 4:30:30, Sawatzky less than 40 seconds behind her and Payne 14 seconds behind that. Franes crossed the line in 4:39:16.

This race more or less wraps up Sawatzky’s racing season, but she still plans to run because she enjoys it so much.