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PHOTOS: Runners smile and struggle through Royal Victoria Marathon

The 42-kilometre route was one of several races taking over Victoria and Oak Bay

Among the crowd lining Belleville Street on Sunday (Oct. 8) morning was Johnny Robinson’s buddies. They were the same ones who were screaming and shouting at Robinson from their bikes as he ran the Royal Victoria Marathon.

“The finish line is pretty amazing, to have everybody there, your friends and everybody supporting you as you go across,” the first-time marathoner said of the race’s high point.

But after the just over 42-kilometre route, crossing the finish line also brought relief for the Victoria resident.

“Oh wow, I was just stoked it was over,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t think I could ever run again in my life, it was a bucket list thing to do so I’m really happy I did it.”

That being said, he conceded he’d probably do another marathon as Robinson said the run is a bit addicting.

Runners cross the Royal Victoria Marathon’s finish line on Belleville Street on Oct. 8. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

Thanksgiving Sunday capped a weekend of races that took over local streets in Victoria and Oak Bay. The marathon and half-marathon races were sold out this year, while the weekend also included eight- and five-kilometres distances and a Thrifty Food Kids Run.

“We are so excited to have a sold-out marathon and half marathon, and to see the incredible growth of the event which will be our highest numbers since 2014,” Cathy Noel, the marathon’s race director and general manager, said in a statement.

“As always, we would like to thank our loyal sponsors and partners for supporting us, without whom we wouldn’t be able to put on an event of this size.”

Aidan Anderson of Campbell River was the first of 577 marathoners to finish, crossing the line at 2:29:06, while Victoria’s Jackson Bocksnick came in third overall with a time of 2:31:34. Lydia Tay was the top female racer in the marathon with Christine Bant of Victoria coming in second. Bant’s time of 2:50:32 was also good enough to win her age group.

A runner waves to a supporter on Dallas Road during the Royal Victoria Marathon on Oct. 8. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

Other notable finsishes from Victoria runners on Sunday included Daniel Mulushet Zewdu placing second overall in eight-kilometre and Mackenzie Lascalle winning the five-kilometre race.

Robinson’s time of three hours and 41 seconds was four minutes faster than the pace he hoped.

“It actually went a lot better than I thought it was going to go, so I’m pretty stocked on my results.”

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