RVM features its strongest ever Elite field
(Victoria, BC -- October 9, 2009) The Royal Victoria Marathon will see its largest ever event in its 30-year history on Sunday, October 11. As of close of online registration on October 8, numbers show a 20% increase over this time last year. With the Half Marathon and the 8K Road Race both sold out, total registrations for the four events are now at 11,893.
Registration is still open for the Marathon which to date has 3,139 registrants - this is a 24% increase over last year. The Half Marathon has 5,400 registered (an increase of 15%); the 8K Road Race has 2,500 participants (an increase of 24%); and the THRIFTY FOODS Kids Marathon - Kids Run is at 802 (an increase of 21%). Additional registrations for the Marathon and Thrifty Foods Kids Marathon - Kids Run will be accepted at the RVM Race Expo until 6:00 pm on October 10 where it is predicted that the total number of registrations could exceed 12,000.
"This year has shown tremendous growth for all four RVM races both in the size of fields and in calibre of athletes," says Bob Reid, President of the Victoria Marathon Society. "All are experiencing record totals as two of the four events have reached capacity well before race day. The pre-race Carbo Gala Dinner also sold out three months ago."
The event will also see a stronger than normal field of elite athletes. Eight Kenyans will be running; Steve Osaduik will be hoping to break his own marathon course record of 2:16:49 set in 2006, and Olympian Jon Brown, who now runs for Canada, will be defending his Half Marathon course record of 1:02:32, set in 2002. The women's marathon will see an exciting, line-up that includes last year's winner Cheryl Murphy, Lucy Smith, and three-time winner Suzanne Evans. With such a competitive field, the 20-year women's course record set by Val Chowaniec in 1989 (2:42:32) could well be broken.
"I am delighted to welcome back our two defending champions, Steve Osaduik, from Langley, and Victoria's Cheryl Murphy, both of which are vying for the $3,000 first place prize money and the $5,000 course record bonus," says Reid. "For the first time ever, there are five talented Kenyans in the Marathon, two in the Half Marathon and one in the 8K Road Race. The marathon also features some very strong runners from United States, Spain, Japan and the United Kingdom."
"With registrations up 24% and a prediction of over 12,000 entrants, RVM represents the largest race on Vancouver Island and third largest in B.C., behind the Sun Run and Vancouver Marathon," adds Reid.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Victoria Marathon. The marathon is a certified Boston Marathon qualifier and was earlier this year chosen by BC Athletics to host the 2009 Provincial Marathon Championships for men's and women's junior, senior and master runners. There is $26,000 available in prize money with $3,000 each going to the top male and female and a $5,000 bonus for a new men's or women's course record run by a Canadian. In 2006, Steve Osaduik broke a 25-year record by winning the Marathon in 2:16:49.