RUNVAN® race series kicks off with newly-added First Half
Vancouver, BC – February 10, 2019 –
The fast First Half celebrates its 30th annual running this bright Sunday morning. Nearly 2,000 runners bested negative temperatures to check off the first event in the RUNVAN® race series.
“Nothing but positive energy from runners throughout the morning, which made for a great atmosphere,” shares Eric Chéné, Race Director of RUNVAN®, the non-profit organizers of the event that sold-out within a week of launching registration.
Initially established as a build-up to Vancouver’s only Marathon by the Pacific Road Runners, the ‘First Half’ has come full circle and is now organized by the Vancouver International Marathon Society RUNVAN®.
The competitive field saw big names with course record holder Dylan Wykes, BMO Vancouver Marathon champion Rob Watson and Canadian Half Marathon Champion Trevor Hofbauer in the mix.
Wykes ultimately took home the top spot with a fast time of 1:06:00, followed closely by Watson at 1:06:41. Fall Classic champion Anthony Tomsich finished in third with 1:06:47.
“It was awesome to come back to Vancouver. So much fun to see so many familiar faces,” shares Wykes. “To win the race was a bit unexpected, but I felt good and went for it out there. It’s a race I know well, and a course I know well.”
On the women’s side, Robyn Mildren was the first to cross the Finish Line of the sold-out race in 1:17:43. Mildren comes off a personal best time at the Houston Marathon last month.
“It was one of those days where I was just happy to get the job done, but it was really nice to have so many people out cheering even in the cold”, shares Mildren. “I love all of the local races. I try to do as many as I can.”
Full results may be found at firsthalf.ca/results-2019/
Age Category prizes were also awarded to top finishers in each category, followed by the Age-Graded Winner which went to Marilyn Arsenault. The Age-Graded award was presented in honour of Dan Cumming, former Race Director of the First Half.
Hundreds of volunteers and spectators came out to support the runners. The event continued its tradition, raising $15,000 towards Variety – the Children’s Charity.
“Thank you to all runners, volunteers and spectators who continue to support this event,” says Chéné. “We are honoured to be part of this passing of the torch.”
Next on the calendar is the award-winning BMO Vancouver Marathon in May. The world-class event comes off a record-breaking year and annually welcomes runners from 65+ countries.