Brendan Lunty never gets bored running the Woody’s RV World Marathon and Half Marathon.
He doesn’t get bored winning either.
The 35-year-old from Camrose celebrated his 10th anniversary of competing in the Woody’s Marathon by capturing his fourth straight title, finishing in a time of two hours, 43 minutes 39,15 seconds in the rain Sunday morning.
“I just love coming here and love the course and the people involved and will continue to come here . . . hopefully for another 10 years,” he said. “As for the rain, I didn’t mind at all. It’s better than hot weather. It’s my drained rat look.”
Meanwhile, Adela Salt of Calgary, who moved to Alberta from England a little over two years ago, put her name in the winner’s circle on the women’s side, finishing 13th overall at 3:11:08.20.
With his win, Lunty moved into second place in the record book behind seven-time winner Phil Meagher of Fort McMurray, as the marathon celebrated it’s 16th anniversary. Lunty had been tied with Jack Cook with three wins.
As for the possibility of catching Meagher, Lunty wasn’t looking that far down the road.
“Phil is a legend and all I can do is take it year-by-year and whatever happens happens,” he said.
In fact he wasn’t sure how he’d make out Sunday.
“We just had a newborn so I didn’t know how the training and the lack of sleep would turn out,” he said. “But it worked out OK.”
The newest addition to the family (Marielle) joins three-year-old sister Julie and mother Lori. Both Julie and Lori also run.
“We held a one-k race for kids in Camrose a couple of weeks ago and Julie ran and finished,” said Lunty. “She motivates me. I tell her no matter how hard it is to finish. I’d feel bad if I didn’t finish. In fact in the one-k race she finished and I told her how proud I was of her and she told me that ‘it was hard but I finished’.”
Craig Schmitt of Red Deer was second in the marathon, finishing in 2:48:23.26 with Ian Blokland of Camrose at 2:53:02.55.
“Craig was pushing me for over the half and he forced me to work rather than letting up,” concluded Lunty.
Salt was making her first appearance in Red Deer.
“I had a couple of friends who ran the half marathon and I noticed they had a marathon (here), so I thought it would be perfect for me to run at this time of the year,” said the 41-year-old. “The Calgary marathon is in a couple of weeks, but it’s too close to another commitment and so this worked out perfectly.”
Salt began distance running when she was 10.
“I was running the 800-metres and someone spotted me and felt I had the potential to run distances and I should join a running club, which is big in the UK . . . I haven’t stopped since.”
Coming from England Salt is used to running in the rain, so it felt like home. She also loved the course.
“The weather suited me and the course, with the trails, was fantastic.”
Overall Salt has competed in over 30 marathons, with her best time two hours, 47 minutes. But since moving to Canada she’s only competed in four marathons and spends more time running ultra marathons.
“I competed in my first 100-mile event in St. Paul last year,” she said. “My time today shows how much I’ve slowed down, and I don’t have to run as fast in the longer events. Still, a marathon is my favourite distance.”
Salt was never challenged Sunday.
“I ran with a couple of the guys and we helped each other, but after 35k it was a matter of just pushing to the end,” she said. “I was aiming for a time around 3:11, so I’m happy with that.”
Erin Bodnar of Ponoka was second in the women’s division and 16th overall at 3:24:48.35 while defending champion Joelle MacDonald of Airdrie was third and 17th overall at 3:25:16.55.
Marty Robertson of Edmonton won the half marathon in 1:15:59.85 with former RDC star Devin Woodland second at 1:19:01.00. Rory Whitbread of Lacombe placed third at 1:21:33.50.
Kim Collier of Calgary won the women’s title, finishing 17th overall at 1:31:53.85. Kathy Durell of Red Deer was second and Jenny Godley of Calgary third.
Durell was 23rd overall at 1:34:34.85 and Godley 32nd at 1:36:39.40.
Adrian Christ of Red Deer won the 10-kilometre run in 36:46.35 ahead of Brian Johnson and Anthony Medynsky, also of Red Deer.
Johnson finished at 39:24.090 and Medynsky at 41:04.75.
Willa Wanke of Red Deer and Marsha Lush of Bentley battled it out on the women’s side.
Wanke was 16th overall at 47:04.90 and Lush 17th at 47:23.50. Lori Leduc of Red Deer was third and 21st overall at 47:58.75.
• The marathon saw 135 runners finish with 737 finishing in the half marathon and 433 in the 10km . . . to get final results go to www.racepro.ca/races/woodys.