Red Deer’s Matthew Hope ran in the Woody’s RV World Marathon for the first time Sunday and managed to be the first one to cross the finish line.
In the past, Hope has registered for the run – about three or four times – but was never able to make it due to injuries, he said Sunday after finishing the 10-kilometre race.
The 24-year-old was the first one to cross the finish line in his category at 35:01.05 (gun time).
“I’ve ran a lot faster before. It was a bit of a training run today, but it went well. It was a fun race and I feel like supporting local races,” he said.
“The second place winner Noah Arychuk was pretty close behind me, so I had to dig deep there for a little bit to make sure I had separation.”
Hope got into running in elementary school, when he joined the Red Deer Titans Track Club.
Race director Curtis Marquart said about 1,200 people participated in the 21st annual event, which offered 10-kilometre, three-kilometre, half and full marathons, as well as children’s races.
A majority of them participate for fun, or to stay fit, but some of them are elites, such as Hope.
About 300 volunteers put the Sunday event together, a number higher than previous years. Marquart said it’s the after affects of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“The volunteer support bled into ours, because we had a really big support this year,” he said.