It’s hard to argue when Brendan Lunty says he doesn’t mind running the marathon in the rain.
He’s been in 12 Woody’s marathons, and on Sunday he won his sixth-straight event.
The Woody’s Marathon, Half Marathon and 10 km were held Sunday. There was also a 1 km run for the kids.
“I don’t mind the rain, I like the cool weather a bit,” said Lunty. “The wind I could do without, but the cool and rain I don’t mind.
“I had a great day and I was really hoping to be under 2:40 so I think I just made it.”
Lunty’s time was 2:39:35.72 Red Deer’s Craig Schmitt crossed the finish line about 10 minutes behind Lunty. Schmitt finished with a time of 2:49:14.17. Jonathan Fuller was the third male across the line with a time of 2:51:42.46.
“I know Craig’s a strong runner and I don’t want to let up because I know he’s behind me,” said Lunty.
Half an hour after Lunty crossed, the first woman made her way to the finish line. Kari Elliott was the first woman across the line with a time of 3:03:37.35. Rhonda Loo, in her second Woody’s, was the second woman to cross with a time of 3:12:14.43.
“It was a nice Sunday run,” said Loo, who moved to Alberta from Nova Scotia. “It was brutal conditions, this is Alberta’s version of the nor’easter I guess.”
She now lives in Lake Newell Resort near Brooks and also won last year with a time of 3:06.26.
“I was mostly by myself,” said Loo. “But I did pass a few people near the end, which is always nice. That pushes you a little bit.
“It’s why I went with the tunes today. I usually don’t run with music, but I thought I would need company today.”
The race took the runners through many of Red Deer’s trails and sights including Heritage Ranch, Three Mile Bend and River Bend.
Lunty, a Camrose-native, enjoys running the trails in Red Deer that are part of the marathon’s route.
“It’s a good early season test to see where your fitness is at for the year,” said Lunty. “It’s understandable that I didn’t see too many people out today, but usually I see people cheering.”
In the half marathon Dusty Spiller was the first male across the finish line with a time of 1:16:01.90, Adrian Christ wasn’t far behind him with a time of 1:16:18.00.
Jen Moroz led the women in the half marathon with a time of 1:26:09.06 followed by Jen Elliott with a time of 1:31:10.55.
Kieran McDonald was the first male across in the 10 km with a time of 34:29.72 followed by Devin Woodland with a time of 38:45.90. Emily Lucas was the first woman across in the 10 km with a time of 42:04.17 followed very closely by Andrea Snider at 42:57.33 and Jillian Stewart with a time of 43:59.31.
About 1,600 people were entered into the various events held during the marathon.