REGINA – The Queen City Marathon celebrated its 15th anniversary in style this weekend with beautiful weather and more athletes than ever before.
5600 participants joined the races, a few hundred more than last year. Included in that group was six Global News personalities.
Of all the people running, about half were doing so for the first time at the Queen City Marathon.
New this year was a 10 kilometre run, and also a brand new course. The route wound around Wascana Lake and through downtown.
In the longer distances, some ran much faster than the rest. James Funk flew through the men’s half-marathon to defend his title.
“I’m a ten timer here for Regina and this is the fifth time straight winning the race here. So that was very exciting,” he said.
Funk has been running competitively for the last nine years, taking up the sport in his thirties.
“I thought, I want to do Boston. As a runner, that’s your goal. That’s when I started training more seriously. I ran that in 2007.”
Another expert runner took home the title in the full 42.2 kilometre marathon, Brendan Lunty. The father from Camrose, AB has run in 85 marathons to date.
2015 marks his 12th time at the Queen City Marathon.
“Look at it, it’s beautiful. The trails are beautiful and the people love it. We were going by some seniors manors kind of towards downtown and they were out cheering and yelling,” said Lunty.
For others, this was their first experience with long distance running.
“It’s a long way to go. At the halfway point it didn’t feel too good but finishing it off feels pretty nice,” said Calgarian Jonathan Heinrichs.
But no matter where racers finished, there was a medal waiting for them at the end, along with plenty of support from the crowd.
“99 per cent of people are really racing themselves. They’re not racing for anything other than personal achievement. To get that medal around their necks and have some fun out there,” said race director Shawn Weimer.