Terrace’s Brent Webb conquered the Victoria marathon in record time and is aiming for the Boston Marathon in 2018.
Racing to beat 3:30:00 and qualify for Boston, Webb finished in 3:22:07 with eight minutes to spare.
“I felt so good… It all just came together for me,” Webb said, noting that he slept well, wasn’t nervous, felt really good and had his head in the right place, driving him to achieve and compete. The weather was also perfect, sunny and cool, for the what was the second marathon in Webb’s life, the Goodlife Marathon in Victoria Oct. 9.
Webb said he felt pumped to get running that morning — a vast contrast from the nerves he has felt at the start of other big races.
He took it easy for the first 2K, warming up and enjoying the run as he navigated the congested road, packed with over six thousand runners. Webb set his pace from the start and was pleased with his low heart rate and feelings as he ran.
“It felt just easy… the first half felt pretty good, fairly easy. I knew it was going to get tougher at the 30K mark, so I was mentally preparing myself for that,” he said.
At close to 18K, he chatted with a runner who seemed evenly paced with him, who said he was was shooting to finish in 3:20:00. Webb said they ran together a few kilometres, but then Webb left him behind.
Driven by the competition, Webb said the middle of the race from 20K to about 35K was “absolutely wonderful” as he passed runner after runner.
“I just felt so strong and I was just breezing by them,” Webb said. “I wasn’t even going that fast, I was just going the pace that I had planned to go. Actually I was going faster, because it just felt so good,” Webb laughed.
At about 35K, he caught the final runner who was within reasonable passing distance.
“I was so disappointed,” he said, adding that it was a slight damper to run out of people to pass.
“I could see someone ahead of me, but he was about half a kilometre ahead. That’s quite a ways to make up, and I had about 5K left. But that’s the only guy who was left to catch,” he commented.
But Webb managed to close in on the runner, and about half a kilometre from the finish line, his friend Joe Pelletier came and ran beside him, updating him about how close he was to finish.
“The guy in front of me, I was catching him,” Webb said. “He was about 100 metres away from me at that point and then he stopped. I thought ‘woah, he’s making this really easy,’ but I took ten steps and then he started running again.”
Webb said the runner had obviously hit the wall, and stopped again 200 metres from the end, allowing Webb to catch up and pass.
He crossed the line and tallied a time of 3:22:07, far faster than the average time for males, which is close to 4:20:00 according to Running USA.
“It feels so good,” he said, adding that his goal was to finish in 3:23:00 — based on his 1:36:00 result in the Cannery half marathon a few weeks prior.
He could hardly compare the race to his prior marathon in Kelowna, where he was the one getting passed as he fought to finish the final stretch. He says the difference is due to his extensive training this fall.
At age 54, Webb tallied an impressive average pace of 4:48 per kilometre, finishing 12th out of 73 in his division (men 50-54).
He also achieved a negative split, running the second half of the marathon faster than the first, and even finishing one of the final kilometres (40K) in 4:36.
Next, Webb aims to run in the Boston Marathon in April 2018, since registration closed in September for the 2017 race.
His acceptance into the race is not guaranteed, as entry into the Boston Marathon is very competitive. This year nearly 3,000 applicants were turned away, out of more than 26,000 who applied to run in the 2017 race.
However, all of the applicants within 2:09 of their qualifying times were accepted. and by the time of the 2018 race, Webb will be in the age 55-59 division which has a qualifying time of 3:40:00. That means he will be 18 minutes under the required time.
“It’s a pretty good guarantee I can get in,” he said, adding that now he has to maintain his training and plans to run the BMO Vancouver marathon in May 2017, and another marathon next fall.
He and his wife are still deciding how to organize their lives around his training for the next year and a half, which for the past number of months has meant not eating supper until around 8 p.m.
“You kind of put your life on hold in some ways and really focus on the training,” Webb explained.
Webb wasn’t the only Terrace runner in Victoria recently. Others in the full marathon were Stacey Primosch, who finished in 4:08:37 in the women’s 40-44 division, and Yoko Shimizu, who finished in 4:26:09 in the women’s 55-59 division.
Thirteen Terrace runners conquered the half, including Webb’s wife Alison and daughter Sarah Schritt who finished the half in 3:23:15.
Others in the half were Joe Pelletier at 1:30:37, Jocelyn De Walle at 1:52:59, Bryan Netzel at 1:58:24, Kelsey Roy at 2:04:23, Sarah Crawley at 2:08:58, Joseph Obyrne at 2:13:18, Karin Teichroeb at 2:15:37, Megan Beedle at 2:15:59, Erin Reimer at 2:47:44, Karisa Boult at 2:49:24, and Angela Ames at 3:57:30.
In the 8K, Sally Philps finished in 56:27 and previous Terrace resident Tyler Dozzi ran it in 25:31, finishing fourth out of 2,294 runners and first in the male age 16-19 division.
See earlier story with more of Webb’s history here.