MacDonald top female marathoner
St. Albert runner breaks the tape at Edmonton Marathon as fastest female
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 04:15 pm
Ailsa MacDonald of St. Albert was running against herself as the female winner of the Edmonton Marathon on Sunday.
MacDonald, 33, crossed the finish line in two hours, 51 minutes and 32 seconds as the ninth overall finisher.
Adela Salt of Calgary was a distant runner-up at 3:06:57 and in third place was Laurie Olson of Sherwood Park at 3:11:26.
“I’m very happy,” said MacDonald, who basically chased the lead cycle throughout the 42.2-kilometre race as the field spread itself out. “It was good, but it was a bit lonely at times.”
Visit www.stalbertgazette.com to see MacDonald breaking the tape at the finish line.
MacDonald’s third marathon win of her career was the best of the bunch.
“It was because I had a lot of family friends at the finish line cheering for me,” said the Imperial Oil plant operator at the Kearl oil sands project north of Fort McMurray.
The winner was Lucas McAneney of Toronto in 2:26:22. There were 304 male and 200 female finishers.
The marathon route weaved its way through the city’s main core and up and back from Northlands Park.
“It was physically challenging,” said MacDonald, who received a cash prize, plaque and medals for her accomplishment.
She was confident going into the race after recording a personal best 2:48:15 as the first Canadian female and seventh-fastest female for 51st place overall at the Los Angeles Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day.
“I knew I had a pretty good chance of winning,” MacDonald said. “I had been planning for the race for a long time, even before Los Angeles.”
Her time in Los Angeles “was a bit of shock that I could do so well” after focusing on a three hour finish.
Leading up the Edmonton Marathon, MacDonald competed in the Calgary Police Half Marathon (second-fastest female at 1:27:02 for 23rd place overall as her 30 to 39 age division winner) in April, ITU World Cup in Edmonton (third in her 30 to 34 age division at 2:20:44) in June, Calgary Ironman (30 to 34 female age division winner at 4:53:17 for 104th overall) in July and the recent Kelowna triathlon (fourth in her 30 to 34 age division at 2:27:08 as 12th fastest female and 81st overall finisher).
At the Mt Finlayson Madness, an annual charity event endurance hike in July in Goldstream Park near Victoria, MacDonald summited the mountain a record 15 times (one mile up and 1,000 feet down) in 12 hours.
“I’m definitely at my fitness prime,” said MacDonald, who excels at endurance runs because she is built for distance than short speed races. “The Calgary Ironman was a surprise. I was just trying to finish.”
Next month MacDonald will do the Toronto Marathon through an elite runner exemption. Two years ago in the Big Smoke she ran a 3:06:16 marathon for fourth place in her 30 to 34 age division as the 21st female and 175th overall finisher
FAST TIMES: The top St. Albert male in the Edmonton Marathon was Joel Gervais at 3:33:36. He finished 64th among males and 79th overall to place 17th in his 20 to 29 age division.
Shawn Lywood was clocked at 3:36:09 for 83rd among males and 103rd overall for 23rd place in his 30 to 39 age division.
Cindy Luniw-Adsit was the No. 2 St. Albert female 3:43:08. Luniw-Adsit placed 30th among females and 137th overall as the winner of her 50 to 59 age division.
In the half marathon Shannon Maisano was the fastest St. Albert runner with a personal best 1:26:15 for 26th place overall. Maisano finished fourth among females and was second in her 30 to 39 age division.
The leading St. Albert male was Sean Seville at 1:27:27 for 30th overall. Seville placed 26th among males for 10th place in his 20 to 29 age division.
There were 610 males and 868 females that completed the 21.1 km distance.