The Blue Nose Marathon made a triumphant return to the streets of Halifax on Sunday after going virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Halifax runner Dennis Mbelenzi was the first person to cross the finish line in a time of 2:29:12, well ahead of second-place finisher Mark Brown of Porters Lake with a time of 2:44:01.
This was the third marathon this fall for Mbelenzi, who is originally from Kenya, having also run marathons in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — where he set a course record.
He said conditions were good and it wasn't too cold.
"For a long time I was trying to break 2:30 and I kept coming close but not quite doing it," he said. "Really the reason I do it is just to challenge myself and if I can inspire anybody out there, that's great."
Mbelenzi said he can typically do about four marathons a year. He is planning to run the Boston Marathon in April and the Chicago Marathon in October.
Quinlan Hickey, 26, from Toronto was the first woman to cross the finish line in a time of 3:02:48, a personal best.
She said she was aiming for 3:10 and is really happy with her time. Hickey said she hopes to break three hours soon.
This was her first time in Halifax, she said. Having run marathons in Toronto in 2018 and Ottawa in 2019, she said this is her "favourite marathon ever."
Hickey said she wasn't sure she would participate but she needed to make a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon next spring and registered at the last minute. She made the required time by more than 27 minutes.
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