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Photos: Marathon record-holder drops in on Yellowknife (again)

“This is number 511, today.”

Richard Holmes is back in Yellowknife, and his marathon clock is still ticking.

Last year, Holmes set a record in Yellowknife when he became the first person to complete three marathons in every Canadian province and territory.

This year, he’s pushing on from three to four.

“Four feels like a safe record,” Holmes told Moose FM.

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“I’ve done five on every continent, including Antarctica. I’ve done 64 countries, five in every US state and three in every Canadian province and territory.

“And I have eight more countries this year so it’s a fluid thing.”

Full results: 2015 Yellowknife marathon, half-marathon and 10 km run

Holmes believes he is almost at the 150,000 km mark for his lifetime, having first taken up marathon running in 1978. He subsequently founded the Marathon Globetrotters, an organization of like-minded marathon devotees, and picked up a trophy for his 500th marathon in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

Back when he began, was he thinking 500 as a target?

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“Like every first-time marathoner I was thinking, can I do this? Can I finish one?” He said.

“Every time, you ask yourself: are you really nuts? But I guess this is about my 50th Canadian marathon and I’ve always liked Canada. I like travelling in general but Canada is so different compared to the States, more tolerant of diversity in all respects of the word – I like the Canadian attitude.

“Yellowknife is one of the easier ones, there’s no question. This is all paved, this isn’t one of the ones where you really have to plan a strategy. This is my first easy race in the last seven.”

Holmes heads to Edmonton and Quebec City next, as he completes his fourth marathon loop of Canada.

Yellowknifer Doug Townson won Sunday’s marathon in a time of three hours, seven minutes and 20.8 seconds. He beat second-placed Ken Stubbings, of Ontario, by 11 minutes. Kelly Beaton, the only female marathon entrant this year, finished third in 3:37:48.6.

Holmes, for whom time was not the point, rounded out the field in 5:03:15.1.

Yellowknife Marathon 2015
A pre-race briefing on Sunday morning.
Yellowknife Marathon 2015
Hands up, all those who’ve run more than 300 marathons…
Yellowknife Marathon 2015
Kelly Beaton, the lone female marathon entrant this year, finished third.
Yellowknife Marathon 2015
The marathon begins.
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