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VIDEO: A welcome return to a real running competition at Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon

First in-person version of the event since the pandemic

Kevin Heinze was smiling after he crossed the finish line in Fort Langley.

“So happy,” the Mission runner told the Langley Advance Times when asked how he felt about resuming in-person racing after two years of pandemic-postponed events and virtual competitions.

“The first word is overjoyed, the second word is relief,” Heinze added.

Elise Heinze, who arrived at the finish before her husband to win her age category (60), said she was “thrilled to be able to race again.”

“It’s so nice to be back,” she remarked.

It was the first in-person Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon, along with 10K and 5K races, since the pandemic hit.

It drew 342 runners of all ages and abilities on Sunday, Feb. 20, 139 for the half marathon, 103 for the 10K race, and 100 for the 5K.

There were many supporters on hand as well, to cheer the runners on.

Pitt Meadows runner Ryan Weed, who was using the half marathon to train for the Las Vegas Marathon later this year, was greeted at the finish line by his son Ethan, who was holding up a sign that read “Go Dad Go!”

Among the top finishers were Langley runners Katherine Stefankiewicz and Duane Foley, who each took third-place in the 10K male and female events.

The half marathon route followed the scenic Fort to Fort route from Fort Langley through Derby Reach Provincial Park and back with the start/finish location at Bedford Plaza.

This year, the event was accepting donations for the Langley Seniors Resources Society, which had volunteers operating a bag check-in for competitors as well as assisting with managing the races.

READ ALSO: Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon returns

TryEvents race director Mitchell Hudson was enjoying the return to competition after last year’s Fort Langley event had to be cancelled.

“Beautiful weather beautiful turnout,” Hudson enthused.

“It’s fantastic.”

More in-person runs are planned for later in the year, he advised.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Half-marathon for hospice society draws hundreds to new Langley route

COVID precautions were observed, with participants asked to mask up at the start and finish lines.

This year, runners could use fabric face coverings designed by a local graphic designer, which included logos from the first four 2022 runs organized by TryEvents including the Fort Langley “historic fish.”

More images from the event can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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