Late snow in Calgary meant a late start to training for Bernard Onsare, who won the 38th Vancouver Marathon yesterday.

“I just started my training one month ago,” said Onsare, 26, a Kenyan who has lived in Calgary for the past three years. “So I was not sure of my win today.”

Onsare won the 42.2-kilometre race with a time of 2:28:26, about 13-minutes slower than last year’s winner Thomas Omwenga, who did not take part in the race.

Onsare said he knew from the early pace that he would not be in the 2:15 range and broke free from the herd after the first 10 kilometres.

“It was difficult to run by myself. It was a big struggle for me to make good time.”

Last year’s female winner, Mary Akor, of California, repeated as the top woman runner, finishing in a time of 2:46:24.

In all, 12,905 people pounded the pavement yesterday, taking part in the full or half-marathon, kids’ fun run or 8-kilometre run.

The weather co-operated, too. Anticipated showers never materialized and runners enjoyed sun and slightly overcast skies.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Eric Lagally, 32, of Richmond, after finishing his first half marathon. “It’s very addictive. I’d do it again, that’s for sure.”

Lagally, who had trained since January for the run, hit his wall at about 17 kilometres in.

“I thought I was going to die. But I took a little break and I finished strong.”

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