Kelowna marathoner Vik Bains won the SunRype Okanagan Marathon on Oct. 20 with a 2:38:08 time. (Contributed)

Impressive hometown win for Okanagan Marathon runner

Vik Bains celebrated his first-ever career win on his Kelowna home course on Oct. 20

An impressive year ended as a dream for Kelowna marathoner Vik Bains last weekend.

At the 25th annual Okanagan Marathon, Bains recorded his first-ever race win on his home course with a time of 2:38:08. This was the third time that the seven-year runner has joined in the Okanagan Marathon where he finished a full minute ahead of second place.

Bains said that the win is the highest accomplishment of his racing career.

“Being from Kelowna and winning in Kelowna was the pinnacle for sure,” said Bains.

“It’s a dream come true. I visualized coming down that last lane of the course like 10,000 times. There’s nothing more special than winning my first race in my hometown.”

READ MORE: Annual SunRype Okanagan Marathon celebrates 25 years

Earlier this year in April, Bains set his former personal best at the Boston Marathon, one of the toughest races in the world. Then in June, Bains ran to a quicker time than NHL legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin at the 2019 Scotiabank Half Marathon in Vancouver.

The win at the Okanagan Marathon tops the cake for Bains’ 2019 accomplishments.

“This is bigger than Boston for me because of the soil that the race was on,” said Bains.

“There is no other race that means this much and that would have been as big a race to win for me.”

READ MORE: Kelowna marathoner bests former Canucks at Vancouver race

Bains describes the race as a dog fight as he was neck-and-neck with the second place finisher, Richard Macdonald, for close to 40 kilometres.

But with less than two kms remaining, Bains dropped the hammer to pull off the win, pulling inspiration from his biggest supporters.

“It was a really tight race, but I knew I had friends and family waiting for me at the finish line,” he said.

“I wanted to do it for them and represent our team.”

Members of Bains’ Kelowna running group also recorded some big times at the Okanagan Marathon. Teammate Jeff Vogt won the 10 kilometre race while Jason Deleurme finished third in the half marathon.

READ MORE: Kelowna man sets personal best at 2019 Boston Marathon

Bains trained for more than 12 weeks along side Olympian Malindi Elmore preparing for the race. He ran more than 130 kms a week and with a gold medal now in hand, the work has evidently paid off.

Now with the marathon season completed, he’s ready to take things a little slower going into the winter.

“I couldn’t have done this without my all-star wife, Jessie, who supports me while I train like crazy,” Bains said.

“I’m excited to take some downtime, have a beer, relax and spend more time with family.”

But the time off will be temporary, he said.

After the successful 2019 season, Bains contemplates a potential retirement, but not before entering next year’s Okanagan Marathon for a chance at the repeat win.

“You got to defend the title. I’m going to get stronger and do it all over again,” said Bains.

“Back to back.”

(Correction: A previous version of this story had Bains’ time recorded at 2:28:12. That time has been corrected)

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