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Marathon finishes with new champions

5,000 partake in scenic race

Ethiopian long-distance runner Gezahgn Eshetu edged the competition and twotime champion Benard Onsare by 25 seconds to win the 42.2-kilometre BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday.

He crossed the finish line on West Hastings in the downtown business district in two hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds.

Calgary's Onsare won in 2009 and 2011, finishing last year's race in 2: 19.59.

Graeme Wilson (2: 29.44) and Edward McCarthy (2: 35.02) finished fourth and fifth as the fastest men from Vancouver.

Defending champion Mary Akor was also defeated in the women's flight. Ellie Greenwood of Banff was the fastest female marathoner, finishing in 2: 42.15 and setting a new course record as the fastest Canadian woman by besting Delta's Keddi-Anne Sherbino's record-setting run last year. Greenwood finished 12th overall. Akor finished 21st overall with a time of 2: 46.00.

Five thousand marathon runners were joined by 10,000 half-marathon runners who raced a 21.1-km course. The 41st running of the Vancouver marathon overhauled past courses to create two separate half-and full-distance routes that covered 63-kilometres and offered runners an urban tour of the city's neighbourhoods while putting its natural beauty on full display. The event is considered one of the world's best destination marathons.

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Twitter: @MHStewart