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Dutch Canadian wins age group at Portland Marathon

Speedskating on Ontario lake

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PORTLAND, Ontario Albertan Merein van Benthem finished fourth overal and first in his junior age category at the recent Big Rideau Lake International Marathon, a 50 kilometres event on the largest lake in eastern Ontario. Overall winner was Quebec resident Barry Publow, with teammate Torontonian Aaron Arndt in second place and Adrian Loewen of Ottawa finishing third.

Van Bentheim, from Innisfail, Alberta, is the 18-year old son of Evert van Benthem who in 1985 and 1986 won the world-famous Frisian Eleven Cities speedskating marathon in the Netherlands. Van Benthem Jr. finished only one-hundredth of a second behind Loewen and only trailed ten seconds behind winner Publow for whom the win was his sixth in as many races in the 2005 Marathon International Series. Multiple American marathon champion Rob Kramer of Boston finished sixth. Organizer Marco Smits clocked 46th best overall.

In the age category of 50 to 59, Jake Maarse of Ottawa finished first (and ninth overall). The fastest woman in the race was Suzanne Dionne, who finished 13th overall and first in her age group of women over forty. Michael Messing, one of the organizers of the Spitz Sylvan Lake (Alberta) marathon finished 50th overall.