Youssef Zirari is back.
The Vancouver man has won the Vancouver USA Marathon two years in a row and is again hoping to reach the finish line first.
The 28-year-old said that allergies have presented some training challenges this year, but that he again hopes to finish in around 21/2 hours.
Also back for a third year in a row is Bart Yasso. The author of ‘My Life on the Run” and Runner’s World Magazine Chief Running Officer will again lead a short group run on at 8 a.m. on Saturday and will give motivational talks at 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday at the VUM Active Expo.
With nearly 1,000 registered for the marathon and with almost 2,000 signed up to run the half marathon, participation in Sunday’s races could be the largest in the four years of this event.
Vancouver USA Marathon
2013 (627 finishers) — Youssef Zirari, Vancouver, 2:35:18; Jennifer Enge, Lake Oswego, Ore., 2:58:54.
2012 (567 finishers) — Youssef Zirari, Vancouver, 2:34:25; Angie Fiese, Mableton, Ga., 3:07:40.
2011 (800 finishers)– Cody Barton, Ridgefield, 2:37:39; Lauren Breihof, Vancouver, 2:54:08.
Vancouver USA Half Marathon
2013 (1,332 finishers) — Ryan Miles, Vancouver, 1:21:15; Theresa Hailey, Portland, 1:23:31.
2012 (1,155 finishers) — Kevin Ko, Portland, 1:17:24; Lauren Breihof, Redmond, 1:25:28.
2011 (1,427 finishers)– Seamus Nally, Corvallis, Ore., 1:14:43; Stephanie Snyder, Salem, Ore., 1:24:45.