Williams Lake runner Leo Rankin continues on strong at the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon Feb. 2.

Williams Lake runner Leo Rankin continues on strong at the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon Feb. 2.

Rankin first at New Orleans marathon

Williams Lake marathon runner Leo Rankin rocked and rolled his way to a first-place finish in his age class at a major U.S. marathon.

Williams Lake marathon runner Leo Rankin rocked and rolled his way to a first-place finish in his age class at a major U.S. marathon on Feb. 2.

He completed the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon, running in the 60-64 year-old division, in a time of three hours, 28 minutes and 57 seconds.

Rankin finished 167th in a field of 2,749 runners (1,412 men) and was the fourth Canadian man to finish.

“Conditions during the race were excellent for a good performance in New Orleans with cloud, fog, light mist and relatively cool weather,” Rankin said.

He added the course was flat and fast enough for him to make the best of his opportunities, and the music and crowd support along the course kept up his spirits.

The win continues Rankin’s streak of five marathons in a row dating back to January of 2013, where he placed in the top three in his age class.

In 2013 Rankin ran marathons in Galveston, Texas (first), Jacksonville, Florida (second), Atlanta, Georgia (third) and Calgary, Alberta (third).

Rankin said he had planned to run another marathon or two in 2013 but an ankle sprain he sustained while competing in the BC Seniors Games forced him to take a hiatus in order to recover properly, but noted he tentatively plans to enter and run the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May.

The Williams Lake Road Runners run every Sunday at 9 a.m. if anyone is interesting in running with the group. The runners meet in the front parking lot at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. Runners of all abilities and speeds are welcome.