NEW GLASGOW – Two local distance runners at opposite ends of their careers won their respective races on Sunday to conclude the 41st Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend.
Senior masters runner Dave MacLennan of Scotsburn led virtually from the start to win his 11th Johnny Miles Marathon champion, while high school student Raymond Simpson of New Glasgow won the 5-K race.
MacLennan won the marathon in a gun time of two hours, 54 minutes, 33 seconds. Officials waited until 11 a.m. to declare the victory due to the staggered start that allowed marathoners to opt to start early to avoid the ensuring warmer, windier weather and actually finish the marathon earlier than the pacesetters.
“It was a combination,” MacLennan said, referring to the difficult running conditions, which were a departure from the previous week’s cooler weather. “There were spots where the wind was really strong, and then it got really warm.”
MacLennan was the only marathoner to finish in less than three hours. His time was more than 12 minutes faster than runner-up James Jessome of Antigonish who finished in 3:07, while Colin Busby of Halifax was third in 3:09:53 and David Hood of Stellarton was fourth in 3:12:50.
Walter Linthorne of Stellarton was 11th in 3:29:24. He said the fast first loop of the marathon on Stellarton Road and the Samson and Albion trails caught up to him later.
“I cramped up at about 25-K,” he said. “I think I went out too fast on the first lap.”
Petra Spires of Hubley, N.S. was top female finisher and 15th overall in 3:31:36.
“It’s nice to have competition and know where it is, but it worked out,” MacLennan said.
Race director Terry Curley said most of the marathoners took the option to run early to beat the heat, but it also meant fewer slower marathoners were left on the course after the event’s official end at noon.
“I think we did it as a precaution,” he said. “We’ll have a look and see if we want to do it again.”
Simpson was first ahead of runner-up Peter Corbin of New Glasgow, while Jodi Isenor of Stewiacke was third and Ethan MacDonald of New Glasgow fourth. Allie Sandluck of MacPherson’s Mills was seventh and top female finisher, while Bailey Fraser of Merigomish was 11th and Conrad Robertson of New Glasgow as 12th.
Antigonishers Donald Ramussen and Cliff Worden-Rogers finished 1-2 in the half marathon, while Scott Langille of New Glasgow was top local and eighth overall.
Kim Scattolon of Glace Bay was first female and 12th overall.
Joe Pound of Westville was 16th, while Kristi Hammel of New Glasgow was 21st.
Kathy Saulnier of Stellarton celebrated her retirement from work by completing the half marathon.
“I love this course,” she said. “The traffic control was awesome and the volunteers really know their jobs.”
Warren Ferguson of Ottawa won the 10-K Classic in 37:11, while Ryan Shaun MacDonald of Green Hill was fourth in 39:09.
Paula James of Windsor, N.S. was top female finisher and seventh overall. Ryan Washburn of New Glasgow was 14th, while Mac Murray of Pictou was 16th, Bradley MacDougall of New Glasgow was 20th and Breanna Sandluck of MacPherson’s Mills was 21st and top local female.
From left: Walter Linthorne, Petra Spires, Dave MacLennan, Dave Nevitt and Andrew Clarey lead the official marathon start. (Goodwin photo)