NEW GLASGOW – Make it an even dozen Johnny Miles Marathon wins for Dave MacLennan.
MacLennan, 53, started strong and steadily gained on runner-up Matthew White of Dartmouth to win the marathon by nearly 11 minutes in two hours, 47 minutes, 36 seconds.
It’s his fastest winning time for the race since 2014 when he won the marathon in 2:47:28. It also follows his win in May at the 2018 Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax.
“I’m feeling really good,” he said. “I felt really good going to Halifax, although my hamstring was bothering me a bit there. Matthew was close at the start, but I ran my race.”
Among local runners, Walter Linthorne of Stellarton was fourth overall in 2:59:18 and the fourth runner to finish the marathon in less than three hours, while David Hood of Stellarton was eighth in 3:10:27.
It was a homecoming for Amelia Fraser, formerly from Pictou County and who for seven years has been a school teacher in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Fraser was top female finisher and 12th overall in the marathon in 3:22:07. It was her fifth marathon but her first in Nova Scotia. She was glad to be home with her family, especially her dad Drew Fraser on Father’s Day.
“I felt good for the first 35-K,” she said. “I struggled for the last 5-K but I pushed it through. I always wanted to do this since I was 10 years old.”
Ryan Lochead of River John was 19th in 3:39:19.
The race was a milestone for Bill MacEachern of Lorne, who completed his 90th marathon on Sunday in 3:49:50. Jim Lays of Stellarton ran with him and finished a second behind.
“I had a rough day,” MacEachern said. “I just didn’t feel sharp. I was just running to get through it, but thanks to Jim for running with me.”
“It’s an honour to run with him,” Lays said. “We’ve done a lot of training and running together.”
Corey Deveaux of Sydney River won the half marathon in 1:17:10, while Heather O’Donnell of Meadowvale, N.S. was top female and fourth overall in 1:24:19
Scott Langille of New Glasgow was fifth in 1:27:27, leaving it all on the course as he fell after crossing the finish line. He recovered and was alright afterward.
“This is a good run and one of my favourites,” he said. “It’s a tough course, but the weather was fine and I was happy with my time.”
Breanna Sandluck of MacPherson’s Mills was 18th in her first half marathon in 1:38:17. MacLennan coaches her in track and field and was as pleased as she was with her performance.
“She ran faster than she wanted, so that’s a good thing,” he said.
“I’m really happy with it,” she said. “Being my first half marathon, I didn’t know what to expect.”
Kyle Smith of Halifax, who was the overall five-mile race winner at the Joe Earle Memorial races last month in Trenton, won the 10-K race in 34:34.
Paul MacLellan of Antigonish was second in 35:14, while Bryan Hipson of Yarmouth was third in 37:03 and Ian MacDonald of Trenton was fourth in 38:34.
Hipson edged MacLennan to win the 2017 marathon but elected to run the 10-K distance while preparing for a half-ironman triathlon event in Quebec. He said he would like to challenge MacLennan in 2019 as the running event weekend marks its 45th anniversary.
“Hopefully, I’ll be here again next year,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Dave MacLennan, left, of Scotsburn and Andrew Cleary of Margaree Forks, N.S. took the early lead in the Johnny Miles Marathon, which MacLennan later won. (Goodwin photo)