NEW GLASGOW – It was a splendid time for the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend.
Milder, partly overcast weather on Saturday preceded a cooler but clear day on Sunday for the bulk of the races on the weekend program.
One highlight was the 12th Johnny Miles Marathon win for Scotsburn’s Dave MacLennan, who finished first with a time of two hours, 47 minutes, 36 seconds.
Matthew White of Dartmouth was runner-up in 2:58:11.
MacLennan has been feeling good and running well lately. His win on Sunday followed his victory during the 2018 Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax on May 20.
“I’m definitely happy with this win,” he said. “The weather here was perfect.”
MacLennan led White by two minutes on the first loop of the course on New Glasgow’s West Side and through Stellarton and increased it to three minutes on the second loop as he widened the margin.
Walter Linthorne of Stellarton was fourth overall, while David Hood was eighth.
Amelia Fraser, who grew up in Pictou and now lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, was top female finisher and 12th overall.
Corey Deveaux of Sydney River won the half marathon, while Scott Langille of New Glasgow was fifth and Breanna Sandluck of MacPherson’s Mills was 18th in her first half marathon.
Kyle Smith of Halifax won the 10-K race, while Ian MacDonald of Trenton was fourth.
Raymond Simpson of New Glasgow was first and Ethan MacDonald of New Glasgow was second in the 5-K distance.
Nearly 1,200 runners finished the four races on Sunday.
Both the Johnny Walk and kids races highlighted Saturday’s program.
Organizer Debbie MacDonald said more than 150 people registered for the walk.
“We actually had 152 folks walking today,” she said. “People walked longer distances as well. It was a huge success.”
Honourary chairman Lawson Breen praised the vision of Dr. John Williston to introduce the walk after founding the Johnny Miles marathon in 1975.
“Forty-five years ago, he had a vision,” Breen said. “Who would believe that many years later we’re still going, and bigger and better.”
“He wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle,” MacDonald added.
Youngsters seemed to enjoy the change of pace for their races, which were moved from downtown to the Pioneer Athletic Field in Stellarton.
Some churches adapted to the street closures in innovative ways.
Trinity United Church and St. George’s Anglican Church deferred their morning services due to the races and had a combined service at St. George’s on Sunday afternoon.
Runners bolt from the starting line in a girls’ nine-year-old race at the Pioneer Athletic Field. (Goodwin photo)