Marathon mania on the East CoastFor the fall season on the East Coast, it was a case of marathons, marathons and more marathons. Runners ripped up the field in a number of races. The serious racing got underway in late September in Saint John, N.B. at Marathon by the Sea, where Charlottetown's Leo McCosham ran a 2:51 to place first in a field of 75 runners. A relatively new entrant to the sport, who's only been running a couple of years, McCosham has placed in the past, but this marked his first marathon win.
Darren Livingston of Windermere, B.C. came second in 2:53:44 and New Brunswick's Murray Lowell-Simpson placed third with a time of 2:59:49. Maggie Johnson of Quispamsis, N.B. was the first woman, running a 3:28.Next up was the revitalized Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, N.S. This year's event drew a lot of interest, partly because it's the provincial marathon championship, but also because of its new course. Previously, the run was an out-and-back beginning in Kentville and participants complained of a dull course with nothing but trees on either side and a steep road camber that caused a lot of hip and IT band problems.No one was grousing about the scenic quality of the new course. Runners left Wolfville and ran out to Kingston through the stunning fall colours of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. Catching their breath at the top of the large, rolling hills, the marathoners enjoyed expansive views of the shimmering water of the Minas Basin.
New Brunswick's Alex Coffin made the run look easy with a time of 2:41:18. Scotsburn's David MacLennan placed second in 2:46:44 and New Brunswick's Michael Greene took third in 2:54:36. Tammy Mercier-Hackett, who earlier this year won the Barrington Passage Marathon, took the women's honours with a time of 3:11:12.At the Prince Edward Island Marathon, 11 runners came in under three hours. Many marathoners believe P.E.I. is a flat course, but toward the end, a series of rolling hills present some challenges. Obviously, this year they weren't a problem. Island runners took one, two and three, with Mike MacKinnon in 2:39:28, Stanley Chaisson in 2:44:11 and Scott Clark in 2:45:53. It's worth noting that Leo McCosham, despite having run Marathon by the Sea just a few weeks earlier, still placed fourth with a time of 2:47. The island's Jen Nicholson came in at 2:56:35, the first woman overall and in 10th place.And in Rothesay, N.B. on the same day, Chris Brake - once again proving his last name is ironic – flew in first at the KV Challenge Marathon in a time of 2:38:26.