Brake rules capital marathonPublished Monday May 9th, 2011
Running: Saint John athlete wins for eighth time in Fredericton
FREDERICTON - After finishing first and setting the course record in last year's Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon, Saint John's Chris Brake was back this year determined to do the same.
Furthmore, he didn't have to worry about last year's second place finisher and 2009 winner, Alex Coffin, who decided to compete in the 10-km this time around.
Brake attained his goal by winning the full marathon. But he came just short of breaking the record of 2:34:46, finishing with a time of 2:35:41. Brake expressed disappointment in the result following a mix up at the race's end.
"I was right bang on with the course record," he said. "I thought I was finished a couple hundred metres before I got to the finish line and I was walking for a few seconds and by the time I crossed the right finish line, it was another minute or so."
Brake, who has won this event eight times, also said he preferred the regular course, which was designed to begin and end at Officer's Square instead of the flood course beginning and ending at Queen Square. Concerns over the rise of the St. John River during the past week precipitated the decision to alter the route.
"It kind of threw off my mental game," he said of the change in course. "I don't like this course as much as I like the other one. I ran this course before and I just find this one just bothers me for some reason. I find the other one is just mentally easier to run."
Finishing behind Brake was Ray Moorehead of Halifax at 2:45:14 with Mike Mueller of Fall River, N.S. coming in third with a 2:47:09 mark.
The top male finisher from Fredericton was Len Falkenstein in fourth place with a time of 2:55:32.
Former Frederictonian Susan Carbyn was the first female finisher in the full marathon with a time of 3:11:41, finishing tenth overall. Carbyn now lives in New Minus, N.S. but decided to make this a regular trip to visit family beginning last year.
"I ran it last year two weeks after I ran Boston (marathon)," she said. "This is my hometown. I went to FHS. It feels great to win this here, but it is also nice to be able to stay with my family and enjoy that part of the weekend as well."
Carbyn said finishing over 20 minutes ahead of her time of 3:23:26 from last year is surprising considering she wasn't feeling well prior to the start of the race.
"I didn't feel ready for this race at all and my iPod was dead this morning so I didn't have my usual running music to go with me," she said. "I just decided to relax and enjoy it and I got this unexpected result. I think just relaxing and maintaining a more steady pace (then last year) and then kicking it at the end made the difference in where I finished."
The second and third place finishers for women both were from Fredericton with Joannne Reynolds finishing just behind Carbyn at 3:12:18 and Lucia Tramonte finishing with a time of 3:20:45.
Reynolds said she had her strategy right to catch Carbyn at the end, but a late cramp caused her to come up short.
"Susan was ahead of me for a good gap, but in the second half I started to gain on her," said Reynolds. "My strategy was to wait until the last four miles, then kick it in, but I came up short. I started to cramp up in my calf (muscle) and that was it."
In the half-marathon, David Brown of Islandview finished first with a time of 1:14:34. Brown was followed by Fredericton's Mike Davis at 1:19:50. The top female and 11th overall in the half-marathon was Deborah Powell of Guelph, Ont. in 1:28:23. The top Fredericton female in the half was Keely Campbell at 1:34:14.
Dean Strowbridge won the 10-km for the second year in a row, beating last year's time of 35:53 with a 34:02 finish. Last year's marathon runner-up, Coffin, finished second in the 10-km with a time of 34:27. Fredericton's Rachel McCarvill was the best female in 39:47.
The 5-km was captured by two Fredericton athletes with Alex McAllister taking the men's title in 17:08 and Chelsey Hall was tops among hte women with a time of 19:42.
Although the course had to be altered because of the flood, race director Paul Lavoie said there were no major issues.
"The event was an extreme success despite all the problems we had with weather and having to move the course a week before," said Lavoie. "The feedback I'm getting is phenomenal so I am pleased."
More than 1,100 runners and walkers took part in the event.