Monday, October 17, 2011

The 2011 Prince Edward Island Marathon - An PB 11th Place Finish, 1st in my Division!

Marathon morning at the Start Line in Brackley Beach

It was sun, few clouds and windy and 13 degrees. The Prince Edward Island Marathon at Brackley Beach Complex. The full marathon course on Gulf Shore Parkway, Rte 6, Confederation Trail, Brackley Point Rd, Sherwood Rd and University Ave.

The "gun" they used to start the race!

Ewen Stewart, the grand master of running on Prince Edward Island with
Doug MacEachern, head of PEI Marathon course logistics & runner extraordinaire, in the background

Alex, Matt Allain & Steven Baglole at the Start Line ready to go

Alex, as usual, takes off like a shot, leading the pack

Running by the Covehead Lighthouse

Just past the Covehead lighthouse

Dalvay by the Sea

Dalvay Lake

Winter River

The Confederation Trail at the 25K mark, on the Suffolk Rd.

University Ave in front of UPEI, all the hills behind him, strong wind in his face

Just past Allen St.

You can hear the Finish Line from here even if you can't see it

Passing the Sea Treat (University Ave & Euston St)

Video of Alex's finish

The first half in 1:33:00 and in 11th place.

I finished in 3:12:45, beat my marathon PB, 16:44 faster than my first marathon in 2008,
came in 11th out of 252 runners and 1st in Male 20-29.

Mike MacKinnon won the marathon and Kathy Armitage of New Maryland, NB for the top female, Kara Grant was top PEI female.

Thank You to all runners and volunteers and for emails and Facebook messages.

My next marathon will be Disney in Florida in January!

Miscouche runner takes Island marathon victory
Published on October 16, 2011
Charles Reid

Guardian photo by Brian McInnis


The male and female victors in the 2011 BMO Nesbitt Burns Prince Edward Island Island Marathon are old hands at this winning thing.

Sunday, Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche won his fourth Island Marathon, while Kathy Wilson-Armitage of New Maryland, N.B., won her first full-marathon on P.E.I. but had nabbed first place in the Island half-marathon in 2004.

Both battled a sunny and warm but blustery fall day.

MacKinnon finished in two hours, 43 minutes 19 seconds, while Wilson-Armitage crossed the finish line in Charlottetown in 3:18:45.

Temperatures hovered around 16 C and winds were a steady 30 kilometres or more per hour.

“It was tough. I thought ‘Oh my God, this wind is stronger that I thought’ and I knew it would cost me,” said MacKinnon, 38, adding the heat wasn’t a problem thanks to the breezy day. “Not with the way the wind was. The heat wasn’t a big deal.”

Second place overall went to Steven Baglole of Charlottetown in 2:44:51, while Chuck Dixon of Sackville, N.B., finished third overall in 2:52:14.

It’s the fifth straight year an Island runner has won the hometown marathon.

The last non-Islander to win was David MacLennan of Scotsburn, N.S.

MacKinnon’s last Island Marathon win came in 2008.

“They’re all challenging. I’ve had to battle it out,” said MacKinnon, a automotive teacher at Three Oaks High School in Summerside. “If I can outpace them (the field) I have a chance. If it gets to a kick I don’t have a chance and they know that.”

MacKinnon said he plans a quiet family celebration with wife Janice and children Hailey, 10, and Ryan, 7.

For Wilson-Armitage, her first 42-kilometre run in over a decade had similar challenges, notwithstanding her long break from the pavement.

“It was brutal. Strong headwinds and a battle (with the hills) on the finish. It was my first (Island) Marathon in 11 years. It was like my first, but it will be my last,” said Wilson-Armitage, 46, smiling and wrapped in a silver, wind-resistant heat blanket after the race. “In this weather I was really pleased. I’m just pleased to be finished.”

Former Olympian Kara Grant of Mermaid finished second among the women in 3:24:22; third place went to Brenda Benson of Summerside in 3:26:03.

Despite the win, Wilson-Armitage doesn’t think she's prone to winning. It's just a matter of numbers, she said.

“In the smaller marathons (and half-marathons), the field of women is so small,” she said.

Wilson-Armitage also credits her husband Michael Armitage for support, and her friend Allison MacDonald, who ran the half-marathon as a warmup to next month’s New York Marathon.

“She’s my inspiration,” said Wilson-Armitage.

So with the race behind her, what will Wilson-Armitage do to celebrate her second overall marathon victory (she won a marathon in Fredericton, N.B., years ago)?

“I think I’ll drink white wine, if I can walk,” she said. “Right now I’m starting to seize up. I’ve got to keep moving.”

In the men’s half-marathon, Jonathan Gendron of Shearwater, N.S., finished first in 1:16:49, followed by Stanley Chaisson of Stratford, who won the full marathon in 2009, in 1:17:35.

Ian James Doyle of Sydney, N.S., was third (1:19:19).

Stacy Juckett of Dartmouth, N.S., was top female half-marathoner, finishing in 1:29:52.

Gabrielle Gallagher of Halifax, N.S., crossed in 1:33:17, while Jennifer Pizio-Perr of Tignish was third (1:34:19).

The Guardian's Slideshow

P.E.I. marathon draws thousands of runners

P.E.I.'s annual marathon this weekend drew in an estimated 2,500 runners from across Canada and the United States.

Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, one of the organizers, said it's become an international event.

"We are a Boston [marathon] qualifier so we have people that come here to qualify for Boston," Jenkins-Smith told CBC News.

"We had the largest percentage of marathoners in eastern Canada qualify [for the Boston marathon] last year, so that's pretty exciting for P.E.I."


Anne said...

Congratulations, Alex, that is awesome!

adair said...

WOW! Great race report! How do you get so many pictures of Alex at so many points on the course? Congratulations on your PB Alex!! Very impressive!

jypsy said...

I had a little help this year.. the close up of Alex, Matt & Steven at the start line, as well as the finish line video (and a few other photos and all the video) was taken by Alex's boss Em on my old camera with the scratched lens. Alex's dad took the photo at Dalvay Lake (and the one of me arriving there on my bike that's in the set) as well as the finish line photo and a few others. I bike from the start line in Brackley Beach to Dalvay, about 12K and then again for the last 3K or so. In the middle we stopped at the Winter River Bridge and where the Trail crosses the Suffolk Rd. Past years we've made more stops and have only seen the leaders at the start. This year I saw more of the leaders than I've ever seen and we really had to keep moving to keep up with Alex! It helps that "Point & Shoot" cameras are just that so I can do it from a bike without really looking!