Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gruelling Harvest Festival road race Saturday morning - Journal Pioneer

Gruelling Harvest Festival road race Saturday morning
25-kilometre course begins in Stanchel, ends in Kensington

It will be a challenging test for roadrunners Saturday morning.

The 34th annual Kensington Community Harvest Festival road race will begin on Route 225 in Stanchel by the Church of Scotland, and finish in front of Community Gardens in Kensington. The 25-kilometre "killer course" is described as a "tough, hilly course through some of P.E.I.'s most scenic countryside" on the P.E.I. Roadrunners Club website.

Registration begins at the Church of Scotland at 8, with the starter sending the runners away at 9.

Alex Coffin of Saint John, N.B., holds the overall course record of one hour 28 minutes 21 seconds (1:28:21). Jane Beairsto of Sarnia, Ont., set the women's record of 1:45:01.

Scott Clark of Summerside (1:40:20) and Elaine Burkholder of Kensington (1:57:11) are the defending men's and women's champions. The top 50 and over finisher last year was Alex MacEachern of Dartmouth, N.S. (2:04:54).

The 2006 run attracted 56 participants, and organizers are hoping for another good turnout this year.

There will be water stations every five kilometres, and showers and refreshments will be available at the Gardens following the race.

Perfect record

One interesting statistic is Pam Power-McKenna of Charlottetown has won the female category all 13 times she has entered the Harvest Festival road race.

Don Pridmore, in 1983 and 1984, and John Goodwin, in 2001 and 2002, are the only runners to win the 25-kilometre race in back-to-back years.

Trophies will be presented to the top three male and female runners, and six pairs of running shoes will be presented through draws. All runners will be eligible for the running shoes.

T-shirts will be presented to the first 60 runners to register, and there are many other draw prizes as well.

All presentations will take place inside Community Gardens following the race.

The race is once again, sponsored by the Malpeque Bay Credit Union, which has been providing t-shirts since 1984, and the Kensington Lions Club, which has been providing eight pairs of running shoes for prizes since 1997. The top male and female runners also receive running shoes.

For more information, call race coordinator Ivan Gallant at 836-4124.

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