Monday, August 18, 2008

More to running than winning for MacKinnon

More to running than winning for MacKinnon
35th annual Community Harvest Festival 25K Road Race


There's a lot more to running road races than winning for Mike MacKinnon.

In fact, MacKinnon was more interested in his personal time than the fact he added a Community Harvest Festival 25K Road Race victory to his resume Saturday morning.

"It's not about the winning," emphasized MacKinnon, who had a time of one hour 32 minutes 22 seconds (1:32:22) in the 35th annual run. "It's about the people. You hear people say, 'I beat my last year's time by four minutes and I did this.'

"That's what it's about. If somebody had come ahead of me in 1:28 today, I'd be happy. . .

"About five years ago I ran it (Harvest Festival race) and my time was much better (Saturday). I think I was 1:40 and today I was 1:32 and something, so I'm really pleased."

MacKinnon, who's from Miscouche and teaches automotive at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, described race conditions as ideal.

"There was a little bit of a headwind starting out and the sun didn't come out until after the race was over and the wind wasn't strong," he explained.

Scott Clark finished second in 1:35:08 and John Bil was third in 1:35:55.

"I said I was going to go very slow and Scott and I were together for about the first couple of kilometres," said MacKinnon, 35. "Then I said I'm going to push up the hills and coast down the hills and see what I get when I'm done of the first two big ones.

"That's what I did and I didn't look behind me. I didn't know if I had a two-step lead or a 10-step lead."

MacKinnon, though, experienced stomach cramping between Freetown and the Blue Shank Road.

"I had to slow up, get rid of them and I seemed to bounce back and had a pretty strong pace coming in," said MacKinnon, who agreed the challenging "killer course" serves as a great training event for marathons.

"Some people have said that if you can do this a marathon is easy to do afterwards, although there are 17 more kilometres to a marathon," said MacKinnon. "You're up and you're down.

"As you get through those big ones, most of the hills afterwards are rolling hills - but they're still hills. It's a very tough course. I think that's what brings the popularity to this course."

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