| ||Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche crosses the finsh line to win the overall title at the Prince Edward Island Marathon Sunday in Charlottetown. (Guardian photo by Brian McInnis) || |
Mike MacKinnon was so happy to win Sunday’s BMO Nesbitt Burns Prince Edward Island Marathon that he crossed the finish line twice.
The Miscouche native was announced as a half-marathon runner as he hit the home stretch of the run on University Avenue, and no one was holding the tape at the finish line.
“That was OK, I just had to go back and run through the tape again,” laughed MacKinnon, who finished in a personal best time of two hours, 39 minutes and 28 seconds.
“Today was another personal best. There’s been a lot of people here today having PBs. These are perfect conditions.”
MacKinnon came in ahead of Charlottetown’s Stanley Chiasson, who ran the 42.2-kilometre course in 2:44:11, and Scott Clark of Summerside who finished in 2:45:53.
It was MacKinnon’s second time at the marathon and he said the conditions for the run from Brackley to Charlottetown were perfect.
“You couldn’t get any better — the wind wasn't strong, it was cool the whole way,” he said. “There was a point where I wasn’t sweating and I was wondering if I wasn’t hydrated or if it was cool enough.”
Jen Nicholson, 39, of Cornwall, was the top female finisher for the full marathon with 2:56:35.
Her goal was to finish in three hours or less, and Nicholson let out a scream at the finish line after her mother told her she met the goal.
“Last year my goal was to qualify for Boston. I found the trail really tough and I was way off my time,” Nicholson said. “Then I re-evaluated my goal, and it was to try and do it in three hours. So that was my initial goal and the people (on the course) kept saying, ‘'You’re the first female,’ and I thought, ‘OK, I can live with that.’”
Both winners posted times that would qualify them for the Boston Marathon.
While Nicholson said she would likely compete south of the border, McKinnon said he would focus on qualifying for the New York Marathon.
Sunday also featured a half-marathon, a 10-kilometre walk or run and a corporate team race.
Over 1,600 entrants took part in the events.
Keaghan Rilling of Charlottetown won the half-marathon in a time of 1:23:59, followed by Summerside’s Edwin Gillis and Dakota Cameron.
The top female finisher in the half-marathon was Jennifer Perry of Tignish in 1:35:08.
Kris Taylor of New Glasgow, P.E.I., finished the 10-kilometre run in 34:22, while the top female for the even was Olympian Kara Grant of Mermaid in 42:12.
The team from Crossfit P.E.I. won the corporate team marathon in 3:13:00, beating out the Water Dogs by almost 10 minutes.
The Island marathon course always offers up its share of challenges.
Despite posting the day’s best time, MacKinnon said the Confederation Trail portion of the race always takes its toll.
“You don’t get any up and down hills to change the way your muscles are working, so that’s tough,” he said.
“This year I said, ‘The trails aren't getting me this time,’ so I focused on training on the trails when I was tired. I think it helped a bit. When I hit the road this time I still had a bit of a step.”
(Full results at www.princeedwardislandmarathon.com
Top overall finishers in the P.E.I. Marathon:
* 1. Mike MacKinnon, Miscouche, 2:39:28
* 2. Stan Chaisson, Charlottetown, 2:44:11
* 3. Scott Clark, Summerside, 2:45:53
* 4. Leo McCosham, Charlottetown, 2:46:59
* 5. Paul Baglole, Meadow Bank, 2:51:48
* 6. Ian Holdway, Beechville, N.S., 2:52:21
* 7. Steven Baglole, Charlottetown, 2:52:45
* 8. Mark McCosham, Charlottetown, 2:55:32
* 9. Chris Boucher, London, Ont., 2:56:11
* 10. Jen Nicholson ,Cornwall, 2:56:35
* 11. Chuck Dixon, Sackville, N.B., 2:58:38
* 12. Andrew Seeley, Eastport, Me., 3:00:07
*****P.E.I. Marathon events:
* Full Marathon
* Half-Marathon Run
* Ten-Kilometre Run
* Half-Marathon Walk
* Ten-Kilometre Walk
* Nordic Walk Half-Marathon
* Nordic Walk Ten-Kilometre
* Corporate/Team Relay
* Kids Spud Run
Islanders, visitors nurse aches after biggest P.E.I. Marathon
| ||Runners race by the sand dunes in Brackley Beach Sunday at the start of the annual BMO Nesbitt Burns Prince Edward Island Marathon. The Guardian was the title sponsor of the full-marathon event. The day was cool and ideal for running the 42.2-kilometre race that ended near the cenotaph in Charlottetown. The marathon was won by Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche in a time of 2:39:28. See A Thousands Words on B3 for more photos and also go to the photo gallery section of The Guardian’s website (www.theguardian.pe.ca). Guardian photo by Brian McInnis || |
By Stephen Brun
Ice packs and sore legs may be in store for many Islanders and some visitors today.
Over 1,600 runners converged on P.E.I. over the weekend to take part in the BMO Nesbitt Burns P.E.I. Marathon, with many more on hand to cheer them on.
Event co-ordinator Myrtle Jenkins-Smith said she plans on taking a bit of time before thinking about what next year’s event will hold, but is pleased every year with how far the marathon has come.
“It’s amazing to see the growth. To go from 173 to over 1,600 is massive growth and we couldn’t do it without the many sponsors that we have and the volunteers are all amazing. We have over 275 volunteers on the course today,’’ she said.
Five years ago, local businessmen Danny Murphy and George Fisher revamped the marathon that had been run on the Island for a couple of decades, hoping to make it a world-class event.
Organizers saw double the expected amount of 400 participants for the first year. The numbers — both in participation and in economic spin-offs — have grown every year since.
“We had several restaurants tell us they didn’t have any seats available (Saturday) night, so that’s a good thing. People were asking us all day what was open, and there are a lot of people here,’’ said Jenkins-Smith.
“When you look at every province, 12 states and international participants from as a far away as Amsterdam and Great Britain — they’re here for a holiday. It’s really terrific that they’re coming here and spending time and staying in hotels.’’
The weekend kicked off on Saturday with the Kids Spud Run at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Entertainment Centre.
Over 300 children and their parents came out to run a lap around the CDPEC racetrack, for the free, safe and fun family event.
“It was a lot of fun and I got some prizes,’’ said nine-year-old Payton Brown at the Spud Run. She and her parents, Eric and Karen, moved to P.E.I. from Texas two years ago. Brown bettered her time of about 12 minutes from last year, she said.
“I run cross-country and sometimes I go for a jog with my dad. I beat my time by eight minutes.’’
The Spud Run is sponsored by the P.E.I. Potato Board, with the goal of mixing the Island’s best-known product with a day of exercise, said the board’s general manager Bob Harding.
“It’s an awesome turnout,’’ said Harding. “What better way to start off the marathon weekend. It’s great for us to tie in potatoes with another healthy activity for kids.’’
Sunday’s marathon began at 9 a.m., with full marathon runners and corporate teams starting at the P.E.I. National Park in Brackley before winding 42.2 kilometres into Charlottetown by way of the Confederation Trail.
Corporate and eight-member teams participating on Sunday included runners from Parks Canada, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Ocean 100 and K-Rock, and the UPEI school of business.
Crossfit P.E.I.’s corporate team entry was the first to cross the finish line in that event, but team member Dave Whitty said a marathon isn’t the type of running the training centre normally does.
“We never run. We do a lot of weight training and cardio, but the most we ever run is probably 400 metres,’’ he laughed.
“We’re a training group and some of us have been training together since January and (a) few others have joined along the way.’’
The fastest runner of the day was Mike MacKinnon of Miscouche, who ran the full marathon in 2:39:28, a personal best.
Jen Nicholson of Cornwall was the fastest female runner, finishing at 2:56:35.
In addition to the full marathon, participants could also run a 21-km half-marathon and walk or run a 10-km track which all started at Province House in Charlottetown.
Thousands of spectators also followed the runners’ progress, along with several musical acts to energize the marathoners along the way.
“I couldn’t believe how many people were out there, it was really incredible,’’ said Jenkins-Smith.
“I think it’s really great that we have a lot of people from off-Island to bring in a fan base and we have our corporate team which brought out a lot of people along the route. Every category was up in terms of participants, and where people are coming from really is amazing.’’