On the Run (As published in the Telegraph Journal Oct 20, 2021)

Jeff Queen finishing the PEI Marathon

Covid continues to wreak havoc with the race schedule, but a few races continue to make it work within the Public Health rules, keeping everyone safe either virtually or with strict application of rules.

This week in Miramichi it was the Oct 5-km and right at the top was hometown legend Paula Keating, winning for the women and overall, in a fast 18:33. Second place for women also was a Miramichi runner, Madalyn MacKinnon in 21:16 and third to Fredericton’s Kelsey Tucker in 21:49. For the men, the hometowns were spread out, but the times were very close. Gary Kenny (Tracadie) took top spot in 20:00 followed by Raymond Caissie (Cap Lumiere) in 2021 and Ralph Williston (Miramichi) in 20:35.

The big news this weekend was the running of the PEI Marathon in-person. Despite a somewhat blustery day spirits were high, and a new marathon record was set by Dennis Mbelenzi of Halifax at 2:30:23. Second went to Jeff Ratushny of Conquerall Mills in 2:51:42 and blocking a Nova Scotia sweep in third place was Saint John runner Jeff Queen with a personal best time of 2:53:35. For the women it was Rachel Barich of Charlottetown taking homecourt advantage with a quick 2:56:55 followed by Maura Wieczorek of Halifax in 3:03:26 and Jocelyn Peterson of Charlottetown in 3:05:16.

In the half marathon Jennifer Orr of Stanley Bridge was the top woman in 1:28:42 ahead of a fast-charging Erin Porter (Halifax) in 1:29:26. Third place went to Stratford’s Kristy Newson in 1:32:53. The men saw Stephane Piccinin out front in 1:13:40 followed by Michel-Lucien Bergeron of Stanley Bridge in 1:17:21 and Samuel Poirier of Moncton in 1:19:54. The half-marathon walk went to Hongmei Liu of Charlottetown in 2:32:20 for women and James Boswall of Frenchfort took the men’s event in 2:47:19.

In the 10-km run, Danny Jardine of Moncton had a very fast personal best time of 37:09 to take top spot ahead of Rock Francouer (Moncton) in 39:05 and Isaac Neily (Fairview) in 39:45. For the women, it was an all Nova Scotia podium with Danielle Carter of Dartmouth at the top in 40:43 followed by Christy Pound (Halifax) in 40:51 and Christine Richardson (Pictou) in 42:28. The 10-km walk went to April Nicholson of Montague in 1:20:27 for the women and David Lambert of Calgary for the men in 1:29:16.

In the 5-km run it was a Charlottetown sweep for the men Alex Rogers first (18:00), Aivar Koppel second (18:52) and Jonah Bowie third (19:34).  For the women Jane Bruce (Stratford) was first in 22:42, Sarah Moore (Halifax) second in 22:56 and Sam Wittig (Charlottetown) third in 23:58.

Thirty-two teams entered the marathon relay and it was a very tight finish with Worst Pace Scenario first in 3:33:21, We’ve Got the Runs second in 3:35:55 and Island EMS third in 3:35:58 for an exciting finish to the 8 leg relay.

This week our Person on the Run is not only a great athlete but also an excellent coach. Jeff Queen of Saint John was a fantastic role model with a PB in the PEI Marathon and 5 runners from his club, the Rockwood Road Warriors did the same. That’s representin’

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