It is difficult to know where to start, maybe Dickens said it best “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Covid-19 and the new Circuit Breaker strategy has for all intents and purposes shut down racing in New Brunswick with many cancelations being posted. However, at the same time some New Brunswick athletes have made some amazing accomplishments in virtual events and events outside of the province. Let’s start with the cancelations, the Hopewell Rocks Multi-Terrain Race this past weekend was canceled, the Rompin’ Rockwood and the Fall Classic schedule for this coming weekend are both canceled, and Legs for Literacy scheduled for October 24 is also canceled, all due to the Circuit Breaker orders. Of course, it is the right thing to do, but very disappointing for athletes. As of this writing, the PEI marathon scheduled for Oct 15-17 is still a go but with many restrictions to keep it safe.
On the other side of the coin, the Boston Marathon went this past Monday in person as well as in a virtual format. Virtual results are a bit hard to track but 3 New Brunswick runners did manage to do the live event. Because of the new rolling start method at Boston, all times are chip time (we typically post the Gun times). Warren Gerow finished in 4:17:01 (could not confirm Warren’s hometown), Marcie Holland of Saint John ran a 3:28:52 and Joe Culligan of Quispamsis finished in 3:28:40. That is dedication to get to Boston, they will be able to say they were there the only time it was run in the fall.
Another place New Brunswick athletes were making a big mark was in Bromont Quebec at the Bromont Trail Ultra. This is a tough race, 100 miles (160-km) with 6,981 meters of elevation, on trails, much in the dark, yet two of our athletes made the top 10. Tim McDonough of Saint John gave a Master Class on how to pace an Ultra run and finished in 23:24:05 for third overall and first in his age division, just minutes out of second place. Derek Lounder of Moncton was 10th overall and 4th in his age division in 26:18:23. Truly amazing results in one of the toughest runs in Eastern Canada.
At the Valley Harvest Marathon in Nova Scotia, Christian Essiambre was top New Brunswick in the full marathon in 3:20:45, Jessica Hawkes of Moncton was top NB runner in the 50-km Ultra in 4:47:30, Doug Doucette of Moncton was top NB runner in the half marathon in 1:44:30 and Eric Arsenault of Saint John was top in the 10-km with a 45:21.
For our Person on the Run this week we go back to the Boston Marathon, this time the virtual version. Runners in Saint John and around the province will know Brenda Guitard as a great athlete and coach of many Boston finishers. This year she completed her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon (virtual) and 15th overall. A great accomplishment in these very challenging times, congratulations Brenda.