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Handrigan, Hourihan win Rock ‘N Run 10K

Annual Miramichi event draws 346 runners

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 25, 2017

MIRAMICHI, N.B. – Almost 350 runners were feeling the heat here today at the annual Miramichi Rock N’ Run, as the only thing hotter than the temperature was the hot competition.
The day included a half marathon and a 5K race, but most eyes were on the 10K, which served as this year’s Run New Brunswick provincial championship. Ninety-seven competed in this distance, with the top nine coming in under the 40-minute mark.
Photos courtesy of Brian Richard
Top three female finishers in the 5K race were all local Miramichi runners (from left) Caroline Wilson (third), Emma Mackinnon (second) and Alicia Dean (first).
Grant Handrigan of Moncton was the top overall finisher at 33:31, followed by Jean-Marc Doiron at 34:21 and Paul Gallant at 34:34. The top female was Sacha Hourihan of Southfield with a time of 37:12, followed by Rochelle Johnston at 40:37, and Anouk Pelletier at 41:19.
“I really liked the 10K course,” said Hourihan, who said the organizers and volunteers did a great job with the event. “It’s a beautiful course right along the water and mostly flat. It could have been a few degrees cooler though.”
Hourihan and Sylvain Arseneau stuck together throughout the race, pushing each other to strong finishes only one second apart.
“The heat hit me at around 7K on my way back over the bridge,” she said. “I pushed on, knowing that Sylvain was close behind me and then he caught me at 400m to the finish. I am happy with 37:12 in warmer temperatures.”
In the 5K it was Alex Larochelle of Sherbrooke, Que. placing first with a time of 17:41, followed by Spencer Desveaux at 18:39, and Raymond Caissie at 19:47. Top female was Alicia Dean of Miramichi at 22:57, followed by Emma Mackinnon at 23:50, and Caroline Wilson at 25:04.
For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here.
It was Dean’s second time running the race since moving to Miramichi from Wichita, Kansas last spring. Three weeks out from a fitness competition, she said the race was perfect for training purposes.
Paula Keating was the top female finisher in the half marathon with a time of 1:28:39.
“There were so many wonderful and supportive runners out cheering one another on, that it felt exactly as it was intended to feel – fun,” she said. “It was just such a fantastic day to race. Between the weather being perfect, the volunteers making sure that everything ran smoothly, and the community cheering everyone on, there was no possible way to have a bad morning.”
Forty-four half marathoners also had a great morning, including Remi Guitard of Moncton, who finished in first place with a time of 1:20:14. He was followed by top female finisher Paula Keating of Miramichi at 1:28:39.
The Rock N’ Run is a great community event with a good mix of local runners and many from around the province and elsewhere, according to Keating, who said she was pleased with her result overall but was a bit slower than she had hoped for.
“The half marathon course is beautiful, running around the Miramichi River, but challenging with the climb up Centennial Bridge just after the halfway point,” she said.
“I think it was my slowest winning time to date, but I’m certainly not getting any younger,” added Keating, with a smile.
Finishing in third place was Paul Comeau at 1:35:34, followed by Darryl Johnstone at 1:37:17. Second female was Angele Driscoll at 1:41:19, followed by Phyllis Daigle at 1:49:55.
The event saw more than 370 register, with 346 turning out to compete, according to Valerie Comeau, who heads up the event planning committee with Ralph Williston. That number is up slightly from last year’s turnout.
“It was pretty hot, but we start at 8 a.m., so that’s good,” said Comeau. “Everything ran pretty smoothly. The last half marathoner came in at 10:55, and we close our course at 11, so it was pretty emotional.”
The event draws participants from a wide range of ages, from the children running in the 2.2K Mango run immediately following the main race, to runners like 78-year-old Frank Kelly of Saint John, who finished the half marathon at 2:13:34.
“It went well,” said Comeau. “There were no complaints, and it was very uneventful, in a good way.”