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Family running fun at the Acadian Festival

Inaugural island event draws more than 60 participants

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 2, 2017

WELLINGTON, P.E.I. – If the goal of the inaugural Acadian Festival Road Race was to make its runners feel at home, it succeeded with flying colours.
The event drew more than 60 participants for its 10K and 5K races, as well as many youngsters for its kids’ run, many of whom were area residents or people from the area.
Winner of the 10K race was Michael McNeil of Riverview, N.B., with a time of 37:23.
“I’m originally from the Acadian region in P.E.I. and was looking for a 10K tune-up race,” said McNeil, who is preparing for next month’s Prince Edward Island Marathon. “The timing and location of this new race was perfect.”

The inaugural Acadian Festival Road Race took place on Saturday, Sept. 2, with more than 60 people taking part in its 10K and 5K races, and many more running in the kids’ run.

Photo by j. norman-bain

Having something for the whole family at the event was also convenient for McNeil, whose three children all took part in the kids’ race. In fact, his 10-year-old daughter Rowan also ran the 5K with her mother, Patricia Murray.
McNeil could not help but be impressed by the new event.
“For an inaugural race, it was very well organized,” he said. “The volunteers were great. We picked up some Acadian rapure for lunch – a perfect post-run meal.”
Finishing in second place was Alex Bain, with a time of 39:21, one second ahead of Luc Gallant at 39:22.
The top female finisher was Emily Bannister, with a time of 45:01, followed by Natasha McKenna at 51:37, and Jeanette Gallant at 53:53.
In the 5K, it was Gerald Gallant of Moncton, N.B. coming in first place, crossing the finish line at the 19:28 mark.
“I hadn’t been running too many kilometres recently, so just going sub-20 was kind of my goal,” said Gallant. “I was a little surprised to see some fast runners out at such a small race. That was very nice to see – it pushed me!”
He ran shoulder to shoulder with Dennis Gallant for the first 1-2K, and then slowly pulled away from there to the finish.
It was a homecoming race for Gerald, who said he found the course fast but conditions a bit windy.
“It was cool to race in my front yard, as I am from here,” he said. “The race actually passed in front of my parents’ house, where I grew up.”
Dennis Gallant finished in second place at the 20:12 mark, followed by Trevor Dunphy at 23:09.
Among females, it was local runner Marcia Arsenault capturing first place with a time of 27:25, followed by Marta Irvine at 28:19, and Monica Dawson at 28:28.
For complete results, visit the PEI Roadrunners page here .
All proceeds from the event will go to the Evangeline School Fundraising Committee, which is working on getting a new playground for the school.