MARITIME RUNNER
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Girl power in full force at
Fundy Circuit trail race

Levesque wins 50K ultra in 4:47:32

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 27, 2017

ALMA, N.B. – Steve Reeves could not think of a better place for an ultra trail race than Fundy National Park.
   “I don’t think you could dream up a better setup,” said the Freetown, P.E.I. runner, who participated in the team relay at the Fundy Circuit Ultra Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 23. “All those access roads were at the right spot for relay points, they just keep moving drop bags to the next stop, they had a liquor license and beer for the finish line… it was a perfect setup, really.”
   Reeves and his team, “The Island Boys” placed first in the team event with a time of 4:47:05. Sold out since April, the event opened up some spaces for relay teams to allow a few more runners to participate.

Marcie Holland of Saint John was first across the finish line at the Fundy Circuit Ultra Marathon at Fundy National Park on Saturday, Sept. 23, winning the 10K race in 1:11:16.

Cat Smith photo

   In celebration of Canada 150, the event was capped at 150 participants, but Reeves believes it could handle more.
   “I suspect, by the feel on the course, and the space, they could probably fit twice as many runners out there, once they get comfortable with the numbers and stuff,” he said. “Three hundred would fit on that course easily, and I think it would be a huge race, once people get to experience the vibe and beauty and toughness of the course. It’s an amazing spot.”
   The event received nothing but rave reviews from its participants, including Jean-Sebastien Levesque of Dieppe, who won the 50K ultra marathon with a time of 4:47:32, smashing the previous year’s record.
   Being his goal race for the year, Levesque was really hoping to perform well.
   “I decided to go out really hard and see how I felt after the first river crossing,” he said. “I felt good so I pushed it to the first aid station and just kept going really hard after that. Seeing my family at each aid station really helped, and it was awesome.”
   Seeing his family again at Herring Cove gave him another boost, as did meeting Nat Couture along the trail, who he said ran along with him for a few minutes.
   “I knew the end was near after that,” said Levesque. “When I saw the finish line, I was so happy and couldn’t believe it.”
   Finishing in second place was the top female finisher, Jennifer van Dongen of Bar Harbour, Maine, who finished at 4:54:28.
   Second among men was Tim McDonough at 4:59:22, followed by Mike Davis at 5:08:20. The second female finisher was Heidi McLellan at 5:37:22, followed by Janna Morrison at 6:27:19.
   In the 20K race, Shelley Doucet of Quispamsis finished first overall with a time of 1:55:45, one of many strong female performances of the day.
   “The highlight of the race for me was definitely seeing the performances of the women in the 10K, 20K and 50K races,” she said.
    “It is pretty incredible for women to be the overall winners in two out of the three races, with the woman in the 50K just missing the overall win in her race by minutes.”
   It was extra special for Doucet, as her sister, Marcie Holland of Saint John, finished first in the 10K race.
   “It is great to see such a strong interest in trail running in New Brunswick, with this event selling out several months ago,” she said. “This is becoming a common trend for trail races in our province.”
   Doucet’s training partner, Evan Arsenault of Quispamsis, finished second overall as the top male finisher in the 20K with a time of 2:03:37.
   Arsenault said he was happy with his result, considering the limited training he has put in on the road and trails during the last two months.
   “I was expecting more technical trails, as I’ve never ran or hiked on the trails beside the Salt and Fir Centre, so I was impressed to see that the trails were very well maintained,” he said. “It allowed me to open up my stride and run faster.”
   Finishing in third place was Greg McCann at 2:12:36, followed by Abdel Alkuor at 2:41:06. Second among females was Dani Cates at 2:53:10, followed by Jennifer Gough at 3:47:07.
   Holland finished first overall in the 10K race, with a time of 1:11:16.
“It was a blast,” she said. “The course was very challenging and involved a very steep vertical hike. It was a lot of fun.”
   Finishing in second place was top male finisher, David Garden of Riverview, with a time of 1:12:55. Next came second place female Rochelle Sullivan at 1:18:43, followed by third place male Branislav Telgarsky at 1:28:49, and third female Ellie Lemckert at 1:36:50.
For complete results, visit the Race Roster page here .