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McNeil, Carreau tops at annual Penguin Run 5K

More than 400 registered for popular road race

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 3, 2017

ENFIELD, N.S. – After battling an injury for the past three months, Matt McNeil wasn’t sure how he would do in today’s Penguin Run. He got his answer.
McNeil finished in first place in the annual 5K race with a blazing 15:34 time, showing no ill effects from the Achilles injury he suffered in early March and has been slowly healing from ever since.
“I was pretty uncomfortable, actually,” he said. “I’m really happy today, considering, and it didn’t flare up, so that was a huge thing.”

(From left) Paul MacLellan, Thomas White and Lee McCarron were among the participants in today’s Penguin Run in Enfield, N.S.

Photo by Kevin Lane

McNeil was sidelined for all of March by the injury, and was up and down through April with flare-ups. Not until May did get back into a six-day running week, and has only had one workout at what he considered a fast pace.
“It’s been pretty up and down for three months, so I’m really happy today,” said McNeil. “I just have to stay patient and keep slowly increasing mileage and speed.”
He was not without competition at the Penguin Run, which had 384 competing in the 5K, and had more than 300 registered for the youth run. Finishing second behind McNeil was Calvin Dewolfe at 15:45, followed by Matthias Mueller at 15:55.
For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
The fastest female of the day was Lavinia Carreau at 18:21, followed closely by Emily Hamilton at 18:25, and Denise Robson at 18:30.
Carreau and Hamilton were beside each other for the flat first kilometer, after which Carreau pulled ahead.
“At 3K, you start an incline and that’s where I felt the Ottawa 10K last weekend,” said Hamilton. “At 4K I started to make ground on Lavinia, but she had a really good kick at 400m and I was spent.”
Weather conditions were perfect, with no rain or wind. The temperature was warm but not enough to affect the 5K race.
Race director Mike Juurlink was quite pleased with the turnout, and the fact that they got the event in before the rain started.
He believes runners appreciate how the event is run for the community, by the community.
“We have such an amazing group of volunteers each year,” said Juurlink. “Many of our volunteers have been with the Penguin Run since the beginning, so they know exactly what to do on race morning. That synergy leads to a consistent experience for the participant; they have come to expect a fun race experience coupled with amazing treats after the run.”
By following the road race with a youth run, there is something to offer the whole family.
He credited sponsors Strides Health and Fitness and Enfield Pharmachoice for helping keep the race affordable, and the participants for giving back to the community. Several runners brought food donations for local food banks, whole others declined receiving a medal so the event could make a donation to support running at area schools.
“Finally, who doesn’t love penguins?” asked Juurlink.