MARITIME RUNNER
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McNeil wins third straight
Natal Day six-miler

Turnout possibly second highest in 111-year history

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Aug. 7, 2017

DARTMOUTH, N.S. – This time there was no tie.
Matt McNeil of Halifax won the Dartmouth Natal Day six-mile race for the third straight year this morning, edging out his friend and training partner Cal Dewolfe by 18 seconds. Two weeks ago in Barrington, the two agreed to cross the finish line together in a tie for first place in the half marathon at the Nova Scotia Marathon, with the plan to “settle the score” at Natal Day.
“Today was definitely an all out race,” said McNeil, who won the race with a time of 30:23. “Cal and I had a good battle and kept the pace honest from the gun.”

(From left) Brian King, Paul Critch and Fiona King, were among more than 1,000 people having a super time at the 111th annual Dartmouth Natal Day Road Race today.

Photo by Tim Chesnutt

McNeil suffered an Achilles injury in March of this year and has been keeping a fairly low profile on the racing circuit. He was 26 seconds faster when he won the Natal Day race last year
He said today’s race was a great event, with perfect weather and great competition.
“I’m happy with the result,” he said. “I still haven’t tested myself much in training, so I wasn’t entirely sure how today would go. I’m a little banged up right now though.”
Dewolfe finished in second place for the second straight year, although he knocked almost a full minute off his last year time, clocking in at 30:41. Finishing in third place was Greg Wieczorek at 32:46.
Among the females, it was Colleen Wilson, another winner from the Barrington half marathon, who came in first place, with a time of 37:00.
Wilson, a native of Ancaster, Ont. who has been living and studying in Halifax for the past three years, was making her debut in the historic event.
“It was my first time doing this race, and it was a tough course, but there was a lot of support from spectators and other participants,” she said. “As always, it was great having my Halifax Road Hammer teammates in the race.”
Finishing second among females was Shari Boyle at 37:23, followed by Rayleen Hill at 38:06.
For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
In the two-mile race, Corwin Trottier of Cole Harbour came first with a time of 10:24, followed closely by Mark Brown at 10:27, and William Blunden at 10:29.
The top female finisher was Paula James of Windsor, at the 11:45 mark.
“I love the short stuff,” said James, who had competed in the MACPASS Mile the day before. “To be able to race a one-miler and a two-miler in the same weekend is a real treat for me. So many runners get caught up on ‘longer is better’ but I think it’s so much fun to focus on faster.”
She said she managed to break her 3,000m track PB during the race, and also managed to see Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup on the same day.
“Awesome day,” said James. “Hats off to Dave Nevitt for another amazing race experience.”
Finishing second among females was Rachel Crawley at 12:03, followed by Carmen Raiche-Marsden at 12:46.
As for Nevitt, the race director of the event, he was pleased with the weather and the turnout.
“We had probably over 1,100 sign up, and the no-show rate was pretty low… we had 1,045 finishers,” he said. “It’s not our highest, but it might be our second highest.”
Nevitt was also impressed by the solid field of athletes, although disappointed that course record holder Denise Robson had to withdraw due to her nagging Achilles injury. Nevitt himself ran in the event for his 28th consecutive year.