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Sunshine and cake for 40th Dunk River run

Annual event draws 50 participants

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
July 24, 2017

CENTRAL BEDEQUE, P.E.I. – Paul Wright had an opportunity to reminisce with Bill Callbeck prior to the 40th annual Dunk River Road Race on Sunday, July 23.
Callbeck was on hand to serve as the official starter for the race, which his family store has been the sponsor of from its very start in 1978.
“We were saying it’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years,” said Wright, who started the event and still serves as race director. “I was 22, a running-crazed local lad starting up a race, and he was good enough to support it. It’s been going on ever since.”

The 40th annual Dunk River Road Race took place in Central Bedeque, P.E.I. on Sunday, July 23.

Photo by j. norman-bain

The event has seen peaks and valleys over the years, and on Sunday drew a crowd of 50 participants, a number consistent with other turnouts in recent years, according to Wright, who was hoping for 60-65 this year.
“It would have been nice to have 60-70, but there’s almost too many events on the island now,” he said. “But it’s still well worth it.”
First across the finish line in the 11.6K race was Mike MacKinnon, with a time of 42:38, followed by Steve Reeves at 43:15, and Carsen Campbell at 43:52.
Campbell, a biathlete from Canada’s national team, was home visiting P.E.I. for the week and had just hosted his own fundraising run in Stratford the day before.
He has known Wright for many years, and said he enjoyed the Dunk River event.
“I guess I thought I was tough,” said Campbell, chuckling about the race. “I went out with the leader for the first half of the race, and then Mike MacKinnon came by and blew us apart, and put me in third.”
The top female finisher was Stephanie Barry-Benedik, with a time of 58:28. She said the weather was great for running.
“It was nice that it was breezy along the course – not enough that you had resistance but just to keep you cool, especially on the hilly sections,” she said. “It was also nice to be part of the run’s 40th celebration.”
The second female finisher was Beverley Walsh at 58:55, followed by Caitlin Campbell at 1:02:00.
For complete results, visit the PEI Roadrunners page here .
Cake was offered this year as part of the celebration, and there was plenty of good help on hand, according to Wright. The day turned out pretty well, he said.
“I think people do appreciate the efforts,” said Wright. “It’s good to give back. The sport’s been good to me.”