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The world comes to Saint John

Hundreds up for the challenge at Marathon by the Sea

Andrew Wagstaff photos
Belinda Ralph (left) and Mathieu Dore were among the marathoners at today’s Marathon by the Sea races in Saint John, N.B. Ralph came all the way from Australia, and was the top female finisher, with a time of 3:09:54.
By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Aug. 12, 2018

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Belinda Ralph wanted a BQ finish, and she came all the way from Australia to get it.
   Ralph was the top female marathoner at today’s Marathon by the Sea, finishing with a time of 3:09:54, securing her Boston qualifying time by more than 20 minutes.
   “It wasn’t a PB for me, but it was quite hilly, the hilliest course I’ve ever run a road marathon on,” she said. “I was about two minutes off my PB, but the BQ was the main goal, so it wouldn’t have mattered.”
   Ralph was paced by her boyfriend, Ottawa native Mathieu Dore. The pair started dating while Dore was living in Australia for four years, and she is here now visiting him while on holiday.
   Because Marathon by the Sea was the only Boston qualifying race within traveling distance, they decided to make the road trip from Ottawa to Saint John.
   “We’ve made it to Montreal, Quebec City, and now we’re going to hike Mount Washington,” said Dore.
   Runners at today’s event were treated to favourable weather conditions, thanks to a break in the humidity that has been enveloping the region for much of the past few weeks. Cloud cover even protected them from the sun this morning.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Nicholas Buckler of Halifax made his marathon debut with a first place finish of 2:48:22.
   It was a perfect day for Nicholas Buckler of Halifax, who ended up finishing in first place, with a time of 2:48:22.
   “It was a tough course, quite a few hills in there… I was just trying to come out and have a good run,” he said. “Things were pretty smooth. I fell off a little bit maybe in the last 6K or so, but overall I’m very happy with the run for sure.”
   Buckler wanted to break the three-hour mark, and exceeded that goal despite the challenging terrain. He said he appreciated how well the course was marked, and all the support from the water station volunteers.
   He said he was glad to have made the trip to Saint John for his first marathon.
   “I wanted to get one in this summer,” he said. “I’m starting medical school in the fall, so I wanted to get a marathon in before I started that big commitment there.”
   Finishing in second place was Matthew Fyfe, with a time of 2:49:02, followed by Trevor Funk at 2:52:12 Second among females was Stella Chen at 3:52:51, followed by Andrea Cameron at 3:54:33.
   Doucet sets new course record in half marathon
   The half marathon race also saw its share of excitement, as Shelley Doucet of Quispamsis set a new female course record of 1:19:22, finishing second overall.
It was a satisfying result for Doucet, who used it as a training run.
   “My schedule had a 90-minute marathon pace run, and I was trying to find somebody yesterday to run with me, but there was nobody around,” she said. “So, at 4 p.m. yesterday, I signed up for this race and got to have some company.”
   Doucet said she kept pretty close to her marathon pace for the race, but was probably a little quicker than the 6:09 per mile she was looking for. She is training for the Chicago Marathon in October, and will be aiming for a finish of around 2:40 there.
   “I’m happy because I wanted to see if this was a pace I could hold for a marathon, and I feel like it’s pretty close to what I can hold,” she said. “This is a much harder course than Chicago, so it’s a good confidence booster, in that sense.”
   Finishing first in the half marathon was Jean-Philippe Deschenes of Alma, Que., who scored a new personal best of 1:18:39. Second among males was Michael Colford, with a time of 1:19:38, followed by Colin McQuade at 1:21:18.
   Second among females was Megan McNear at 1:33:26, followed by Karen Kuzik at 1:41:03.

Lee, Germain win 10K race
   It was the third time running the 10K race for Scott Lee of Baxters Corner, and he finished in first place, with a time of 39:49.
   Lee was hoping the sun would stay away this morning, and he got his wish. He was happy with the conditions and his performance.
   “It’s always a hilly race, so it’s kind of difficult because of that, but overall it was awesome,” he said. “A sub-40 on a course like this is great for me. It’s about as good as I could hope for.”
   Finishing second in the 10K was James Walker, with a time of 40:07, followed by David Wigle at 41:26.
   The top female finisher was Andree Germain of Granby, Que., who finished with a time of 41:35.
   No stranger to Marathon by the Sea, Germain was the top female marathoner at the 2015 race, but said she found the 10K race tougher than the marathon.
   “There are a lot of upgoing hills on the first part of the course, and I didn’t know that – I thought there was only the bridge – so I was caught by surprise a bit,” she said. “The pace is quicker, so it’s actually harder than the full.”
   Germain also ran in Saturday’s 5K race, for which the weather was much hotter, and said she enjoyed today’s conditions.
   Finishing second among females was Kim Perry, with a time of 45:14, followed by Suzanne Doucet at 45:59.

Thirteen-year-old top 5K female
   Today’s 5K race was won by Steve Hanlon, with a time of 19:54, followed by Paul Coffin at 21:32, and Warren Holder at 21:40.
   The top female finisher was 13-year-old Marin MacPherson of Quispamsis, who was making her debut at the event.
   “It was awesome,” she said. “It was a lot of fun, and I’m pretty happy with my run. The weather was perfect for running today.”
   Finishing second among females was Lauren Dysart at 23:33, followed by Jennifer Snodgrass at 26:04.
   For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
   Today’s races saw a total of 688 official finishers, coming from almost every province and territory, numerous American states and other countries. Passengers from a cruise ship docked nearby were among the participants.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Shelley Doucet of Quispamsis set a new course record in the half marathon, with a time of 1:19:22.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Jean-Philippe Deschenes of Alma, Que. was the top half marathon finisher, with a new PB of 1:18:39.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Scott Lee of Baxters Corner was the winner of the 10K race, finishing with a time of 39:49.