Dave MacLennan and Raymond Simpson both had plenty to be enthused about on Sunday morning, at the end of their respective races in the Johnny Miles Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend 2018.
Sunday’s first-place win in the full marathon marks twelfth full marathon in which the Scotsburn runner ranked first – a fact MacLennan described as “pretty cool,” in a call with The News.
“A month ago, I ran in the Bluenose in Halifax, and I went into that race thinking I was in pretty good shape, hoping that would carry on into the Johnny Miles marathon,” said MacLennan. “But just the week before the Bluenose, I ended up with a bit of a hamstring issue, and I didn’t get the time I was hoping for.”
Conversely, MacLennan ended up doing better than he expected to in Sunday’s marathon. He noted he was very happy with his finishing time of 2:47:36.
MacLennan’s finish was a good few minutes ahead of the hotly contested second and third place runners: Matthew White of Dartmouth in second place (02:58:11), and Ian Blokland of Camrose, Alta (02:58:09).
“It was a great day for running,” said MacLennan, of the cool, yet sunny weather conditions. “I think it’s one of the best days we’ve ever had for Johnny Miles.
“A lot of training goes into it,” noted McLennan, who engages in a lot of demanding workouts that include runs on old rail beds. Sunday night, however, MacLennan’s plan was to take a well-earned rest, going out to supper for Father’s Day.
Simpson had similar remarks to make about his first place in the 5K race. The Pictou County runner achieved a personal best in winning his fourth Johnny Miles 5K race, with a time of 16:40.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Simpson, shortly after crossing the finish line on Provost Street, adding that the elation of finishing first “doesn’t’ wear off. If you win a hundred times, it’s still the same feeling as you cross the finish line.”
Simpson noted he was “super happy” to achieve a personal best on the course. He also expressing gratitude for the tremendous amount of support he saw in the spectators who gathered to watch the run.
“I get a lot of support running in my home town, but even if you’re not from here, everyone cheers you on – people are really supportive,” said Simpson. “I’m always excited to come back to New Glasgow to run. It’s my fourth year running, and it’s the fourth year running and winning in the race.”
Simpson thanked the bikers leading the runners along the course for providing plenty of heads-up for the twists and turns Sunday’s course entailed.
Simpson emphasized the need for regular, hard training when asked what he thought gave him the upper hand in the race, adding that “you’ve got to be dedicated” to regularly running and preparation for marathons.
Simpson said that in addition to his regular training regimen, the weather made for good running conditions, saying “it’s a great morning for a race, too,” said Simpson. “It’s too cool, but not too warm – and not too windy. It’s perfect.”
Simpson’s proud parents were at the finish line, cheering him on.
“He works so hard for these races, and trains all the time,” said Simpson’s mother, Joyce. “It’s just a beautiful day for a race, too.”
The winner of the half marathon event was Corey Deveaux of Sydney River with a finishing time of 01:17:10. The winner of the 10KM race was Kyle Smith of Halifax with a finishing time of 34:33.
For more information on the results and times associated with Sunday’s races, see the Tuesday edition of The News.
Bud Brown is there to greet the runners as they cross the finish line for the Johnny Miles Running Event. He is often cheering on their last few steps, giving high fives or doing well-being checks.