After a light rain Saturday night the Moose Mountain Marathon was up bright and early on Sunday, Aug. 12, ready to run. The fourth annual event included participants from across Canada and it was the first year for an international runner to attend.
There were a total of 73 registered runners, with 66 arriving to participate in various categories. Male and female participants of various ages partook in either a five kilometre, 10 km, or half marathon run/walk. Along for the ride included two future marathoners, as babies were pushed in strollers.
This event was first thought of as avid marathoners including Lucille Weber and Cathy Burton along with the Arcola track coach Eugene Brown attended the Coal Country Run in Roche Percee a few years ago.
“I made an off the cuff remark of how we should host one and we’ve been hosting one ever since.” Brown stated on race day.
The Moose Mountain Marathon begins at Saskairie and either a northern or southern route is taken. Though the northern route is quite elusive having only been used once within the four year span it has been running because of rain.
The first year of action for the marathon saw 28 people register. They have since come quite a long way three years later, with 18 registered just in the half marathon.
Any proceeds they make in the process of holding this event go towards the Arcola Track Club, which is quite active having many competitors qualifying for Team South East during the Saskatchewan Games.
Everyone received medals for participating while first, second, and third received gold, silver, and bronze medals in a ceremony following the race. This ceremony also included a few fun facts of the day.
Mel Hurst and his wife Wendy travelled from Toronto to partake in the day, not only were they the furthest away, but Mel was the oldest gentleman in the marathon at 71. Originally hailing from Langbank he was glad to be back in Saskatchewan.
Something else quite interesting included the eldest lady in the race at 70, Thelma Snow, who is the grandmother of the youngest racer, Abigail Birch. Both finished very strong.
The very first international racer of the marathon was, Bridget Johnson, who came from Crosby, North Dakota, to take part in the day.
Top times for the day included:
Tyson Hislop of Arcola with a time of 00:26:45 in the five kilometre male 18 and under category.
In the male 19 to 30 category of the five kilometre race was A.J. Schlenker of Arcola at 00:20:10, who was also the first to cross the finish line.
For female five kilometre’s Abigail Birch of Arcola had a time of 00:32:15 for 18 and under.
Marlee Freidrich of Weyburn crossed the line at 00:33:54in the 19 to 30 category.
In the 31 to 45 group Jennifer Karlunchuck of Kisbey crossed the line at 00:32:57, while in the 46 to 54 category Loreen Wakefield of Weyburn crossed at 00:34:04.
In the male 10 km run Tyler Beresh finished in 55 minutes flat for the 19 to 30 category.
David Crump, originally from Arcola now living in Saskatoon, won the 31 to 45 category with a time of 00:48:14.
Glen Wiens of Halbrite crossed at 1:06:40 for the 46 to 54 category, while Mel Hurst won the over 55 category with a time of 1:39:09.
Female winners of the 10 km included Maddi Reed of Rocanville with a time of one hour in the 18 and under category.
For the 19 o 30 category it was Rhonda Sangster of Stoughton with a time of 00:53:51.
Jody Harris of Estevan took home the 31 to 45 category at 00:51:54.
At 1:07:16, Elaine Fisher of Regina took gold in the 46 to 54 age group, while Wendy Hurst from Toronto took the 55 and over category with a time of 1:08:36.
As for the half marathon runners David Wakefield of Weyburn was the first to cross the line at a time of 1:39:02 and was competing in the 46 to 54 category.
Mark Newton of Regina, whose wife was just going into labour as he crossed the finish line having to leave immediately, won the 31 to 45 category with a time of 1:44:43.
For female half marathon runners Brianna Grimes of Arcola won the 19 to 30 division, crossing with Cathy Burton of Arcola who was competing in the 46 to 54 category tying with a time of 2:11:51.
Roxanne Moreau of Bellegarde took home gold in the 31 to 45 category with a time of 2:24:25, while Lucille Weber competed in the 55 and older category at a time of 2:56:40.
All of the racers did a fabulous job. It was said by many that the race was well planned and they can’t wait until next year. The 5th Annual Moose Mountain Marathon will be held on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.