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Arseneau takes first at Brian Richard 5K

Cold, snowy conditions affect turnout

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Jan. 8, 2017

MIRAMICHI, N.B. – It was a cold, snowy day on the Miramichi, but 29 runners had no interest in staying inside.
The numbers were down for this year’s annual Brian Richard 5K race hosted by the Miramichi River Runners, but, despite the snowy conditions and -13 degree temperature, the race was on.
“The numbers were down big time, basically because of the storm,” said past president Brian Richard.  “We had 29 runners, compared to 49 last year.”
The idea of postponing or canceling was not even considered, according to Richard.
“We don’t cancel,” he said. “Not even a thought. We canceled one race a long time ago, and about 10 guys showed up. So, we said if it’s snowing and you show up, we’re running. If it’s snowing or storming, we go. If there’s 15 people or 20, or 29 like today, we run it.”

Runners head out on the snowy road for the annual Brian Richard 5K race in Miramichi, N.B. on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Photos courtesy of Brian Richard

Like the rest of the Maritimes, Miramichi had a sizable dump of snow overnight on Saturday, and was still snowing at the beginning of the race Sunday morning, making for some poor footing for the roadside event.
Some of the runners made the drive all the way from the Bathurst area, including Sylvain Arseneau, who placed first with a time of 19:48. Brad McLellan followed with a 20:09 time, and Paul Comeau at 20:18.
Top females were Nicole MacCallum with a 23:31 time, Tanya Wood at 25:41 and Anne Gorges at 27:53.
While the 10 cm of snow and high winds made for some snow-packed running conditions, not to mention the -20 windchill, MacCallum said it was overall not a bad run.
“Of course my time was a little slower than normal, but to be expected,” she said. “Winter conditions can be challenging so I just try to stay disciplined and get out there and face the elements. Running with the Miramich River Runners keeps me motivated.”
The Miramichi 5K course is known for being fast, with a light uphill at the beginning, but with about two kilometres of straight downhill running.
Next up for the Miramichi club will be the David Morris Memorial 5K on Feb. 5.

The group of 29 runners leaving the start line.

Sylvain Arseneau of Petit-Rocher, N.B. (right) took first place while Paul Comeau of Miramichi finished third.

(From left) Sonya Craig presents awards to the top three female finishers, Nicole MacCallum, Tanya Wood and Anne Gorges.

(From left) Sonya Craig presents awards to the top three male finishers, Sylvain Arseneau, Brad McLellan and Paul Comeau.