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Chaisson wins second straight PEI Marathon

Peterson top female as Islanders dominant at home

Stan Chaisson of Charlottetown races to victory in the Prince Edward Island Marathon with a time of 2:35:24.
By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 15, 2017

CHARLOTTETOWN – He’s becoming a dominant figure at his hometown Prince Edward Island Marathon, but don’t compare Stan Chaisson to Tom Brady.
   Not a fan of the New England Patriots or their quarterback, Chaisson proved he doesn’t need to be compared to anyone, crossing the finish line on Sunday with a time of 2:35:24.
   It was his second straight victory at the event, and his third overall.
   “In previous years, I’ve gone out too fast and struggled in the last 10K,” said the Charlottetown runner. “This year, that didn’t happen at all. I felt just as strong in the last 5K as I did in the first 5K. I was more patient in the first half, I think, and it made me a little more fresh in the second.”
   His split time was 1:17:49, almost the perfect even split that he was planning for.
   The weather was a runner’s dream this morning, with temperatures in the mid-teens, no humidity and very little wind.
   The conditions made a difference this year for Chaisson, who also credited his training.
   “Compared to last year, I prepared much better,” he said. “I trained a lot more on hills, I ran Bonshaw on the new trail system all the time, and I was more consistent. At the end of the day, it was just consistency in my training that made the difference, and my legs being stronger from the hill training.”
   Today’s result for Chaisson was second only to his personal best of 2:32:58 set on the course in 2009, and was almost six minutes faster than his showing last year.
   “I still feel, if I had prepared to run a personal best and had people running with me, pushing me, I could get it,” he said. “I’m very optimistic I can still go faster in the future.”
   Islanders rounded out the top three, with Kris Taylor finishing in second place at 2:48:09, followed by Vincent Merriam at 2:50:14.
   It was another Charlottetown runner, Jocelyn Peterson, who finished as the top female marathoner, with a time of 3:18:51.
   Having run this race a few times, Peterson said today was her best experience, as far as staying comfortable and giving it her all until the end.
Like Chaisson, she said it all came down to better training.
   “I had a little better base going in, and I didn’t take shortcuts,” said Peterson. “I tried to get in my hill runs, and more speed work than I think I have in the past. My whole family runs, so I try to keep up with them.”
   Living in Charlottetown and having much of the course available to train on was also valuable, she explained.
   “Those last three hills can be tough no matter what, so I ran them a fair number of times in training,” said Peterson. “So mentally I was prepared for them. That makes a difference too.”
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Jocelyn Peterson was the top female finisher in the marathon, with a time of 3:18:51.
   Finishing second among females was Amber Spriggs at 3:22:29, followed by Allie Keedwell at 3:31:11. All of the top three female finishers came from Charlottetown.
   For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
   Merrett, Bates win half marathon
   The half marathon also featured a string of strong performances, with Ryan Merrett of Summerside crossing the finish line at 1:18:16. He was so fast that organizers weren’t even ready for him, so they convinced him to break the tape in a comical replay of the finish.
   Merrett was a whole minute faster than his previous time running the race, a third place finish in 2015.
   “It was tough running on my own the whole way,” he said. “It would have been nice to have someone pacing me, but I’m definitely happy with my time.”
   Finishing in second place was Michael Bergeron, who joggled his way to a 1:21:33 finish, coming just 54 seconds short of the world record set by Toronto’s Michal Kapral. Placing third was Jeff Boswell at 1:24:02.
   Among females, Bree Bates of Dartmouth, N.S. finished first at the 1:28:07 mark.
   Bates immediately gave credit to her Halifax Road Hammers coach Lee McCarron and teammate Jennie Orr for helping her prepare for the race. Orr ran along with her and set the pace, providing valuable help, according to Bates.
   “I haven’t raced in a long time and haven’t done the half in a really long time,” she said. “Jennie is an all-star and she knows how to pace. She knew what she was doing and I’m really grateful.”
   The Road Hammer teammates were among a cluster of four female runners who were together until the final stretch to the finish line.
   “They’re all awesome runners, and I’m really honoured and surprised right now to be part of it,” said Bates.
   Kristy Newson finished second among females, with a time of 1:29:16, followed by Orr at 1:29:29.
Koppel, Poirier win 10K
   In the 10K, Aivar Koppel of Charlottetown finished in first place with a time of 38:11, topping his 39:08 showing at the Cox & Palmer race in July by almost a full minute.
   “I kind of wanted to be in the top three, so it worked out well,” said Koppel. “There was one guy ahead of me with 2K to go, and he was surging and I was trying to keep up. Then I was surging, and with about 1.5K to go I was able to drop him.”
   Finishing in second place was Ryan Keliher at 38:38, followed by Daniel Quinn at 40:08.
   Island native Erin Poirier, who now calls Halifax home, finished as the top female with a time of 40:36.
   Having run this route as a child, Poirier said she loves being able to run the race with her family cheering her on. She also had teammates and athletes that she coaches taking part.
   “This guy was close to me at 7K, so I took after him and thought I would take a risk, because wouldn’t it be awesome if a girl won this?” she said. “So I had a great 9K, and the last kilometer was awful because I went out too early.”
   Lara Jackson finished second among females with a time of 47:57, followed by Chelsea O'Neil at 48:57.
Gallant, Arsenault win 5K
   Joel Gallant of Wellington was winner of the 5K race, clocking in at the 17:41 mark. He was four seconds slower than his finish at last year’s race, where he came in second to his brother Luc.
   “I think I trained more last year,” said Joel. “It didn’t really feel good today, but it felt good at the end.”
   Fresh off his performance at last weekend’s Chicago Marathon, Alex Bain finished in second place with a time of 17:47, followed by Daniel Godfrey at 18:27.
   The top female finisher was Charlene Arsenault of Westphal, N.S., originally of Tignish.
   It was the second straight strong performance at the event for Arsenault, who ran her first full marathon there last year and qualified for Boston in that debut.
   “So I wore my lucky T-shirt from P.E.I. last year,” she said. “The marathon was tough. The 5K was maybe more fun, but I’m stull hurting. I was trying for under-20 but I didn’t get it.”
   In second place among females was Joanie Cyr at 21:49, followed by Shannon Paquette at 21:53.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Ryan Merrett was the half marathon winner, crossing the line at 1:18:16.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Bree Bates was the top female finisher in the half marathon, with a time of 1:28:07.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Aivar Koppel won the 10K race with a time of 38:11.
Photos by Andrew Wagstaff
Joel Gallant won the 5K with a time of 17:41.