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Doucet, Blanchard set new records at Run for Renee

Partnership with East Coast Games a success

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 24, 2018

QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – Records continued to fall here today, as the Run for Renee 5K joined with the East Coast Games in what might be its most memorable race to date.
Shelley Doucet put a stamp on her hometown race, running a 16:57 to crush the female course record by 38 seconds, while Patty Blanchard set a new provincial 5K record for the 60-69 age group, with a time of 19:50.
Meanwhile, overall winner Brady Graves ran the second fastest time ever on the course, with a first place finish of 15:23.
Although a 5K race was not what her training called for today, Doucet said she wanted to take part in the event to support her local race, and her friends who organize it, Dean Strowbridge, Jeff Queen and Carol Lynn Landry.

Shelley Doucet set a new female course record at today’s Run for Renee 5K race in Quispamsis, finishing with a time of 16:57.

Photo courtesy of Marcie Holland

She has yet to take a day off since racing up Mount Washington in New Hampshire last weekend, and decided to aim for a finish of around 17:30 to get under the course record set by Sacha Hourihan just last month.
“My watch was not picking up the location at the start, so I raced without knowing how I was pacing,” said Doucet. “My husband, Evan, was racing as well, and I had no idea he was on my heels throughout the race until the 4K mark, when my son and daughter cheered for me and, seconds later, were cheering for their dad!”
Seeing Evan run a 17:03 in his first 5K race was the highlight of the day for Doucet, who said it was also special to watch Blanchard’s performance, which was only seven seconds off the national record for her age group.
“She is my number one role model for running and life in general,” she said.
It was an encouraging result for Doucet, who holds the provincial records for the full and half marathon, and decided this year to focus on shorter distances.
“I am happy that I can race well in the 5K off trail and mountain running, as I was not a big fan of the shorter distance training block on the road over the winter, when I trained for the Boston 5K,” she said.
Today’s race was the first Run for Renee for Graves, a native of Saint John and a current track star at Guelph University.
He said he was impressed with the organization and the turnout for the race.
“It’s a very nice and flat course, but you definitely underestimate how hard the third and fourth kilometer are, after going downhill for 2K at a quicker tempo,” said Graves. “I ran the East Coast Games 5K on the track Friday, so I wasn’t fully fresh for today, but I wanted to stab at the record and see if I could come close.”
He also wanted the chance to study the course, as he plans to return and make another run at the record of 14:47 set by Matt McNeil last month.
“I’ll be back in July on fresh legs, ready to go for Matt’s record again,” he said. “Overall, I’m very pleased with the event, and couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Finishing in second place behind Graves was Justin Young, with a time of 16:51, followed by Doucet at 16:57, and third male Trevor Funk at 17:00. Mary-Beth Jaillet was second among females at 19:38, followed by Blanchard at 19:50.
For complete results, visit the Run for Renee 5K Facebook page here .
A total of 39 runners took part in today’s race, 16 of them finishing in under 20 minutes. Strowbridge was thrilled with the turnout, considering there were a number of other events taking place today, including the Saint John Triathlon, the MS bike ride, and the 10K provincials at the Miramichi Rock ‘n Run.
“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I’m so happy to be in partnership with Bill McMackin and the East Coast Games. He is so good to work with, and it couldn’t have gone any better.”