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Miramichi goes cross-country with latest 5K

European visitors come first in tight finishes

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 16, 2017

MIRAMICHI, N.B. – The Miramichi River Runners went cross-country with the latest in their 2017 race series yesterday, and they did with a bit of an international feel.
The club welcomed 34 runners to its 5K race at the Miramichi cross-country ski club on Oct. 15, including visitors from Belgium and Germany.
In fact, Belgian runner Christopher Vergotte won the race with a time of 19:48 in an exciting finish, edging Sylvain Arseneau by only one second.
“It is nice to have somebody pushing you all the way,” said Arseneau, who said he had fun at the event. “The weather was perfect and the trails were good too. It is always well organized in the Miramichi races, thanks to their community.”

Only one second separated second place finisher Sylvain Arseneau (left) and first place finisher Christopher Vergotte in the cross-country 5K race hosted by the Miramichi River Runners on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Norma MacLean photo

While he prefers road racing, Arseneau said he also enjoys the cross-country events.
Finishing in third place was Paul Comeau at 20:56.
Finishing first among females was Johanna Borris, a German high school exchange student now studying in Miramichi, who came in at the 21:09 mark, only five seconds ahead of Paula Keating.
Keating said it was a nice change of atmosphere and scenery, and a great way to offer Miramichi hospitality to the visiting runners. Vergotte was visiting with his wife, who is originally from the area. In a “small world” coincidence, he and Keating had met when they were in the same race corral at the 2016 Boston Marathon.
“There were some very tight races, especially the men’s finish,” she said. “There was nice scenery and a bit of up and down; a true cross-country experience.”
The course is two loops of one of the local cross-country ski trails. Keating had managed to narrow the gap with Borris on the second loop, and passed Raymond Caissie in the final few metres of the race.
“I ran cautiously, as I am running the STWM (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon) half this weekend in Toronto,” she said. “I didn’t want to fall or twist an ankle running through the fallen leaves and hidden tree roots.”
Finishing in third place among females was Amy Barrieau at 25:09.
For complete results, visit the Miramichi River Runners site here .