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More than 600 run Point Pleasant Park

MEC kicks off 2017 series with biggest turnout yet

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Jan. 29, 2017

HALIFAX – Launching the MEC Halifax running series a few weeks later than expected worked out pretty well.
The 2017 series kicked off on Sunday, Jan. 29 with its annual run at Point Pleasant Park, an event that drew more than 600 runners, making it the largest MEC Halifax run to date, according to race director Christine Krochak.
“It was amazing,” she said. “The weather was decent and the runners were awesome. There were lots of great hugs, and today they were keeping me warm too!”
Of the 600 registered, 400 signed up for the entire MEC package this year, which includes four more races as well as a nighttime fun run in September. Today’s registrations included 18 walk-ons, much to Krochak’s delight. Originally scheduled for Jan. 8, a snowstorm forced a three-week postponement of the event.
As for the run itself, which included 10K and 5K races on a course that many would describe as challenging, some impressive times were posted. Chad Gilbert placed first in the 10K with a 36:49 time, followed by Ryan Francom at 38:20 and Michael Bergeron at 38:53. Lexi Juurlink was the top female finisher with a 42:47 time. In the 5K, Lee McCarron placed first at 17:43, followed by Drew Moore at 18:02 and Ian Loughead at 18:29. Top female was Lindsay Lamrock at 20:46.
See Atlantic Chip for complete official results .
“Overall, the race was great,” said McCarron. “It was a perfect day, around zero for temperature, and no wind, which is rare for along the water at Point Pleasant.”
He likened the course to a cross-country race, with a few challenging hills in the first half that runners get back in the second half.
Lamrock said she was overwhelmed by the number of participants this year.
“This race series is becoming very popular due to low fees and being so well organized,” she said. “Conditions were perfect and the trail was almost bare. Last year was a sheet of ice and in some spots you were forced to walk.”
Despite her impressive finish, Lamrock said she is recovering from an injury and has not been training, so was a bit disappointed in her time.
Darrell Hill, Angela Doiron, Daphne Arsenault take part in the 10K race at MEC 1 – Point Pleasant Park on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Photos by Tim Chesnutt
McCarron, coach of the Halifax Road Hammers, joined the race to help Moore, one of his teammates. It added some “quality” to the 20K total he ran that day.
Another running club represented at the event was the North End Runners, with member Janna Morrison finishing second among females in the 10K with a 44:39 time.
“The race was well organized and the route easy to follow,” she said. “There were a couple of challenging hills but they balanced out with some rewarding downhills. I was happy with my finish result this early into the race season. Hopefully this is the start of a good run season in 2017.”
It was Francom’s second time running the Point Pleasant Park race, and he said conditions were much better this year than last year. He said he was pleasantly surprised to find no ice on the trails, nor any strong winds on the Sailor Memorial Road portions of the run.
He described it as a fun and dynamic course, with a good view of Halifax Harbour along much of the course, and a race that he needed at this time. He admitted he did not come into the run with a lot of confidence.
“This year I’m doing a lot of my training solo, so sometimes when I don’t see results I feel like I’m stagnating and not improving, which can lead to a lot of negativity during training runs,” said Francom. “I haven’t run a race since last October so, seeing the huge improvement from my results at last year’s MEC 1 has helped serve as a palate cleanser and help reaffirm that I haven’t totally backslid.”
He also commended Krochack’s efforts as race director, and said she is a big reason why the MEC races are so enjoyable.
“It’s also nice to race again and feel like you’re part of the amazing Nova Scotia running community,” he said. “It’s refreshing to see so many familiar faces and get to catch up with friends (and sometimes race rivals). I think the level of support is a great motivator for me to continue in my efforts to improve.”
Next up for the MEC Halifax series will be MEC 2 at Citadel Hill on April 30.