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Murphy, Hamilton win Maritime Race Weekend marathon

Multiple course records fall on Saturday

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 16, 2017

   EASTERN PASSAGE, N.S. – When James Murphy lined up against the likes of Matthias Mueller, Ryan O’Shea and Greg Wieczorek in his very first marathon this morning, he wondered if he was in over his head.
   Two hours and thirty-seven minutes later, the Saint John, N.B. runner crossed the finish line in first place at Maritime Race Weekend, shattering the previous course record by almost 12 minutes, and cementing himself a place in the Maritime elite at the 42.2K distance.
   “I was hoping to try and get under 2:45, so, when I saw the 2:37 when I came in to the finish, I couldn’t believe it,” said Murphy. “Without running with a watch, I had no idea of what pace I was running.”

Jamie Lamond (left) and Rami Bardeesy raced to a first place tie in the first-ever 15K trail race at Maritime Race Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Photo courtesy of Luke MacDonald

   Murphy crossed the line at the 2:37:56 mark, followed by O’Shea at 2:39:37, and Mueller at 2:55:50.
   “After years of running 10Ks and halfs, I had a very hard time holding back off the start, but I hung back with Greg and Matthias and waited my time,” he said. “By 17K I was sitting in no man’s land, but started to focus on trying to catch Ryan, who was quite a ways ahead.”
   From 20-32K, he slowly inched up on O’Shea and was able to pass him. Struggling to keep pace in the last 5K was excruciating, but he said it was motivating to know there was a cash prize waiting for the winner.
   Needless to say, his first experience at Maritime Race Weekend was a positive one.
   “I can’t say enough about the event,” said Murphy. “It’s first-class, and I’ve never experienced anything like it in Atlantic Canada. Everything was well organized and executed perfectly, and it was a pleasure to take part in.”
   Emily Hamilton of Halifax was the top female finisher at 3:02:00, obliterating the previous course record by more than nine minutes.
   Despite her fast time, Hamilton said the course was loaded with challenges.
   “It was a tough course with a lot of hills - steep ones included, spaced out to hurt,” she said. “The volunteers were great, but there was a lot of loneliness throughout the race, especially on the trail. There were cheering signs with every marathoner’s name on a section of that trail, letting you know you can do this. The lead cyclist was also a great support, as well as my friends cheering me on.”
   Both Hamilton and Murphy received $500 cash prizes for their wins, along with an extra $100 for setting new course records.
   Finishing second among females was Clara Lownie at 3:30:20, followed by Beth Horne at 3:44:57.
   Making its debut at Maritime Race Weekend this year was the Tidal Trail 15K on Saturday afternoon, and its finish featured a tie for top spot between Halifax runners Jamie Lamond and Rami Bardeesy at the 57:41 mark.
   For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
   “I was lucky to run the race with a good friend and we had an amazing time,” said Lamond. “There were so many great athletes, volunteers and, of course, the amazing Michelle (Kempton) at the helm, that the event really couldn’t have been anything but fabulous.”
   Finishing third in the 15K was Graham McIntyre at 1:05:09. Top female was Morgan Hawkes of Halifax at the 1:06:39 mark, followed by Melissa Murray at 1:13:44 and Heather Lee-Callaghan at 1:13:46.
   Following up his victory in the Sunset 5K on Friday night, Tim Huebsch of Toronto cruised to another first place finish in today’s 10K race, with a time of 33:03.
   “I didn’t feel fantastic with the 5K in my legs, but I figured I would try to double my 5K time from last night to the 10K this morning,” said Huebsch. “I negative split the race and felt pretty good towards the end. The crowds were great again, and the views even better.”
   Both of Huebsch’s wins were new course records at the event.
   Also delivering impressive back-to-back performances was Paula James of Windsor, who raced to a first overall finish with an 18:22 result in the Sunrise 5K. It was only six seconds slower than her PB showing in last night’s Sunset 5K.
   “I was so thrilled with last night, that I had no pressure whatsoever for today,” said James. “I’m usually pretty careful about taking a recovery run after a hard race, so I was curious what I could actually do, back to back. I went out a little conservatively but finished strong and was really surprised to be that close to last night’s PB.”
   She gave credit for her successful racing year to her running team, the Mountain View Runners, which she said provides her with huge inspiration and motivation.
   Coming in second in this morning’s 5K was top male Kyle Patelakis of Hammonds Plains, with a time of 18:40, followed by Kenzie Urquhart at 18:47 and Dirk Wierstra at 18:53. Second among females was Stacey Durling at 20:47, followed by Erica Croke at 23:40.