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Record turnout for strawberry festival races

Beattie, Enman place first in Oxford

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
July 8, 2017

OXFORD, N.S. – The Oxford Strawberry Festival got off to a great start this morning with a record crowd for its annual races.
The 5K event drew 67 participants, while 36 opted for the 10K, much to the pleasure of race director David McLeod.
“We had our highest turnout ever, and some fast times,” said McLeod. “The feedback I got is that people really enjoyed the event.”
Local runner David Enman was first in the 5K race with a time of 19:23, which he considered a respectable effort in his adopted hometown.

Top finishers at the Oxford Strawberry Festival races today, shown here with Oxford Mayor Trish Stewart (centre), were (from left) Meaghan Kerman, Kent Beattie, Lindsay Laltoo, and David Enman.

Photo courtesy of Oxford Strawberry Festival on Facebook

“There were some strong runners competing in the 10K that I was expecting would be in the 40-minute range, so I just tried to stay close to them and push through the wall that I think we all experience in the latter part of a hard 5K effort,” he said.
Enman was sidelined by a knee injury in February, and returned to training about eight weeks ago.
He thanked the town and all the sponsors and volunteers who made the event a success.
Finishing second in the 5K was Derrick Priest at 19:45, followed by Danny Jardine at 20:50. Top female was Meaghan Kerman of Halifax at 21:51, followed by Joceline Young at 22:21, and Carol Puszka at 25:39.
For complete, official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
The wet weather did not deter anyone, according to Kerman, who participated in the event for the first time. She said she was impressed with the volunteers and the race director.
“David does a great job getting the community involved in the race event, as it’s a great lead-up to the strawberry festival going on all weekend,” she said. “The race was well organized, people were in high spirits, and the finishers medals were very unique this year, as they were made of wood.”
The only sore spot with runners this year were their claims that the 10K course was slightly short. The winner of that race, Kent Beattie, said it was the only drawback of the day.
The Amherst runner was first across the line with a time of 39:27, followed by Mitchell Peters at 39:49, and Daniel Quinn at 39:53.
Beattie took the lead at the start of the race, but was passed by Peters at around the 4K mark. He regained the lead at around 7K when the Sackville, N.B. runner slowed a bit, and achieved his goal of a sub-40-minute finish.
“I had planned on pushing for the last 2K, and kept to the plan,” said Beattie. “The course was well laid out and the volunteers were friendly and placed at the right intervals.”
Beattie was one of several members of the Amherst Striders running club taking part in the event. It was his second win in two weeks, having won the half marathon at the Cross Border Challenge on June 24.
“I’m extremely pleased with how I’m running and hopeful to keep getting faster in the coming weeks and months,” he said.
Lindsay Laltoo of Moncton, N.B. was the top female finisher with a time of 41:25, followed by Tanya Munroe at 48:05, and Amethyst O’Brien at 48:38.
“I found the race today to be excellent value for your dollar, and all the volunteers did an amazing job putting it on,” said Laltoo.
She was using the event as a tempo training workout for an upcoming fall marathon, so was not affected by the apparent short course.
“It didn’t bother me too much, but might have been disappointing to someone shooting for a specific time,” she said. “All in all, I had a great time and would run it again.”