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Sawyer, Hourihan defend 10-mile Canada Day crowns

Records fall at annual Grand Bay-Westfield race

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
July 2, 2017

GRAND BAY-WESTFIELD, N.B. – When he decided to make umbrellas his giveaway prize this year, Alex Coffin said that should have been a bad omen.
“I need to check my weather horoscope,” said the race director of the annual Canada Day 10 Miler in Grand Bay-Westfield. “I seem to be unlucky.”
The event drew 94 participants, 66 of them for the 10 mile race, the only 10 miler featured in the Run New Brunswick Super Series this year.
“We took a big hit due to the rain, but I am very confident that word of mouth will be very positive from this year,” said Coffin.

Runners head out for the annual Canada Day 10 Miler in Grand Bay-Westfield, N.B. on Saturday, July 1.

Photo by Alex Coffin

True to his feelings, this year’s participants were not complaining about the weather. In fact, Sacha Hourihan of Southfield, who repeated as the top female, said the weather was perfect compared to last year’s scorching hot day.
Instead, the runners were praising Coffin for another well-organized event.
“This race is one of my favourites,” said Hourihan, who took two minutes off her last year’s time with a 1:02:24 finish. “It’s a good course and Alex always puts on a fantastic event.”
Greg Sawyer of Edmundston was a repeat overall winner for the 10-mile race, trimming more than a minute off his 2016 time for a 56:55 finish.
Sawyer, who was thrilled to come in at under 57 minutes, loves this event.
“We don’t have too many 10-milers, and this one is also a certified course,” he said. “The course is a little shake and bake, but really challenging. Alex Coffin knows how to create a great event.”
Finishing second behind Sawyer was Daniel Leblanc at 59:47, followed by Sylvain Arseneau at 1:02:13. Top females behind Hourihan were Kristine Beaulieu at 1:10:20, and Marcie Holland at 1:11:47.
For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
In the 5K race, Dean Strowbridge of Willow Grove set a new course record with a time of 17:31.
Still recovering from an injury, Strowbridge said he was very happy with his race, which he used as a training run.
“I believe it’s the fastest way to get back into shape, which is just to jump into races,” he said, joking that the rain seems to be following him this year. “It was a bit of a tough course, but I enjoyed it. I was happy that my kms got faster as I ran.”
Finishing in second place was top female finisher Claire Olivier at 22:04, followed by Jillian Beck at 22:53, and Maryro Mendez at 23:34. Second male was Lukas Tymouski at 23:58, followed by Pat Lee at 25:32.
Strowbridge’s 5K finish was not the only record-breaker of the day. Lily Rae Coffin broke the 19-and-under record with her 1:33:43 10-miler, while Rob Jackson’s 1:05:58 set a new mark in the 60-69 category.