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White, Drummond win Valley Harvest Marathon

More than 2,100 take part in 25th anniversary event

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 8, 2017

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Valley Harvest is more than just another run for Rachael Drummond of Timberlea. It’s become a family Thanksgiving tradition.
   Every year she makes the trip to Wolfville with her support team - her husband, her six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter – who wait patiently and cheer her at the finish. This year, they did not have to wait long, as she finished as the top female in the marathon, with a time of 3:32:00.
   “On a weekend where we all take some time to reflect on all the many things we have to be grateful for, this race most definitely makes my list,” she said. “We make a weekend of it every year, driving down with our family for apple picking, and the kids’ race, and then up early the next morning for the marathon.”

Matthew White of Halifax finished in first place at the Valley Harvest Marathon, with a time of 2:56:35.

Tim Chesnutt photo

   Drummond said she loves the Valley Harvest run because of its beautiful course, and amazing organizers, spectators and volunteers.
   “It was a little warm and humid today but there was a great breeze and, as always, the scenery and runners I was lucky to be able to chat with made it a great day for a run,” she said.
   Finishing first overall was Matthew White of Halifax, with a time of 2:56:35, the only marathoner to come in under the three-hour mark.
Despite some challenging conditions, he said he was happy with how his race went.
   “I made a conscious effort to hold back at the beginning, given the unseasonably warm temperatures,” said White. “The heat and wind still took their toll and I really slowed down from kilometres 33-39, but those last three kilometres along the home stretch with the wind at our backs were quite pleasant.”
   He described the course as nice, but challenging.
   “I didn’t like the stretch before the turnaround where they sent us up Longspell Road and down Water Street,” he said. “That section was very rough with all the potholes and poor patching jobs.”
   Finishing in second place was Jonathan Walker at 3:03:20, followed by Frank Reinhardt at 3:05:31. Second among females was Marianne Maclean at 3:36:15, followed by Petra Spires at 3:37:59.
   For complete official results by Atlantic Chip, visit here .
   In the half marathon, Lee McCarron of Halifax got the job done with an impressive 1:18:11 finish, leading the Halifax Road Hammers to a number of impressive performances.
   “Valley Harvest is always a great event, well organized, challenging courses, and not too far from the city,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to come to Wolfville, have a great weekend, and jump into a race before you head home for a well deserved Thanksgiving dinner.”
   McCarron entered the race to help pace teammate Justin Clarke to a strong finish in the half, and also used the opportunity as a workout as he gears up for the California International Marathon in December.
   “It’s a tough course, with many ups and downs, and there is no real spot to find rhythm, so you’re constantly changing gears,” he said. “It was a little warmer than ideal, and the wind was blustery, but those are conditions that are uncontrollable, so we adjust race plans based on the day.”
Coming in second place was Clarke at 1:19:01, followed by Jamie Lamond at 1:19:27.
The top female finisher was Chloe Austin of Dartmouth with a time of 1:27:27, followed by Alexis Juurlink at 1:29:21, and Shauna Wilcox at 1:34:41.
   The 10K race was led by another Road Hammer, Graeme Allardice of Halifax, with a time of 35:35.
   Valley Harvest is Allardice’s favourite race in the province due to the scenery and usual cool temperatures. His previous experiences have been running the half marathon, with his best showing a second place finish in 2013.
   His decision to run the 10K this year was made just days before the race, and he once again loved the event and its atmosphere.
   “I did the Rum Runners Relay (Leg 3) for the Halifax Road Hammers last weekend and had a good day, so I thought I would just try and ride the wave,” he said. “Some of the hills, especially up to the Irving on the way back to town were steeper than I recalled. Overall, I was fairly pleased, was shooting for a PB but that didn’t happen due in part to the humidity and higher than normal temperatures.”
   Finishing second was Mike Juurlink at 36:37, followed by Joseph Stewart at 37:39.
   The top female finisher was Paula James of Windsor, continuing her string of impressive performances, getting a personal best at the event for her fourth straight year with a time of 38:55.
   James said she loves racing at Valley Harvest because it is like home field advantage for her and her team, the Mountain View Runners, with so much encouragement and support.
   “Today was hot and humid and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off, but I ended up taking 16 seconds off my best time and I’m thrilled to have gone under 39,” she said. “I was racing some fast young gun teammates, which always makes it interesting.”
   Although she still thinks she can improve in the 10K, James said it is time to wrap up her season of competition, after racing 11 times in the last 12 weeks.
   “I really love to race but it’s time to recharge,” she said. “It’s been an amazing year and I’m so glad to cap it off with a 10K PB at Valley Harvest.”
   Finishing second among females was Katie Robinson at 41:39, followed by Madalyn Higgins at 41:51.
   The 5K saw Tyler Baker of Meadowvale and Samuel Cadrain of Berwick tie for first place with times of 17:51, followed by Taylor Muise at 18:30. The top female was Abby Lewis of Beaverbank with a time of 19:29, followed by Chrissy Smith at 19:43, and Ellen Taggart at 20:02.
   The 50K ultra marathon saw John Cameron of Halifax finish first at 3:56:33, followed by Nick Brooks at 4:00:31, and Stephen Patterson at 4:33:17.
   The top female finisher was Annie Michaud of Moncton, N.B., coming in at the 5:05:25 mark.
   It was Michaud’s second time at Valley Harvest, and she loves the event.
   “It is challenging, both physically and mentally for me,” she said. “The views and the area are absolutely breathtaking. I did not get the time I wanted, especially with the wind and hills, but I still managed to get in first female in the ultra.”
   Second place among females was Sheri Aisthorpe at 5:12:58, followed by Kimberly MacKenzie at 5:13:09.