Was in contention for becoming race’s first overall female winner
KENSINGTON – As the 40th annual Harvest Festival Road Race progressed on Saturday morning, Joanne Reid had everyone asking one question – could this be a history-making performance?
There was no doubt the 27-year-old Reid was in control en route to winning back-to-back female titles, but she was also right in contention for the overall championship. No female runner has ever finished first overall in this race.
“Early on a little bit it was on my mind, but it was pretty early in the race,” said Reid in commenting on her bid to make race history. “I knew there were a lot of speedy people in the race.”
Reid’s time was one hour 44 minutes 53 seconds (1:44:53), good enough for third overall for the second straight year. That equals the highest-ever finish for a female runner in the Harvest Festival race. Reid had a time of 1:45:00 last year.
“I was debating whether to sign up because my hamstrings have been bothering me,” said Reid in a post-race interview. “In the beginning, it started really good, and there were some really fast runners this year.
“I felt if I could keep pace with them early on I could try and finish strong.”
Calvin DesRoches was the race’s overall winner in 1:42:43, and Edwin Gillis was second in 1:44:44. Helga Reisch was the second-place female, and sixth overall, in 1:50:26.
Reid and DesRoches led the field for most of the 25-kilometre race that started at the old Church of Scotland in Stanchel and finished in front of Community Gardens in Kensington.
“The Harvest Festival is one of the most challenging (races) I’ve ever done,” said Reid. “It’s good to get the hills in early and out of the way. It was a good day for it, the clouds were here and it was cool.”
It was during the last five kilometres of the race, noted Reid, when DesRoches started to pull away and her hamstrings began to bother her.
“I could feel myself tiring, and he seemed like he (DesRoches) had lots of steam left and he took off,” said Reid, who noted Gillis passed her on the Kelvin Grove Road.
“I was debating whether to sign up because my hamstrings have been bothering me. In the beginning, it started really good, and there were some really fast runners this year. I felt if I could keep pace with them early on I could try and finish strong.” Joanne Reid
“I could hear footsteps coming, so I knew he (Gillis) was on the way and had a lot left in him,” added Reid.
Overall, though, Reid was pleased with her run.
“Initially, my hope was to not do too bad and mainly to cross the finish line without them (hamstrings) seizing up,” said Reid, who ran in her third Harvest Festival race.
Reid says it’s important “not to outpace yourself early on and try to race your own race” in running the gruelling 25-kilometre course.
“It’s definitely easy to get caught up in the adrenaline early on and the excitement of the day,” said Reid. “But you want to try to finish strong and hold a little back so you can finish strong at the end.”