Harvest Festival Road Race nears

Journal Pioneer staff
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Runners to tackle challenging 25-kilometre course Saturday

KENSINGTON – It is one of the toughest, if not the most challenging, road races on P.E.I.

Calvin DesRoches and Joanne Reid, last year’s top male and female runners, run side by side in the early part of the 25-kilometre Harvest Festival Road Race. The 41st annual race goes Saturday.

Once again, runners will tackle the 25-kilometre distance in the annual Harvest Festival Road Race on Saturday.

“This is one of the most challenging runs on P.E.I., and possibly the Maritimes,” said race director Ivan Gallant, who “encourages anyone who wants a good challenge to come out and participate.”

Nicknamed the “Killer Course” by former Journal Pioneer sports editor Bill Semple because of its steep hills and challenging inclines, the race will start at the Church of Scotland on Route 225 in Stanchel at 8:30 a.m.

Runners will head west to Kinkora before turning onto Route 109 and heading to Kensington. The finish line will be at the Alysha Toombs Memorial Park in front of Community Gardens.

“It is a nice scenic route that passes by beautiful Scales Pond, and has some rolling hills throughout the course,” notes Gallant, who added the public is encouraged to greet and cheer on the runners at the finish line. “This is the longest foot road racing event on P.E.I., entering its 41st year.”

Course records

Bear River native Stanley Chaisson set the current course record of one hour 25 minutes 51 seconds (1:25:51) in 2007. Jen Nicholson of Cornwall established the female standard of 1:42:02 in 2008.

“That just tells anyone how great of runners we have right here on P.E.I., when both the male and female records are held by Islanders,” noted Gallant.

Joanne Reid of Stanley Bridge has an opportunity to win three female titles in a row after posting times of 1:45:00 in 2012 and 1:44:53 in 2013. Reid finished third overall both years.

Calvin DesRoches of Northam was the overall winner of last year’s race, which attracted a field of 73 runners, in 1:42:43.

“This is one of the most challenging runs on P.E.I., and possibly the Maritimes.” Race director Ivan Gallant

Registration

Gallant acknowledged he has already received some early registrations, and runners can also pre-register at the Fit-Plex upstairs at Community Gardens on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

On race day, registration will be held from 7:30 a.m. until race time at the start line in Stanchel. Race sponsor Malpeque Bay Credit Union has donated shirts to the first 80 runners to register.

This year, for the first time ever, the race will be chip timed by Ready2Race.

Awards

There will be an awards ceremony inside the Gardens following the race at approximately noon. Showers will also be available for participants at the Fit-Plex.

Anyone wishing any additional information, is encouraged to contact Ivan at 836-4124.

Previous Winners

The last five Harvest

Festival Road Race winners:

2013

Male – Calvin DesRoches, 1:42:43.

Female – Joanne Reid, 1:44:53, third overall.

Number of participants – 73.

2012

Male – Aron Croken, 1:41:10.

Female – Joanne Reid, 1:45:00, third overall.

Number of participants – 83.

2011

Mike MacKinnon 1:32:25.

Elita Rahn, 1:48:40, ninth overall.

Number of participants – 79.

2010

Male – Steven Baglole – 1:36:21.

Female – Jennifer Pizio-Perry, 1:54:08, 11th overall.

Number of participants – 70.

2009

Male – Alex Coffin – 1:31:56.

Female – Rebecca Pike, 1:57:22.

Number of participants – 70.

Organizations: Journal Pioneer, Church of Scotland on Route, Fit-Plex Malpeque Bay Credit Union Fit-Plex.Anyone

Geographic location: Stanchel, Community Gardens, Kinkora Kensington Alysha Toombs Memorial Park Stanley Bridge

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