The “Killer Course” lived up to its name, according to two first-time runners of the Malpeque Bay Credit Union Harvest Festival 25-Kilometre Road Race
P.E.I.’s longest-running road racing event celebrated its 46th anniversary under the hot sun Saturday morning.
“It definitely earns the nickname, that’s for sure,” said first-time runner Josh Smith, who is from Truro, N.S., but resides near London, Ont. “It was really hard, even to the point when you are not doing the hills anymore you are so tired from doing the hills that the flat parts are hard.”
Smith finished eighth overall in the 43-runner field in 2:01:40, despite losing time when he took a wrong turn before being directed back on the correct course.
The race starts in Stanchel – about 10 miles east of Kinkora – and features steep hills right off the start of the race. Another deceiving part is the number of steady inclines runners face on their way to the finish line at Alysha Toombs Memorial Park alongside Credit Union Centre in Kensington.
“It was challenging,” admitted Smith, 34. “There were lots of hills, lots of inclines and it was long. It felt longer than 25K, I will tell you that.”
Smith is no stranger to Canada’s smallest province. He went to UPEI and lived on P.E.I. for six years.
“I always try to get back here every summer and I always try to do a race when I am down,” said Smith. “I looked online and this is the one that is during the time I was here and thought I would give it a try.”
Smith added he would welcome the challenge of coming back next year to try and beat his time.
“There are not too many breaks in the whole thing,” added Smith. “I wouldn’t say it was fun, but I’m glad to have done it and think it’s one people should try if they are looking for a challenging race.”
Start of vacation
Jessica Forgie, who lives near Ottawa, started her vacation by running the Harvest Festival race after arriving on P.E.I. Friday night.
“I thought, ‘Well, let’s start it off with a run,’” said Forgie, 26. “A challenging one at that!”
Forgie was second in the Female Division and seventh overall with a time of 2:01:00.
“I wanted to do a race on Prince Edward Island,” said Forgie. “I really wanted to get a good time for the 25 kilometres and see how I did with the hills, so I decided on doing this one.”
Asked her thoughts on the course, Forgie responded: “It was pretty difficult at the beginning, but you just had to keep persevering through. The scenery and everyone around you keeps you going.
“The first 10 kilometres were definitely a challenge. You have to have a lot of mental strength, but overall it was a great race. I enjoyed it.”
Forgie said the one thing she learned about the course is that she will definitely do more “hill training and speed work” if she is to run the race again.
“I would definitely say it’s a high degree of difficulty,” said Forgie. “Don’t do it until you train with some hills and get some strides in there for pace on hills because you will suffer if you do not.”
Complete results of the 46th annual Malpeque Bay Credit Union Harvest Festival Road Race on Saturday morning:
1. Scott Clark (1:43:22); 2. Alex Bain (1:48:04); 3. Steve Dohaney (1:50:02); 4. Andrew Bryenton (1:51:57); 5. Helga Reisch-MacNeill (1:53:20); 6. Paul Burnley (2:00:49); 7. Jessica Forgie (2:01:00); 8. Josh Smith (2:01:40); 9. Leanne Vessey (2:03:39); 10. Jason Scarbro (2:05:27);
11. DJ Welton (2:08:27); 12. Leigh Ellen Walsh (2:09:09); 13. Jacob Simmons (2:09:39); 14. Francis Fagan (2:10:47); 15. Pam Power-McKenna (2:11:32); 16. Tony Wilson (2:12:16); 17. Michael Irvine (2:13:37); 18. Peter Goodacre (2:15:28); 19. Kipp Preston (2:18:26); 20. Scott Barry (2:18:30);
21. Natalie McDonald (2:20:10); 22. Sandra Gregory (2:20:18); 23. Chad MacMillan (2:20:52); 24. Paula Bzdell (2:24:00); 25. John Smallman (2:24:13); 26. Adam Stewart (2:24:37); 27. Corey Court (2:25:18); 28. Wayne Gairns (2:25:34); 29. Kevin MacIsaac (2:27:24); 30. Sylvio Bourque (2:39:06);
31. David Craig (2:39:36); 32. Matt Crane (2:43:13); 33. Angela Tozer (2:43:13); 34. Andy McQueen (2:45:33); 35. Mary Greenaway (2:45:33); 36. Katherine Gaudreau (2:46:17); 37. Shanice MacDonald (2:48:45); 38. Monica Higgins (2:51:08); 39. Glenn MacInnis (2:53:47); 40. Melissa Hannauer (2:53:47);
41. Sarah Higgins (2:57:08); 42. Andrew Tobin (2:58:12); 43. Christine Thibaudier (3:46:40).