Kensington’s Helga Reisch-MacNeill has run the P.E.I. Marathon on and off for the past eight years.
Sunday, she added her first victory to her resumé, much to her own surprise.
“It’s a cherry on top. I wasn't expecting that, so it’s kind of nice,” she said.
Reisch-MacNeill, 47, completed the 42.2-kilometre course in 3:12:23, one of her fastest marathon times. Winning the title wasn’t her goal entering Sunday.
“I just wanted to beat 3:20, so I’m pretty happy,” she said.
A trio of New Brunswickers were the next women to finish the course. Aline Goguen was second in 3:18:46, followed by Suzanne Myers in 3:19:53 and Arran Griffith in 3:21:43.
Montague’s Lora Kemp was the second Island woman to finish the race, placing seventh in 3:25:10.
Reisch-MacNeill returned home Saturday from Calgary after spending Thanksgiving with her family and celebrating her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. She admitted to having a bit of jet lag, but it didn't seem to affect her running and sitting the race out didn’t seem to be an option.
“I only run one a year and this was it.”
She said the conditions were among the most ideal for her that she has experienced while competing in the Grant Thornton full marathon.
“The wind was at our back for a lot of it or across. It was beautiful. It was really nice conditions to run.”
Reisch-MacNeill runs with the Island Girls in Kensington and said they had a couple of teams in the relay event.
“They’re having a great time,” she said.
Reisch-MacNeill said a friend told her she had about a five-minute lead with about five kilometres to go.
“It’s nice to know,” she said. “There’s always that nightmare of someone passing you right at the end.”
As she approached the downtown, the support was evident as people clapped, cheered and made noise for the runners.
“It’s awesome and there’s a lot of people here today.”
A look at the top five finishers in each of the categories from Sunday’s P.E.I. Marathon. Included is the chip time from Atlantic Chip. Full results at http://atlanticchip.ca.
Grant Thornton Marathon
Trevor Funk, Saint John, N.B., 2:43:11; Eaton Seagrave, Toronto, 2:44:40; Stephen Peck, Toronto, 2:52:12; Christian Creutzer, Parkville, Md.; 2:54:07; Colin McQuade, Riverview, N.B., 2:55:39.
Helga Reisch-MacNeill, Kensington, 3:12:23; Aline Goguen, Grande-Digue, N.B., 3:18:46; Suzanne Myers, Moncton, 3:19:53; Arran Griffith, Moncton, 3:21:43; Whitney Canning, Dartmouth, N.S., 3:22:09.
Dairy Farmers of Canada Half Marathon
Trevor MacLean, Edmonton, 1:14:35; Wade Were, Dartmouth, N.S., 1:18:56; Vincent Merriam, Stratford, 1:19:42; Brandon Higginbotham, Charlottetown, 1:21:09; Slyvain Vaillancourt, Amqui, Que., 1:22:06.
Leanne Vessey, York, 1:30:02; Kristy Newson, Stratford, 1:30:16; Amanda Clinton, Mount Stewart, 1:32:34; Lindsay Laltoo, Moncton, 1:32:38; Kristen Callaghan, Halifax, 1:32:53.
Race Roster 16K
Scott Clark, Summerside, 1:10:30; Ian Forgeron, Charlottetown, 1:24:05; Nathan Foster, Frenchfort, 1:25:08; Randy Frith, Mallorytown, Ont., 1:28:26; Kurt Laird, Cardigan, 1:32:32
Kristy Moore, Halifax, 1:15:09; Dianne Sharpe, Fredericton, N.B., 1:22:56; Adriana Veer, Marshfield, 1:22:56; Sheena MacCallum, Marshfield, 1:22:56; Maureen Peters, Stratford, 1:24:58.
GoodLife Fitness 10K
Justin Clarke, Dartmouth, N.S., 34:44; Graeme Allardice, Halifax, 35:55: Clint White, Summerside, 39:25; Jarred Toole, Stratford, 41:54; Brent Coade, Charlottetown, 42:34.
Paula James, Windsor, N.S., 37:36; Erin Poirier, Halifax, 39:27; Joanie Cyr, Fatima, Que., 43:50; Kelly Weir, Upper Coverdale, N.B., 47:51; Lindsay Steeves, Moncton, 48:02.
Kelson Devereaux, Ben Eoin, N.S., 16:48; Alex Rogers, Charlottetown, 19:12; Shawn Stewart Blizzard, Dieppe, N.B., 19:33; Paul Thibodeau, Moncton, 19:37; Carter Bruce, Stratford, 19:39.
Madeleine Crowell, Charlottetown, 18:31; Lindsey MacNeil, Arichat, N.S., 20:50; Roya MacDonald, Moncton, 21:09; Reese Kelly, Charlottetown, 21:21; Emma Stanley, Charlottetown, 21:24.
Bell Let’s Talk Half Marathon
Rod MacDonald, Tenmile House, 2:43:47; James Boswall, Frenchfort, 2:49:43; Eldon White, Smith Falls, Ont., 3:09:27.
Hongmei Liu, Charlottetown, 2:24:10; H. Diane Boswall, Frenchfort, 2:49:42; Carole Robichaud, Dieppe, N.B., 2:51:06; Odette Gaudet, Moncton, 2:55:24; Debbie Barry, York, 2:56:11.
Bell Let’s Talk 16K
Kevin MacIsaac, Stratford, 2:26:46; Shane Boyd, Caraquet, N.B., 3:46:40.
Amanda Winchester, Quispamsis, N.B., 2:31:18; Alexya Heelis, Quispamsis, N.B., 2:31:18; Ellen Steeves, Rothesay, N.B., 2:58:39; Christine Lanteigne, Caraquet, N.B., 3:46:41.
Bell Let’s Talk 10K
Ronnie Blanchard, Charlottetown, 1:11; Roger Beazley, Charlottetown, 1:10:59; Andrew Holland, Fredericton, N.B., 1:13:55; Blair McQuaid, Tracadie Cross, 1:16:11; Ryan MacNeill, Charlottetown, 1:18:07.
Florence Marie Curran, St. Teresa, 1:23:38, Emma MacKenzie, Charlottetown, 1:24:15; Leah Deveau, Charlottetown, 1:26:11; Marlene Richardson, Kensington, 1:27:19; Patricia Callaghan, Stratford, 1:27:06.
Bell Let’s Talk 5K
Rob Shaw, Bible Hill, N.S., 40:05; Barry Cudmore, Brackley Beach, 40:08; Wallace Donovan, Springhill, N.S., 43:08; David Taylor, Delafield, Wisc., 47:09; Ethan Fan, Stratford, 48:22.
Mary Ann Gallant, Souris, 40:25; Karen Stanley, Charlottetown, 43:07; Kathy Norrie, Charlottetown, 43:07; Kirsten Stairs, Rocky Point, 42:13.
Spinal Cord Injury P.E.I. Wheelchair
Ryan Bulger, Charlottetown, 16:18; Paul Alan, Charlottetown, 23:43; Ron Russell, Stratford, 28:24; Mickey Watts, Charlottetown, 32:08; Gord McNeilly, Charlottetown, 32:18.
Jennifer Neill, York, 21:02; Allyson McDonell, Summerside, 21:02; Dawn Alan, Charlottetown, 23:44; Lindsay Reid, Summerside, 32:11.
Subaru of Charlottetown Corporate Relay
Court 6 Jets, 2:55:05; Court 6 Flyers, 3:03:52; ADL, 3:14:50; Court 6 Mamas, 3:30:54; Charlottetown Airport – FLYPEI, 3:31:45.