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Ultra runner Steve Reeves sees similarities between the sport and life

Freetown native Steve Reeves won the masters athlete of the year award at the recent Sport P.E.I. awards night. From left are Jamie MacPhail of Amalgamated Dairies Ltd., Reeves and Sport P.E.I. board member Ron Waite. Phil Matusiewicz/Sport P.E.I.
Freetown native Steve Reeves won the masters athlete of the year award at the recent Sport P.E.I. awards night. From left are Jamie MacPhail of Amalgamated Dairies Ltd., Reeves and Sport P.E.I. board member Ron Waite. Phil Matusiewicz/Sport P.E.I. - Contributed

Freetown native earns masters athlete of the year award at the recent Sport P.E.I. awards night

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

OK, so ultra running is defined as running any race longer than a 42-kilometre marathon.

That’s gruelling for even seasoned runners. Tack on more distance and the question becomes why?

For Steve Reeves, who won the masters athlete of the year at the recent Sport P.E.I. awards presentations in Charlottetown, ultra running is about dealing with the mind’s highs and lows as much as the body’s aches and pains.

“It’s more mental than physical. It has all the ups and downs of life,” Reeves said.

The Freetown native has seen a few of those mountains and valleys before he started in the sport. An injury to his back on his farm forced rehab which included swimming (one part of triathlon). He decided triathlon seemed a good way to stay fit. Marathoning, also part of triathlon, then morphed into ultra running and from there he was hooked.

“One thing led to another and it led to ultra running.”

Good thing, too, for the 43-year-old’s 2018 was a fine year.

He won the Sonofa Gunofa Last Man Standing race in Five Islands, N.S., and set an event record by completing the 5.8-kilometre course 24 times, running almost 140 kilometres, in about 24 hours.

He also topped the field at the Round the Cape 48-kilometre race in Cape Chignecto Provincial Park in Nova Scotia and placed sixth of 359 runners at the Squamish 50/50 event in Squamish, B.C. It’s a 50-mile and 50-kilometre trail race run on back-to-back days.

Those results earned him the notice of Sport P.E.I. and the masters nod at the annual awards.

“I was quite surprised (at the win). It’s a pretty great event,” he said.

As for what’s next, well, it involves more trail time and more training. He’s planned two events this year, defending his Last Man Standings title and a 100-mile race in Chignecto, and he said so far, it’s more than enough.

“You can’t bang one of these off every weekend,” Reeves said.


Looking back

A look at the recent winners of the ADL masters athlete of the year
2017    Cory Jay, cycling.
2016    Heather Ayles, powerlifting.
2015    Tom Nicholls, powerlifting.
2014    Brad Kennedy, powerlifting.
2013    Michael Gaudet, long distance running.
2012    Mike MacKinnon, long distance running.
2011    Jen Nicholson, long distance running.
2010    Tom Nicholls, powerlifting.
2009    Jen Nicholson, running.
2008    Colin Affleck, karate.

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