CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – It was a charmed day for Stan Chaisson and Amber Spriggs after the Island natives won the P.E.I. Marathon overall and women’s titles on Sunday.
Chaisson’s third straight marathon crown came in a race-best time of two hours, 34 minutes and 40 seconds, :2:18 off his 2009 record-setting time and 44 seconds faster than last year. Spriggs crossed in 3:11:29, placed first among women and 18th overall, and tallied a new personal best in her first victory.
Chaisson rocketed into the lead from the start of the 15th version of the marathon helped by sunny skies, cool temperatures and a beneficial tailwind and never surrendered it. The Bear River native admitted perhaps it wasn’t the best idea, considering what lurked in the last throws of the race.
“I should have maybe . . . conserved energy for later, but instead went the other way,” Chaisson said. “The Sherwood Road was really a challenge with the hills and headwind. I didn’t know if I had enough energy to finish strong. But I’m happy overall with my second-best time ever.”
Jamie Lamond of Halifax was second in 2:42:21. Third place went to Ian Holdway, also of Halifax, in 2:46:45.
For Spriggs, who begins RCMP officer training next month in Regina, Sask., her first marathon win might be her last. The Charlottetown native, who trains with women’s record-holder Jen Nicholson, said it’s a bittersweet win but well worth it.
“I won’t be back for a while. I started running four years ago with Jen, running every morning, training together. I definitely wouldn’t be here without her,” Spriggs said.
Spriggs has been close to the winner’s circle, finishing second last year and third in 2016, but broke through Sunday despite the same huge headwind Chaisson faced.
“You just focus on the effort, don’t look at your watch, don’t get caught up in the numbers,” Spriggs said.
Second on the women’s side was Charlottetown’s Leanne Vessey (3:14:31), while Katelin Barkey of Huntsville, Ont., crossed in third (3:19:21).
Chaisson and Spriggs qualified for the Boston Marathon next April. Chaisson also plans to run in the Chicago International Marathon next October.
In the half marathon, Britney Benoit of Halifax earned the women’s title with a 1:31:02 effort ahead of Maude Bertrand (1:37:46) of Pont-Rouge, Que., and Stratford’s Maureen Peters (1:37:46).
“I’m in shock,” said Benoit, who trains with the Halifax Road Hammers running club. “It was windy out there at first and then coming back into town. A tough headwind and a bit of a climb. But it was a good day (on the weather) front, couldn’t have asked for much better except maybe a little less wind.”
Stratford’s Vincent Merriam won the men’s half marathon in 1:16:22, ahead of Halifax’s Doug Hayami (1:18:12) and Scott Langille (1:20:57) of New Glasgow, N.S.
“It was a great morning for it, a little bit of a westerly wind (that was) pretty strong, especially on the Sherwood Road, but other than that, like on University Avenue, it was awesome,” Merriam said.
He had run the full marathon twice, but never the half marathon. He said it was a couple of degrees cooler on Sunday than his previous entries into the P.E.I. Marathon.
Top five category winners at Sunday’s P.E.I. Marathon.
Grant Thornton Full Marathon
1. Stan Chaisson, Bear River, 2:34:40; 2. Jamie Lamond, Halifax, N.S., 2:42:21; 3. Ian Holdway, Halifax, 2:46:45; 4. Colin McQuade, Riverview, N.B., 2:46:51; 5. Kris Taylor, Hunter River, 2:49:19.
1. Amber Spriggs, Charlottetown, 3:11:29; 2. Leanne Vessey, Charlottetown, 3:14:31; 3. Katelin Barkey, Huntsville, Ont., 3:18:21; 4. Danielle Carter, Dartmouth, N.S., 3:22:19; 5. Janet Hawkins, Halifax, N.S., 3:27:44.
Dairy Farmers of Canada Half Marathon
1. Vincent Merriam, Stratford, 1:16:22; 2. Doug Hayami, Halifax, N.S., 1:18:12; 3. Scott Langille, New Glasgow, 1:20:57; 4. Drew Moore, Halifax, N.S., 1:21:21; 5. Tyler Read, Charlottetown, 1:21:43.
1. Britney Benoit, Halifax, N.S., 1:31:02; 2. Maude Bertrand, Pont-Rouge, Que., 1:37:46; 3. Maureen Peters, Stratford, 1:39:42; 4. Wavey Burke, Mira Gut, N.S., 1:40:04; 5. Laura Peters, Kingston, N.S., 1:40:10.
Bell Let’s Talk Half Marathon Walk For Mental Health
1. John Graham, Manotick, Ont., 2:27:54; 2. Adriana Veer, Marshfield, 2:30:15; 3. Robert Poirier, Tracadie, N.B., 2:34:08; 4. Andrew Wohlgemut, Marshfield, 2:35:17; 5. Denis Poirier, Tracadie-Sheila, N.B., 2:39:53.
Pursuit 10K Run
1. Chris Watson, Huntsville, Ont., :35:29; 2. Troy Cox, Huntsville, Ont., 36:12; 3. Mark Sinnage, Huntsville, N.S., :37:11; 4. David Gallant, Charlottetown, :39:22; 5. Aivar Koppel, Charlottetown, :39:31.
Bell Let’s Talk 10-Kilometre Walk For Mental Health
1. Karen Boyle, Fredericton, N.B., :48:18; 2. Gillian Niblett, Oakville, Ont., 1:11:04; 3. Karen Liptrap, Oakville, Ont., 1:11:04; 4. Ronnie Blanchard, Charlottetown, 1:13:56; 5. Roger Beazley, Charlottetown, 1:13:56.
Goodlife Fitness 5K Run
1. Andrew Wong, Charlottetown, :17:21; 2. Daniel Godfrey, Charlottetown, :18:38; 3. Rob Binns, Stratford, :18:54; 4. Paul Thibodeau, Moncton, N.B., :19:44; 5. Alexander Rogers, Charlottetown, :20:00.
Bell Let’s Talk 5-Kilometre Walk For Mental Health
1. Mary MacLeod, Charlottetown, :38:18; 2. Barry Cudmore, Brackley Beach, :39:18; 3. Penny Woodgate, Montague, :40:30; 4. Alvin Croken, Summerside, :40:24; Karen Weeks Charlottetown, :42:15.
Subaru of Charlottetown Corporate Relay
1. Court 6 Chicks (Jill Edwards, Beth Murphy, Jocelyn Dougan, Kyle Holmes, Sarah O’Connell, Laura Deighan), 2:49:55; 2. ADL (Brett Adams, Taylor Somers, Jordan Cameron, Cole Adams, Dakota Cameron, Timothy MacAusland, Brody Ellis, Jesse Cameron), 2:58:22; 3. Cf 782 Men (Andie Craswell, Will Stewart, Morgan Watts, Joel Banks, Terry MacIsaac, Kevin Goodwin, Derek Gaudette, Mike Ives), 3:02:11; 4. Crossfit Charlottetown Black (Robert Howatt, Mike Rae, Jeff MacKenzie, Kris MacKinnon, Zack Wall, Ben Howard, Steve Camesten), 3:04:38; 5. HMCS Queen Charlotte (Jaime Donaldson, Deidre Mercier, David MacPherson, Amber Gaudette, Keirstin Visser, Spencer Lee, Pat Davis, Clark Upton), 3:25:59.
1. Ryan Bulger, Charlottetown, :13:50; 2. Alan Stanley, Charlottetown, :15:52; 3. James Poirier, Charlottetown, :20:29; Liane Gallant, Charlottetown :20:43; 5. Brandon Rose, Ten Mile House, :20:45.
(For complete results, visit http://atlanticchip.ca/.)