Elite runners dominate in Race to the Sea

Brodie Thomas
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It takes a runner a few kilometers to really hit his or her stride in a race.

Peter Bazeley crosses the finish line at the final leg of Race to the Sea. He was two minutes shy of beating the course record. Leg 11 is about 16 kilometres, from Grandy's River Collegiate to the Rose Blanche Lighthouse parking lot.

Likewise, it may have taken 12 years but the annual Race to the Sea may finally be hitting its stride when it comes to attracting elite runners.

 

More and more semi-professional and professional runners are taking part in the event which has teams running 11 legs between Cape Anguille Lighthouse and Rose Blanche Lighthouse in a singe day.

Kate Bazeley and her husband Peter and two of the best-known runners in Newfoundland.

Kate recently won the Tely 10 in St. John's, but that is just her latest win. She also won the BMO Half Marathon in Vancouver in May, and came second in the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June.

In the Race to the Sea, she ran the second-last leg from LeGallais Memorial School in Isle aux Morts to Grandy's River Collegiate outside Burnt Islands.

Kate said going into the race, she looked up the course record and set her goals on that. Organizers of the event keep track of the best time in each leg for both men and women. She quickly clarifies that she checked out the men's course record.

She of course broke it with a record of 41:08, shaving a minute and 10 seconds off the old record. She was one of three women to break overall course records that had previously been held by men.

Her husband Peter was about two minutes off the supposedly unbeatable record in the final 16 kilometre leg of the race.

That one stretches from Grandy's River Collegiate to the parking lot at the Rose Blanche Lighthouse. Peter did it in under an hour - 58 minutes and 38 seconds.

"It is extremely hilly and challenging," said Peter. "Not all that different from Cape to Cabot."

It was his second time running that leg.

Kate enjoyed the atmosphere of the run.

"During your leg - people would follow the runners - you'd have cheering the whole way."

Denise Robson from Cole Harbour, N.S. ran with the Scotian Skippers team. She was just behind Peter on the last leg of the race and set a new women's record in leg 11. She shaved over seven minutes off the old record, for a time of one hour, three minutes and 14 seconds.

"I didn't know what I was getting into," she said after the race. "I underestimated it - that's for sure."

Robson has done marathons in under 2 hours and 40 minutes, which is considered a world-class time.

She said she wasn't expecting this hills, but she had a good support team and was able to set the new record.

 

Organizations: Grandy's

Geographic location: St. John's, Vancouver

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