MacLean motors as RunWild winner

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The Priority Printing half-marathon winner surpassed expectations at the eighth annual Leading Edge Physiotherapy RunWild.

“I decided to do the race yesterday,” said a refreshed-looking Trevor MacLean after tearing up the course in one hour, 17 minutes and 53 seconds on a sun-drenched Sunday morning.

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I just did the Boston Marathon a couple of weeks ago so I didn’t really know what was in my legs,” said the 380th overall finisher as the 372nd male at 2:47:03 in his eighth marathon April 16.

“I just went in today to have some fun.”

MacLean’s goal “was to go around 1:19, just kind of a training run to get back into training for the Edmonton Marathon (Aug. 19).”

MacLean, 30, was so fast the medal presenters in Victory Lane scrambled to greet the RunWild champion upon his arrival and without breaking stride he zipped through the race village in Lions Park for a lengthy cool-down jaunt with a slightly out of shape Gazette reporter in hot pursuit for post-race comments.

MacLean’s blazing result was the second fastest in race history. The record of 1:15:39 was set by Sean Seville of St. Albert in 2015, the same year MacLean placed 11th overall at 1:29:08

“Sean and I are good running buddies,” said MacLean, who moved to St. Albert from Ottawa three years ago before relocating to Edmonton. “I love running in St. Albert. It’s good to come back and run here. The vibe in St. Albert is so good.

“There is nothing better than running the trails here.”

MacLean bolted from the starting line like a shotgun blast and ran solo the rest of the way.

“It was a lot of fun,” said the first of 189 finishers out of 213 registered for the run/walk race.

The 21-1-kilometre route started in front of St. Albert Place and wound its way up Sturgeon Road to join the trail system beside the Sturgeon River to Kingswood Park before heading towards the Sturgeon Valley Golf & Country Club. After going down Bellerose Drive, the runners continue into Oakmont before crossing the Oakmont bridge to rejoin the trails on the way to Sir Winston Churchill Avenue and Riel Drive for the final stretch drive to Victory Lane.

“They changed the course this year. It was definitely a hillier route that’s for sure with that extra hill at probably right around 18 K. It definitely added to the race,” MacLean said. “It was a beautiful day with no wind whatsoever. Usually it’s pretty windy out in St. Albert in the Sturgeon area.

“It was just really nice to come run in the sun that’s for sure. The Boston Marathon was a good race but the weather (rain, cold temperatures and gusty winds) was awful.”

A distant second behind Maclean was Paul St. Amant (50 to 59) of Bonnyville at 1:28:23, followed by Terence Palmer (40 to 49) of Edmonton at 1:29:48 and Mark Longman (20 to 29) of Fort Saskatchewan at 1:31:21.

‘The weather conditions were very good to start out in the morning,” said Longman, 28, a first-year RunWild competitor. “There were a few gradual hills along the way, especially at the end there but otherwise it was very nice conditions to run the race,”

St. Amant, a RunWild regular and the 2013 St. Albert Fall Challenge half-marathon winner, was also last year’s runner-up at 1:27:33 behind Marc Meunier’s first-place effort of 1:22:28.

Meunier, the athletic director at Paul Kane High School, was also the second-place finisher behind Seville three years ago at 1:18:52.

MacLean was in mid-season form for RunWild after the Boston Marathon and the First Half Half-Marathon on Feb. 11 in Vancouver where he placed 13th overall as the 12th male at 1:15:53.

“That was a completely different course. There were a lot of hills out here,” said MacLean, who admitted the half-marathon “is not his specialty” race.

“Marathons are my main thing. I did Edmonton last year (2:46:40 for 10th place) to qualify for Boston and I hope to do it again,” said the Lululemon employee who spent a recent sabbatical training in Kenya.

Meanwhile, the top-three finishers in the Rapid Cash 10-km race were Nic Wang at 37:26, Jonathan Bakker at 43:07 and Robyn Carignan of St. Albert at 43:38.

The podium finishers in the Leading Edge five km were from St. Albert: Dawson de Sousa at 20:10, Ben Colliou at 20:21 and Shannon Maisano at 20:39.

Visit www.zone4.ca for RunWild results.

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Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.