Marc Meunier lived up to the hype as the pre-race favourite in the Leading Edge Physiotherapy RunWild.
The hometown runner was uncatchable in the Priority Printing half-marathon Sunday morning with a winning time of one hour, 22 minutes and 28 seconds.
“Honestly, this feels really good,” said a satisfied Meunier in the Victory Lane finish area.
“I didn’t come in super fit but sometimes you just race for position rather than time and today it wasn’t about the time,” said the Paul Kane High School athletic director. “I went out there pretty easy for the first 10 K and it felt pretty good. I didn’t accelerate too much but I was kind of happy just to hold a good steady pace and fight the winds.”
Paul St. Amant of Bonnyville was a distant second at 1:27:33.
“I thought maybe a few guys were going to catch up. I did a few shoulder checks because I’m always nervous out there,” Meunier said.
Coincidentally, Meunier and Amant were first and third, respectively, in the first marathon in St. Albert history at the inaugural 2011 RunWild.
Two years ago, Meunier placed second in the half-marathon at 1:18:52.
“I’m not as quick as I used to be so whenever you can place in a half or a full (marathon) I’m happy with that at this point. I’ve got to be realistic,” said Meunier, 44, a three-time RunWild marathon champion and the 2013 runner-up. “I noticed there are guys coming up and gunning after me so I’ll maintain what I can and push as hard as I can until the old legs say no.”
The fastest female in the half-marathon was Colette Agnew of Edmonton at 1:33:15 for sixth place overall out of 202 finishers, including 110 females.
“The first three quarters of it was great but the last quarter was a little bit tough,” said Agnew, 33. “I just went a little bit too fast at the beginning.”
The 84th overall finisher was Alberta premier Rachel Notley at 2:04:16 for fourth place in the 50 to 59 female age division.
“It’s a great community race that supports a great charity,” Notley said of the RunWild’s fundraiser for the Zebra Child Protection Centre, as well as the St. Albert Seniors Association.
Meanwhile, the top three finishers in the Rapid Cash 10-kilometre race were Jon Bakker of Edmonton at 39:58, Dylan Pollmann of Edmonton at 40:03 and Shannon Maisano of St. Albert at 41:26.
The podium finishers in the Leading Edge five km were Glynis Milne of Edmonton at 19:27, Tyson Brook of Edmonton at 20:07 and Tracy Romans at 20:16.
Visit www.zone4.ca for complete RunWild results.
More coverage to follow in Wednesday’s edition of the St. Albert Gazette.