TRURO - Records are made to be broken and a couple of big ones were left in the dust Sunday in the eighth edition of the Cobequid Trail Run in Truro.
The event, which takes runners along the trail from Truro to Old Barns and back, attracted 314 entries, leaving last year's total of 241 lagging behind. Sunday also saw a new 5km mark laid down by 18-year-old Logan Grant. The Antigonish resident completed the course in 18:48, eclipsing the 20:33 set by Harmony's Chris Ross in the first year of the 5km in 2011.
"It feels pretty good," Grant said. "I've never really set records before so it's definitely a different feeling."
Grant said he had no expectations of such a strong performance while travelling to Truro.
"I just came to have a fun run. I didn't expect to come first," he said.
A mass start was held where the trail meets on Kaulback Street with runners racing west before looping back to finish behind the Nova Scotia Community College Campus.
Racers had plenty of support as they came to the finish and as more and more runners crossed the line, the support grew louder as they lined the course to watch the others finish. It was a party-like atmosphere as organizers had music playing while runners grabbed a drink and their breath before an awards ceremony wrapped things up.
As happy as Grant was with his performance, race director Craig Burgess was equally pleased with the number of runners who showed up at the start line. Burgess said organizers were hoping to get more than 300 entries and it was clear early on that goal was within reach with 266 signing up before the event.
Burgess said a big part of that was adding the 5km division last year with more than 100 runners taking part in the distance this time around.
"There are a lot of people who have taken up running who maybe aren't ready for a 10k and we're trying to attract the local people," he said.
That also worked, with about 40 per cent of the entries in the 5km class hailing from Colchester County.
Valley resident Brian Merrill was also smiling from ear-to-ear after completing the 10km course. The 41-year-old set a personal best of 47:32, shaving about a minute off his previous mark.
"So yeah, it was a phenomenal race," he said, still catching his breath.
Merrill, a runner for the past 20 years, moved to Truro six months ago from British Columbia and has been getting a feel for the Maritime running scene by entering as many events as he can. The Cobequid Trail Run ranks near the top, he said.
"Everybody here did a great job," he said. "The water stations were perfect, everybody is really friendly and the crowd is great. It was just one of those days you really enjoy. I'll be back."
Following are the top five finishers in each category in Sunday's eighth annual Cobequid Trail Run in Truro:
1. Chuck Dixon, Sackville 1:19.09
2. Ryan Hatchard, Oxford 1:19.04
3. Matthew White, Halifax 1:20.38
4. Rob Carreau, Truro 1:23.56
5. David Holder, Bedford 1:25.09
1. Greg Lummis, Halifax 37:42
2. Brandon MacDonald, Antigonish 37:52
3. Bryan Hetherington, Fox Brook 41:27
4. Graeme Wach, Halifax 42:05
5. Richard McGrath, Guysborough 43:43
1. Logan Grant, Antigonish 18:48
2. Ian Johnstone, Truro 19:18
3. Jody Mattie, Truro 19:52
4. Chris Ross, Harmony 20:49
5. Trent Lynds, Maitland 20:55