SCOTSBURN, N.S. – The men’s full marathon proved to be a record breaker after all at the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon.
For a record fifth time, Scotsburn’s David MacLennan — who won the inaugural race back in 2004 — crossed the finish line in first on a wet, blustery Sunday morning.
MacLennan posted a time of 2:50:09.6, over three minutes ahead of 2016 champion Bryan Hipson of Yarmouth.
“It’s great to win again,” said the 54-year-old MacLennan, whose last Blue Nose victory came back in 2009. He also won back-to-back titles in 2006-07.
“The day actually went pretty good. I started out with a tight hamstring and tried to go at the pace I wanted to go early. But then I had to cut it back and go at a pace that my leg wanted to go at. Anyway, it was enough to do it.
“I’m a little disappointed in the time. As soon as my leg tightened up, you can just do what you can do.”
Hipson clocked in at 2:53:54.4.
Leading into this racing season, all eyes were on another four-time champion, Halifax’s Greg Wieczorek, in his drive for No. 5.
But the 2017 champ had to withdraw from this year’s event because of a hamstring injury.
That opened the door for MacLennan.
“It’s great to get No. 5 but I wish Greg was here today,” MacLennan said. “If he was here today, I probably would be No. 2, to be honest. But anyway, it is what it is.”
The chilly and damp conditions were reminiscent of the inaugural race 14 years ago.
For the first time since 2015, the full marathon course returned to Dartmouth after construction on the Macdonald Bridge left the route without a Dartmouth portion.
The course also bypassed the notorious Giv’er Hill, the steep incline on Maple Street in Dartmouth. Instead, it followed a paved path of the Trans Canada Trail and around Lake Banook before heading across the harbour back onto peninsular Halifax.
But the runners weren’t spared of hills. The route incorporated the steep incline up Devonshire Avenue from Barrington Street in north-end Halifax before heading south to Point Pleasant Park.
“I like the course the way it is now,” MacLennan said. “It’s tricky in a few spots though.
“But overall the course was favourable, for sure. It’s much more runner-friendly as far as getting away from some of the hills.”
A day after his win at the Blue Nose, MacLennan ran in the Joe Earle Memorial Road Races held on Monday in Trenton, winning the Masters (50 and Up) five-mile race in a time of 31:50.
PICTOU COUNTY RUNNERS AT THE 2018 BLUE NOSE MARATHON:
1. Dave MacLennan (Scotsburn)
36. Jim Lays (Stellarton)
57. Bill MacEachern (Lorne)
65. Allister Mason (New Glasgow)
103. Elias MacMillan (RR#1 Pictou)
111. Brian Walker (Stellarton)
17. Scott Langille (New Glasgow)
356. Rob McDowell (Pictou)
511. Shalyn Murphy (New Glasgow)
559. Jami Fillier (Pictou)
829. Bonnie Babin (New Glasgow)
943. Michelle Sutherland (RR#2 Pictou)
971. Kathryn MacKinnon (Salt Springs)