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(Posted 12:30 p.m., Oct. 10)
Orléans runner places second in Fall Colours Marathon

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans resident Stephane Montpetit came in second in the Fall Colours Marathon on Sunday in a time of 3:14:27. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Orleans runner Stephane Montpetit went into Sunday’s Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon in Cumberland hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon for a fourth time.

His goal was to complete the 42.2 km course in under three hours and 15 minutes which is the current qualifying time for his age group for the 2019 race in Boston. (Qualifying for next year’s Boston Marathon, which will be run on April 15, was closed on Sept. 16 of this year.)

Montpetit completed the Fall Colours course in 3:14:27, 33 seconds below the qualifying standard. Unfortunately, that still might not be good enough.

Because so many people try to qualify for the Boston Marathon and the number of entries is limited to 30,000 from year to year, the qualifying time can end up being much lower.

The qualifying standard for next year’s Boston Marathon ended up being 3:11:37, three minutes and 23 seconds below the established standard. The actual qualifying standard for the 2016 Boston Marathon was 3:12.51.

Based on what ended up being the qualifying standard the past two years, Montpetit’s 3:14:27 wouldn’t be good enough. That’s why he plans to try and lower his time in next year’s Ottawa Capital Marathon.

“I’m sure I can go lower, it just depends on the conditions,” says Montpetit.

Sunday’s conditions for the Fall Colours event were less than ideal. Although the 23-degree temperature was near perfect, the strong winds were not, making the first stages of the hilly course a real challenge.

An enthusiastic group of youngsters jump out to a quick start in the Turkey Trot at the Fall Colours Race event at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The race winner, Jesse Knockleby from Arnprior, was hoping to finish the course in under three hours, the winds ultimately prevented him from doing so and he ended missing his goal by 11 seconds. Still, he managed to qualify for both the Boston Marathon and the Canadian Armed Forces Marathon which is run in conjunction with the National Capital event.

Sunday’s top female competitor was Elizabeth O’Regan from William’s Bay who completed the course in 3:38.08. Orléans resident Linda Houle-Robert was 28 minutes behind in eighth place, but she came first in the 45-49 age group.

Other local runners who did well include Tom Meed who finished 27 over-all and third in the 40-44 age group, and Carole Hutchison who was the ninth place female finisher and came third in the 40-44 age group for her gender. Montpetit didn’t start running until he was well into his 30s. His wife bought him a Runner’s Room Marathon Clinic membership for the National Capital Marathon for Christmas, the year their son was born.

“I remember in the first session I finished dead last over seven kilometres. By the end of the clinic I was among the top runners and I ended up running a 3:45 that year, after training for only five months and I’ve run in 12 marathons since including three Boston Marathons in 2012, 2014 and 2016,” says Montpetit, who ran cross country when he went to Garneau High School in the 80s.

“When I went to university I totally stopped running for about 15 years until our first son was born.”

Montpetit’s ultimate goal is to beat his personal best times from when he was in high school more than 25 years ago

“To be honest I’m getting close,” said Montpetit.

Besides the marathon, runners at the Ottawa Fall Colours Races could choose to take part in the half-marathon, 10K, 5K or 3K. A 1K Turkey Trot is also run for children 10 and under, making the Fall Colours Races a true family event.

The half-marathon was won by Patrick Saunders from Rockland. Marie-Hélène Gravel from Orléans was the top female, finishing in 10th place overall.

Nicholas Schwass from the small town of Tara near the Bruce Peninsula, won the 10K in a time of 36 minutes and 22 seconds. Navan resident Brian Cane won the 5K, and Philippe Summers from Glen Robertson, Ontario won the 3K.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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