Jason Bolton took part in the Deer Lake 67 ultra-marathon over the weekend.
‚ÄĒ Star photo by Paul Hutchings
DEER LAKE Peter Bazeley did better than he thought he would.
The Corner Brook resident finished the Deer Lake 67 in first place with a time of 5:16:50 ‚ÄĒ that‚Äôs just over five hours to run 67 kilometres all the way around Deer Lake.
‚ÄúIt was a great run, a really nice course,‚ÄĚ said Bazeley, who is originally from St. John‚Äôs, after he crossed the line. ‚ÄúI‚Äôd do this next year for sure if they have it again.‚ÄĚ
He said the most challenging part was an old rail bed with some loose gravel on it but it wasn‚Äôt as bad as he had feared. Bazeley ran some of the trail before during training, so he was already familiar with it.
The first woman to finish the race was Caroline McIlroy from St. Phillip‚Äôs, near St. John‚Äôs. She ran in the Canadian Death Race in Alberta recently and said the Deer Lake 67 was well-organized, fun and challenging.
McIlroy called running an addiction.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs something you can‚Äôt get enough of once you start, you want to keep going,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúIt makes you feel good, just a lot of fun.‚ÄĚ
The race started 6:30 a.m. Sunday, winding through Nicholsville and down the north-east side of the lake towards Boom Siding and then northeast through Pasadena and St. Judes before heading back to the finish line at the Holiday Inn Express in Deer Lake.
Twenty-seven runners took part in the race, down from the 42 that were registered the previous week. Runners stopped at several rest areas along the way and were greeted by spectator cheers, beverages and snacks.
Runner Rudy Riedlsperger, who is from Austria and living in St. John‚Äôs, said the course was relatively easy at first.
‚ÄúIt got hard after the first 50 kilometres,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBut then you just have to keep going, do what you can.‚ÄĚ
Riedlsperger said he kept going by depending on his friends and running companions to keep his mind elsewhere. They would talk and pace each other, taking in the scenery as they ran along. Some ran alone, listening to music, others enjoy company.
‚ÄúIt helps to have someone to chat with, it‚Äôs mentally difficult to keep up the pace in a race like this,‚ÄĚ he said.
Organizer Lorne Reid said recently that he hopes to make the Deer Lake 67 an annual event. Discussions will begin in the next few weeks.