Harveys road a lonely one, but she belongs in fast company

Darcy MacRae
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Former Olympian successfully defends her Tely 10 female crown

Despite humid conditions and a lack of close-at-hand competition, Lisa Harvey won the female championship in Sundays Tely 10 with the fifth fastest time by a woman in race history. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Lisa Harvey overcame the humidity and a lack of serious competition to win her second straight womens title at the Tely 10 road race Sunday.

The 37-year-old Calgarian (who is married to legendary St. Johns runner Paul McCloy, a five-time Tely 10 winner and holder of the three fastest mens times in the history of the race) won in a time of 58 minutes and 10 seconds and for much of the race, was the only woman in sight amongst a sea of male runners.

Today, I was in no mans land for a lot of it. I didnt have anyone to run with, so I had to make sure to push myself, said Harvey.

Some would think not having a competitor nipping at her heels would allow Harvey to relax and concentrate on her running, but instead it had the opposite affect on the two-time Tely 10 champ.

Harvey, a former Canadian Olympian in long-distance running, says she prefers it when the competition is close behind because its a constant motivator.

Its hard to have to do that (run with a large lead). The competition makes me run faster, she said. Sometimes its actually easier when you have racers breathing down your neck.

Harvey finished 59 seconds ahead of Carolina McIlroy, who crossed the line in 59:10.

Harveys time was the fifth-fastest in Tely 10 history. Nicola Will still has the two fastest times with Harvey holding third -and fifth-place on the all-time list. Sheila Curries 57:13 in 1980 has her fourth overall.

McIlroys time still was good enough to place her seventh overall amongst the fastest ever Tely 10 female finishers.

The humidity that plagued Sunday mornings race was an obstacle for every runner, but Harvey was especially bothered since shes used to running in the dry heat of Calgary.

Late last week, she told The Telegram she desperately wanted the recent humidity to disappear before the Tely 10 started, but she knew as soon as she woke Sunday morning that wouldnt be the case.

We had a nice tail wind, but the humidity was bad, Harvey said. I was able to handle it okay, but I definitely couldnt go as fast as I wanted to.

Despite the climate, Harvey stuck to the same strategy that helped her win last years Tely 10 in 57.12.

I usually like to take it out fast at the beginning and see if I can hang on and catch some of the guys I can see ahead of me, Harvey said.

Harvey says she plans to come back to St. Johns next summer to once again defend her Tely 10 title, in part because its nice to run in an event that receives such great support from cheering fans along the roadside.

Its amazing that that many people came out, she said. It was an exciting race.


Organizations: Canadian Olympian

Geographic location: Calgary

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