Fewer outruns the hype ... and the competition

Kenn Oliver
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Becomes just the fifth runner - and first in four decades - to win five straight Tely 10 championships

Colin Fewer knows that for the first time in a few years, there was a lot of hype surrounding himself and at least two other male runners in Sunday's 82nd Telegram 10-Mile Road Race.

With three-time winner Trevor O'Brien registered, accompanied by his national team training partner, Ryan McKenzie, the reigning four-time champ going back to 2005 was expecting a challenge.

Colin Fewer makes it across the finish line to take first place in the Tely 10 Road Race.- Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Colin Fewer knows that for the first time in a few years, there was a lot of hype surrounding himself and at least two other male runners in Sunday's 82nd Telegram 10-Mile Road Race.

With three-time winner Trevor O'Brien registered, accompanied by his national team training partner, Ryan McKenzie, the reigning four-time champ going back to 2005 was expecting a challenge.

Moreover, it was widely speculated any one of the trio could have completed the grueling 16-kilometres in under 50 minutes, a feat only accomplished by five-time champ Paul McCloy - who did it four times - and Harold St. Croix, who did it in 1991.

In the end, however, McKenzie failed to finish the race, O'Brien took third in a time of 53 minutes and two seconds and Fewer went on to claim his fifth straight title in 50:41.

Graydon Snider, a track and cross-country runner at McGill University, took second in 52:46.

Fourth place went to Dean Alyward in 53:50, while Sean Hulburt placed fifth in a time of 54:37.

"It was a good race. The competition was there, with a lot of hype. Maybe it didn't play out the way we all thought it would have. But I guess that was fortunate for me," Fewer said sheepishly.

Since the first Tely 10 way back in 1922, only five runners have won five straight titles.

Now Fewer has a chance to match Don Coaker's six straight wins from 1962-67. Cliff Stone (from 1926-32) and George Hillier (1950-56) have both won seven consecutive crowns. Pat Kelly is the all-time Tely 10 title-holder with nine straight wins from (1933-47, interrupted by war years).

If anyone was seriously expected to end Fewer's winning streak, it was McKenzie, a three-time Canadian university athlete of the year considered one of the country's top middle-distance runners. Through most of the first three-quarters of the race, he and Fewer jockeyed for position.

But near Mile 7, McKenzie re-aggravated a pulled calf muscle and was forced to withdraw.

"It just popped on me," McKenzie said. "It's not that I was tired or anything. You just physically can't run, can't push off and you're dragging your left leg. It's impossible."

Fewer, who was about four seconds off McKenzie's pace at that point, did a double take after overtaking the ailing runner.

"He was taking command of the pace in the race. I was feeling good at that point and I'm sure if his calf had to hold up, it might have been a lot more exciting finish," Fewer said.

Not long before McKenzie had dropped out, Snider had moved from fourth to third by passing O'Brien. The Paradise native kept Snider close and might have overtaken him until McKenzie dropped out.

"He was pretty close behind me, I could hear people clapping for him a few seconds behind," said Snider. "When Ryan (McKenzie) dropped out, suddenly I had this extra wind in me when I realized I was in second."

Snider, whose girlfriend is from Newfoundland, has completed three Tely 10 races, always improving on his time and finish. He went from a 56-minute, ninth-place finish in 2007 to a 53-minute third in 2008.

But catching Fewer, he maintains, won't be easy.

"Every year he's a little more in view. He's still not quite catchable ... I have to shave a couple of minutes off. I've really only run competitively for two years now, so if I can start building up the mileage, if I can get up to 80-90 miles a week, who knows," Snider said.

For O'Brien, who says he's trained just over three months in the last 18 as a result of stress fracture in his heel and reoccurring tendinitis, he knew about three or four miles in that he would be settling for second or third.

"I started out wanting to keep it under five-minute miles, but I couldn't keep it up in my foot so I backed of a little the rest of the race. I couldn't be competitive up front."

For his part, Fewer was pleased to see his good friend - and soon to be best man at his wedding - turn in a 53-minute performance considering his injury, noting O'Brien is, "probably capable of a lot faster.

"On a different day, you'll get a different result from him. If he comes back next year, maybe I'll have to be ready to run 48 (minutes). I've got a lot respect for his training and all he does."

The only disappointment on the day for Fewer is not going under 50 minutes.

"I know my fitness is there to do it. It's just a matter of putting it all together on the day," he contends.

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: McGill University

Geographic location: Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Win
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Most notably, Fewer is a humble champion. Such gentlemen are outstanding for sport and provide great mentorship for the community. It is his one day he works toward each year, yet he stood in the spotlight completely in awe of those around him. Unselfish and humble, qualities all of us should aspire toward. Thanks for that Colin!

  • Angelica
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    and what of the females?? Why is there no female coverage????? Congratulations to Lisa Harvey, and those who were further behind - Jessica Fillier, Dara B, etc.! Great job all!

  • Win
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Most notably, Fewer is a humble champion. Such gentlemen are outstanding for sport and provide great mentorship for the community. It is his one day he works toward each year, yet he stood in the spotlight completely in awe of those around him. Unselfish and humble, qualities all of us should aspire toward. Thanks for that Colin!

  • Angelica
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    and what of the females?? Why is there no female coverage????? Congratulations to Lisa Harvey, and those who were further behind - Jessica Fillier, Dara B, etc.! Great job all!