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Tough day at the St. John's Tely 10

Women’s race winner Jennifer Murrin is helped to a recovery area after she crossed the finish line Sunday morning. The humidity played havoc on the runners during the race, and many needed some assistance along the way or after they crossed the finish.
Women’s race winner Jennifer Murrin is helped to a recovery area after she crossed the finish line Sunday morning. The humidity played havoc on the runners during the race, and many needed some assistance along the way or after they crossed the finish. - Kenn Oliver

Heat exhaustion took its toll on runners

Colin Fewer won his 11th Tely 10 men’s title, and Jennifer Murrin copped her second straight women’s championship as the 91st edition of The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race is now officially in the books.

It was a tough Sunday morning on the Paradise-to-Bannerman Park course, with high humidity taking a toll on the 4,672 runners and walkers who started the race.

Despite the conditions, Murrin bettered her time from last year, crossing the finish line in 56:58.

But she paid for it at the end, requiring attention from St. John Ambulance attendants.

“That’s the toughest race I’ve ever been in,” Murrin said afterwards.

Fewer agreed, after finishing in a time of 52:05.

But despite the muggy Sunday morning, three women — Murrin, Anne Johnston and Kate Bazeley — all posted times that were among the fastest ever recorded.

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Murrin’s 56:58 is the sixth-fastest time run by a woman, while Johnston, who finished second, stopped the clock in 57:34, now officially the 10th quickest time. Kate Bazeley, the current course record-holder, was third in 58:41, which is the 14th fastest showing recorded.

Fewer was coming off a record-setting 2017, when he won his 10th championship, beating Pat Kelly’s long-held mark of nine Tely titles.

Montreal’s Graydon Snider placed second behind Fewer, just as he did the last time he ran the Tely, in 2016. Snider’s time was 52:40. Chris Galley was third in 54:01.

The St. John Ambulance was certainly busy, tending to runners who were overcome on the course.

One woman dropped at the finish line. 

“It was definitely a lot busier than last year, busier than previous years,” said Erin Baker, a volunteer with the St. John Ambulance at the finish line. “At one point, we were kind of maxed out, but it all went pretty smoothly. It wasn’t quite as bad as 2014, or whatever year that it was really hot.”

She said St. John Ambulance will bring people who need assistance to a treatment tent at the finish line, and if it’s too much for the volunteers to deal with, they’ll bring in the couple of doctors and nurses who are on site.

“But sometimes runners need to be transported to the hospital,” she said. “A few people today left in ambulances.

“Everything we’ve had today, I think, has been heat exhaustion.”

Jennifer Barron placed fourth in 1:02.08, while Lisa Collins-Sheppard rounded out the top five for the women, stopping the clock in 1:02.29. For the men, Nick Snow came in fourth in 54:22 and Michael Gill of Oakville, Ont. placed fifth in a time of 55:02.

Sunday’s registration was down a bit from last year, when 4,811 were at the start line. And that number was less than the 4,912 who started the 2016 race.

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