It was no secret Kate Bazeley had something big in mind with the Tely 10 road race, and it wasn’t merely adding to her growing list of championship victories.
Rather, she had her eye on Nicola Will’s course record of 55:47, established way back in 1986 when, by the way, the race saw 267 finishers — 48 of them females.
“With some workouts,” said Bazeley, “I knew I could get the record if my body cooperated.”
And cooperate it did, as the 32-year-old teacher from St. John’s — now living in Corner Brook — zipped to a new course standard of 55:34, good for 10th place overall of the 4,349 runners and walkers who finished the 89th Tely 10 (2,630 of whom were women) Sunday morning.
“Yes. Yes,” Bazeley said with emphasis when asked if she felt she had it in her to break the long-standing mark.
“And there’s more I’d like to do with the race. I’d like to lower the record, for sure. But, for now, I’m just happy to get the record. That was my main goal.”
2016 Tely 10 results
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Bazeley sprinted to the lead from the starter’s gun, and didn’t look back. She led from wire-to-wire, and it wasn’t even close.
Caroline McIlroy of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s was the second female across the finish line, in a time of 1:00.49. She was followed by Jennifer Murrin of St. John’s in 1:03.06, defending champ Anne Johnston of Torbay in 1:03.15 and Katie Wadden of St. John’s in 1:03.45.
Bazeley ran the Tely 10 last year, but placed ninth. Of course, it should be noted she had just given birth to her second child only seven weeks prior to the race.
In the 2014 Tely 10, she gave the record a push, coming oh-so-close, but falling short just seven seconds.
Sunday’s time was the result of a lot of hard work and a lot of miles, Bazeley said.
“I had Peter (her husband) with me for a lot of the hard sessions back in Corner Brook,” she said. “He helped pace me through some workouts. Other than that, there was a lot of training on my own.
“I’m able to focus pretty well. I just got out there and got the work done. Every time I went out, the focus was the run. Everything else was left home. Focus on a good training session. Then let it go until the next day.”
Peter Bazeley finished just behind his wife, in the 11th spot, in 56:12. Colin Fewer won the men's title, a record-tying ninth overall.
Kate Bazeley won the Tely 10 in 2010, ’11 and ’14, and now holds three of the five quickest times in race history.
Her training was impeded a bit with a minor surgery and dealing with some hamstring issues.
The latter was on her mind as she readied for Sunday’s race, and she had a plan in mind should the muscle act up.
“It was to go out hard and stay strong and bank as much time as I could,” she said. “With the hamstring, I’ve been needing to take some breaks.
“Luckily, I didn’t have to stop but I was trying to bank time in the event I needed to. And if I had to have stopped, I don’t think I would have gotten the record.
“So I’m happy my body cooperated.”
Johnston entered the race as the defending champion, but she, too, was dealing with health issues as a wonky knee hampered her training.