Scott Young, who won The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race in 1997, 1998 and 1999, is the last runner to take three straight Tely 10 titles.
On Sunday, Colin Fewer of Athletics Northeast, a former Memorial University teammate of Youngs will seek the duplicate that feat, and wants to do so in a personal best time.
But it wont be easy Fewer faces a formidable field, including Paul McCloy, whom he outsprinted in 2006 by two seconds in the closest Tely 10 finish ever.
To date, the 2007 season has gone well for Fewer. In March, he was a member of the Canadian team that competed at the North American cross-country championship in Florida. He then ran a quick 31:03 at the Vancouver 10-kilometre Sun Run in April. In addition, he has had four local wins this spring and summer, including the Harbourfront 10k (in 31:27) and the Harry Mews 8k (in 24:16).
Hard training has allowed Fewer to reach a new level this season and I believe this will enable him to achieve his Tely 10 three-peat on Sunday.
McCloy, the former Olympian and Canadian cross-country champion and one of Canadas greatest distance runners ever, has once more returned from Calgary to run the Tely 10 in his native province.
McCloy is 43 now, but he still strikes fear into the hearts of younger runners when he appears at the start line. His 1985 course record of 47:04 remains awe-inspiring.
This spring, at the Vancouver Sun Run he ran 31:56 and clocked 32:29 at the Ottawa Nordian 10K in May. His times are a shade slower than Fewers this year and thats why I think he will have difficulty defeating him. So McCloy for runner-up.
Kerry Murphy, the young newcomer from Australia, has made quite an impact on the local running scene, with three victories, including a brisk 32:30 to win the Molson 10k in late June. This leads me to think he will be third man home.
Grant Handrigan has been Fewers training partner for several years and the fast company has turned the former Memorial cross-country star into a successful road racer. A third-place finish at the Mews 8K, with a time of 24:54, shows me he has the speed for a top-five finish at the Tely. I choose him for fourth.
Dean Alyward of Port Aux Choix, will round out the first five. He has only one race to his credit this season, but it was an impressive two hour, 36-minute marathon in Ottawa in May. He trains prodigiously on the Northern Peninsula and always comes ready to run the Tely flat out.
Ryan Brockerville, the high school phenomenon from Marystown and nephew of 1980s marathon champ Gordon Brockerville, will place sixth in his Tely debut. A win at the Garnish 10k and several strong performances at the shorter distances, plus a stylish efficient running form, have already made him a running star with a bright future.
Peter Power, in his early forties, is one of those rare runners who seems to improve with age. I predict he will finish seventh. What a season he has had. The tough wily veteran has chalked up wins in the Penny Kia half-marathon, the Miquelon 25k and the Run for Freedom 8k. He loves making life rough for his running opponents, so watch him move up if any of my top five picks falter.
In 2006, Brian Torrance from Western Canada made his Tely 10 debut by finishing in seventh place. He is a strong, steady performer who can hold his own in a strong field and he will retain a top 10 position this year by finishing eighth.
Peter Browne, in his mid forties, has been one of Newfoundlands best road racers for decades. His victories are rarer these days, but he still can make his presence felt in a big one like the Tely 10. For that reason, Browne is my pick for ninth.
Memorial cross-country running veteran Peter Bazeley always has a good Tely 10. He rounds out my top ten picks.
Mike King, Joe Dunford, Jeff Penton and Merzi Dastoor are additional names with top ten potential to watch for this Sunday.
Lisa Harvey of Calgary has returned to defend her 2006 Tely 10 crown and the 1992 Olympian has all the credentials to do the job.
A 2:48 marathon in Ottawa this spring, followed by some quick performances at the 10k distance shows Harvey has the strength and speed to outleg her rivals.
Last year, I predicted Harvey and Caroline McIlroy would run under 60 minutes, but only Harvey achieved it. I am going to live dangerously and make the same prediction for 2007; Harvey and McIlroy will go under 60.
McIlroy has had an outstanding season. She too has a 2:48 marathon to her credit, run early this year in Miami. Locally, she has been unbeatable, with good 10k times. But Harveys are better and I think this will make the difference in the race outcome. Caroline will finish second to Lisa, but with her best Tely 10 time to date.
Krissy Dooling placed third in last years event and I predict a repeat performance for her. Dooling likes to start hard and fast and drop her rivals early. Look for a personal best Tely time for the former university cross country athlete.
Amy Colbourne won the womens title at the Molson 10k in June and the Memorial cross-country veteran looks ready for a successful Tely 10. Colbourne for fourth.
Allison Hobeika has been away from the racing scene for several years. Twice a Tely 10 champion and with many road race victories to her credit, she has the strength and experience to run a fine race on Sunday. Her training has gone well, but lately she has been nursing a sore hamstring muscle. If she runs on Sunday, I predict a fifth-place finish.
Lise Petrie, the best 50-year old woman runner since Pam Bulgin in the 1990s, is having a wonderful season. She won the womens title in the Mews 8k and set personal bests in all her other races. Petrie should finish sixth behind Hobeika.
Karen Stacey is my choice for seventh spot. She likes to race the longer events and won the Penny Kia half-marathon in fine style in May. She is another woman who could run a Tely 10 personal best time this year.
The remaining three positions are up for grabs among an impressive group that includes Alison Jones, 1999 champ Marie Decker, Jennifer Murrin, Donna Dixon, Fleur Kenward and Sharon Brophy.
All of them have run well this year, but I am going with Jones for eighth, Dixon for ninth and Brophy for 10th.
Late entries by Noeleen Wadden, Jill Hodge and Abby Steele could have an impact on my rankings.
Note: Thirty years ago in 1977, I ran my first Tely 10 in a what was a then-record field
of 30 runners. On Sunday, I will join over 2,000 participants including my son Jim,
a first-timer, in the trek from Paradise
to Bannerman Park. Happy 80th birthday,
Tely 10, from all of us and may you have many, many more!
Art Meaney is the 1979 Tely 10 champion
and is coach of Memorial Universitys
cross-country running team