Mastery of meandering Millarville race

Running: Nathan Kendrick, Lisa Harvey repeat as half-marathon top finishers

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 06:00 am

Nathan Kendrick crosses the finish line at the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market Half-Maraton in a course record time of 1:13:13.15 on June 14.
Nathan Kendrick crosses the finish line at the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market Half-Maraton in a course record time of 1:13:13.15 on June 14.
Remy Greer/OWW

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The third trip through scenic High Country was the charm for a Calgary distance runner.

Nathan Kendrick broke his own course record en route to mastering the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market Half-Marathon for the second year in a row on June 14.

“It’s not the easiest thing, especially if you’re coming from out of province with the altitude here,” said Kendrick. “I train around here all the time. I train from my house to Airdrie, which is about 10km. I’m confident out here.”

Kendrick sliced 14 seconds off his first-place finish one year ago in Millarville, coming in at 1:13:13.15, a fact he attributed to a step-by-step approach in training.

“It’s mostly just being healthy over the last two years,” he said. “And consistently being able to build week on week, month on month, year on year.

“That’s pretty much what it’s been.”

Kendrick was in a race with himself for the length of the 21.1 km race, beginning at the Oilfields Arena stretching through Turner Valley and looping back to the finish line at the Millarville Racetrack, as Geoff Hopfner was more than four minutes back in second place.

“It’s hard to stay motivated,” Kendrick said. “You have to talk yourself through each kilometre, ‘get to the next hill, get to the next turn’ instead of playing games with someone beside you.

“It’s mentally tougher.”

As much as the top-overall finisher was a one-man show, the battle for third-place and fastest female was neck-and-neck throughout.

Canadian Olympian Lisa Harvey edged Nathan’s wife, Melissa Kendrick, by 37 seconds to repeat as top-female finisher in High Country in just over 1:22.23.

“She was about 100 metres back it seemed like the whole way through,” said Harvey, who competed in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona in the 10km competition. “That was good because the two men were way ahead, I couldn’t see them. It was really good to have her pushing me.”

The 44-year-old said experience played a factor in taking on the challenging 21-plus kilometre race through the hills of High Country for a second year in a row.

“It was easier. I knew what to expect,” she said. “There are some pretty good hills. It keeps it interesting, otherwise it could be one long straightaway.

“It was a little bit cross-country in the middle with the gravel, but it was a really nice, beautiful race and it didn’t rain on us.”

Rounding out the top-five was Calgary’s Kari Elliott.

The top-local finisher was Bragg Creek’s Simon Weekley who came in sixth overall.

Adam Simon was the fastest Okotokian, completing the half-marathon in 1:40:33.05, good enough for 24th spot.

Okotoks’ Lauren Hiebert was the top-female racer from the Foothills, posting a time of 1:43:12.05.

The father-son duo of Steve and Jonathan Madeyski, dubbed Two Running Buddies, was the top relay team.

Calgary’s Jennifer Painter was first to the finish line in the eight-mile race, while Ben Elliott took home the title in the inaugural eight-mile Bun Run.

For the full list of results and to find out more about the Millarville Run to the Farmers’ Market Half-Marathon go to millarvillehalfmarathon.com


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