Another year, another Tely. Once again, Newfoundland and Labrador’s biggest road race draws the cream of the crop of the local #running scene – Fewer, Bazeley, anyone? – and an increasingly fine selection of top-notch runners from the mainland and beyond. Like last year (insert link) I am teaming up with Biped/NFLD Sports Mag to try and predict the top 10 female and male athletes of the Tely 10.
As with most predictions about the future, this one too is to be taken with a grain of salt. As great of a job as the Tely 10 race organizing committee is doing, one thing they omit is a list of signed-up athletes. One can type in names to see if individual athletes have entered, but such a task would make Sisyphus look like the epitome of productivity.
At this point I would like to give a big shout out to my friend Mark Hayward who provided useful input into the following lines. Without further ado, let’s have a look at what may very well be the fastest women in the 2016 Tely 10 Road Race.
10: Shantel Buttress
2, 2, 1, 1, 2: Those are Shantel’s placings in the female 20-29 age category of the Toyota Plaza High Performance Road Running Series so far this year. Needless to say, she is leading that category by a large margin and I think this year she may be able to make the top 10 in the Tely as well. Based on her race results, you wouldn’t know that she even missed part of her spring training due to injury. Making the top 10 therefore won’t be easy and will require a big PB on her part, but with the increasing experience and toughness that comes with frequent racing she is in a great spot to go for it.
9. Susan Martyn
Susan has a great Tely 10 PB of 64:37 from 2014. Last year she placed 12th with a fast time of 66 minutes and change. Like many other runners listed here, Susan has been a big part of the local running scene for a while now. Even though her recent race times are not as fast as some of the other runners who narrowly missed being mentioned here, I think Susan’s experience on the Tely course makes her a strong contender for the top 10.
8. Jen Murrin
Like Jen Barron, Jen Murrin also ran a sub-30 Mews 8k (in 2015). Then, she stunned the local running scene with a 63 minute Tely performance and I think we will see her up there in the rankings again this year, possibly even higher than at the 8th spot. This may be especially true since some of the strong female CFA’s from last year are not signed up (Ailsa Macondald and Faye Stenning come to mind). Jen raced very little this year, which makes it difficult to guess what shape she may be in come Tely time. She did race at least once though, winning the Uniformed Services Half Marathon with a strong time of 90 minutes on a very difficult course in June.
7. Krissy Dooling
“Krissy is fast” I wrote last year, and nothing has changed. Her strength and experience makes her a top 10 contender any day of the year. She is a bit of a wildcard, as she has not raced in a while, but a strong showing at the Harbour Front 10K in May indicated that there is no reason to believe she won’t run well in the 2016 edition of St. John’s signature race. Need proof? Krissy has never placed worse then ninth when signed up for the Tely (Disclaimer: in the results from yesteryear [2007 and earlier] you can find somebody signed up under the name “Kristina Dooling” but I am not sure if that’s her.)
6. Jen Barron
Jen Barron had great performances as of late, including a 2nd place at the Uniformed Services 10k in Bowering Park, and a recent sub-30 performance in the Mews 8k. The only other females going sub 30 in the Mews were Karen Stacey and Kate Bazeley. On a great, great, great day Jen may even be able to flirt with the 60 minute mark. I’d say 65 minutes is more likely, however, which would still be an absolutely amazing time and a significant improvement over her already strong 70 minute performance last year.
5. Katie Wadden
Katie recently moved back to St. John’s from Vancouver, B.C. She has been putting up really strong race performances this year already, and I think she is somebody to look out for in this year’s race. Furthermore, in years past she left little doubt that the Tely course suits her. Her true love is trail running, however, and while sometimes the transition from uneven and challenging terrain to pavement is tricky, Katie proved that she can race on any surface exceptionally well. On top of training, Katie co-founded a trail running company (http://www.rdftrailcompany.com/) with the goal to introduce newcomers to the wonderful sport of trail running (link).
4. Karen Stacey
Karen Stacey, the tough St. John’s native, has been a staple of the local competitive running scene for years. Similar to Kate and Anne, she is back on track after a baby break to accomplish her strongest performances yet. Karen loves “steady state” racing: once she locks into a pace she can go fast over any distance. As a consequence, she is not always able to respond to sudden pace changes all that well, which puts her at a slight disadvantage compared to the top 3 listed here. Albeit 10 miles long, the Tely is much closer to a 10k race than a half-marathon. Nonetheless, on a good day Karen can give Caroline et al. something to worry about for sure. Like a few runners on this list, Karen never placed outside the top 10 when running the Tely within the last 10 years.
3. Caroline McIlroy
Whether 100 meters or 100 kilometers – Caroline is a favourite for the win over any distance she enters. In recent years, Caroline managed to transcend the borders of what normal runners would consider “long” runs and “hard” efforts. 60k, 80k, 100k runs are no exception for the British born ultra-endurance athlete with PBs over short distances that would put Scott Jurek to shame. Once again, those working out with her as of late report some wicked fast mile repeats, among others, and this may be the year that Caroline is in the mix for a big upset win.
2. Anne Johnston
Anne won last year’s Tely in impressive fashion, and if Kate slips up even slightly, Anne will be seizing any opportunity again this year to take advantage. Word on the running loop is that she put in impressive workouts with the Athletic’s North East (ANE) crowd early in the mornings as of late. Her great understanding of the importance of race preparation and race tactics, something she considered among the most important coaching fundamentals during her time as MUN Cross-Country Assistance Coach under running legend Art Meany, will only help her in pinning down a strong performance. Anne had stellar results in most local road races, either winning them or coming in close second to Kate, and there is no reason to believe that the outcome of the Tely will be that much different.
1. Kate Bazeley
One half of the Bazeley power-couple is back, and in a big way. After winning the Harbour Front 10k and, most recently, the Mews 8k on the local race circuit and doing well despite brutal heat in the Ottawa 10K, Kate is the undisputed favourite for the 10 mile distance down Topsail road. She is too modest to say so herself, but after two consecutive baby breaks Kate is on track to chase her PB on virtually every distance she enters. If you want to feel inspired (or shocked), have a glimpse at some of her workouts on Strava (I saw a “10x1mile” there the other week…) This year’s Tely may come just a bit too soon for Kate to go after Nicola Will’s course record from the 1980s, but rest assured: accomplishing this feat is, quite literally, only a matter of time.