Welcome back to the second and final part of our 2016 Tely 10 race predictions. Today, we will focus on what, with a bit of luck, will be the fastest male runners in this year’s edition of the signature race in St. John’s. Once again, I would like to give a shout out to Mark Hayward who had some interesting insights to share.
The speedster from Toronto is back again to leave his mark. Matt is two for two when it comes to Tely victories and I am convinced that he is the guy to beat this year once again. That being said, it will be much (much much) closer this time around than in previous years. Matt is coming back from serious injury (tears in both achilles) that forced him to bow out from going after the Canadian Olympic standard for the marathon. Rio 2016 was his big goal so St. John’s may not quite count as a consolation prize but hey: Matt will be the last person to dwell on that and he’ll be ready to give it his all.
2. Colin Fewer
Matt or Colin for the win? It will be an incredibly close call. To be honest (and to hedge my bet), I am not as convinced about Matt’s win as I was when I wrote the lines above just moments ago. Colin beat Matt in the Toronto Waterfront 10k only a few weeks ago, and considering that he is the record champion on the Tely course it would be foolish not to assume that win #9 is within reach. However, as is the case with so many top shelf runners, Colin’s injuries sometimes put a damper on consistent training. The same can be said for Matt, though. And Matt’s form curve is trending up. Then again, Colin is #running close to PB performances over the 10k distance right now. There really isn’t much of a tie-breaker here. Like, both are genuinely nice people who love beer. It’s frustrating.
3. Ryan Brockerville
The running star from Marytown is back again this year, after a strong Tely in 2015. Ryan’s specialty is the steeple chase. Like Matt Loiselle, Ryan was even in the mix for making the Olympic standard. It did not quite work out but now he can take his great form to the pavement. Ryan ran a 30:30 10k this spring in Vancouver, beating Colin Fewer by a half minute and there is a real chance that I am short changing Ryan by predicting a third place finish.
4. Graydon Snider
I keep thinking that I heard or read about Graydon Snider sometimes running half-marathons while juggling. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm this fun fact right now, so it may very well be a fun rumor or a flatout fun lie. What I do know, however, is that Graydon won’t juggle while racing down Topsail Road, and if last year (and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year…) is any indication, anything but a top 5 finish would be a big surprise.
5. Jordan Fewer
Jordan Fewer is making a surprise visit to St. John’s! The Corner Brook-based runner signed up last minute (or a few minutes past that) and I am really excited to see what he is able to do on Sunday. The nephew of Colin Fewer has been doing a lot of trail running as of late, but it has not slowed him down in the least. If anything, hitting the trails with Patrick McIlroy prepared him well for some suffering. Jordan is a great addition to the race as he has the ability to really shake things up.
6. David Freake
David Freake from St. John’s is known for running very high mileage and racing frequently over various distances. Dave is a versatile runner, not shying away from track, road, and cross country racing (something that may be more common elsewhere, but a bit of a challenge in Newfoundland due to infrastructure, or lack thereof). His accolades this year include wins in the Flatout 5k, the Mundy Pond 5k, and the Garnish 10k, to name but a few. Dave came second only to Colin in the Harbour Front 10k in May. While he has the talent and work ethic to one year take the top spot in the Tely, I currently see him in a similar position as last year. It is a strong position, to be sure, but considering the competition, cracking the top 5 will be quite the task come Sunday.
7. Peter Power
Peter Power is not known to be an overly outgoing, jolly kind of guy but talking about running puts a smile on his face. He absolutely loves it and I believe that his passion stems not so much from running fast times (albeit that surely fires him up) but from being out there enjoying the competition. Peter, like us all, gets a year older every, well, year, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his performances. I don’t want to emphasize how old he is, because I am a little bit afraid of him, but consider this: if our subjective perception tells us that things in this world are just getting worse and worse all the time, Peter’s consistently amazing performances in the sport of running tell us that all is not lost after all.
8. Peter Bazeley
The other half of the Bazeley power couple, Peter has had strong performances in the Tely for years now (he would disagree). Last year he narrowly made the top 10 due to a disqualification. I think this year he is in even better shape: something he proved with a fast Harbour Front 10k in May (he would probably disagree on that as well – it is hard to please fast runners). He and Kate are moving back to St. John’s soon so don’t expect them to go anywhere in the local race circuit but towards the top.
9. Mark Greene
At this point in predicting the standings, the real guessing game begins. There is a wealth of strong St. John’s runners that are signed up and on the edge of breaking into the top 10: Adam Snow, Ian Royle, Matt Power, Mark Hayward, you name them. I also had nice little entries written up for Jason Guy and Jason White, and it is a shame that I can’t use them because I think they will just narrowly miss out on the top 10. Mark Greene deserves to be mentioned here like none other, as he has been racing strong in the last few years and is a staple in the top 5 at local road races. Mark has a 54 minute PB in the Tely from 2013.
10. Charlie Kourvelas
Charlie’s quiet personality makes him easily overlooked, not only in predictions such as this one, but also in race situations. You don’t know he’s there until he passes you and you’ll never see him again. He ran 58:49 last year, and I expect him to take a couple of minutes of that time, if the weather is at all cooperating. His form curve is trending upwards, as his results in recent 5k and 10k races show. Like many on this list, Charlie trains with ANE, who seem to have a great early morning group or two on the go. On this note, I would also like to give a nod to ANE, Nautilus (my club), and all the other clubs whose members are volunteering their time and efforts to make the road racing scene in St. John’s such a great one.