This year, Rudy Riedlsperger put together Biped’s Top 10 list for female and male runners at the 2015 Tely 10. Rudy ran the Tely three times thus far, with a personal best (PB) of 57:49 (2012).
Today, we have a look at the women’s field. The following is a prediction of the top female finishers, in addition to discussing a few wildcards and absentees.
1. Anne Johnston
The victory is Anne’s to take. The former MUN Cross Country varsity star and coach recently won the Mews 8k in a very strong and even-paced performance (28:18), leading me to believe that she may be able to sustain that pace for the 10 miler. Anne has the mindset of a topnotch runner, and the knowledge and experience to structure her training accordingly in order to reach her goals. I expect her to be well under 60 minutes, even though she won’t be able to touch Nicola Will’s long standing record of 55:47. Tely 10 PB: 58:52 (2004)
2. Caroline McIlroy
True grit. Source of many a running legend (“She ate fifty bananas!”). The reason Chuck Norris jokes are not funny any more. Caroline recently ran the FKT (fastest known time) on the original section of the East Coast Trail from Cappahaydn to Fort Amherst, beating Gary Robbins’ previous record by about a half hour. It took her 34 hours to negotiate 220km of rugged trails. A month later, she should have recovered well enough to make the podium, although she likely will just fall short of breaking 60 minutes. And by writing this, I hope to giver her that extra little bit of motivation to dip under 60… Tely 10 PB: 59:00 (2012)
3. Janelle Simmons
Janelle had an extraordinary running season thus far. One highlight was her win in the World Police and Fire games in Fairfax, Virginia, where she ran a blazing 80 minute half-marathon. Her 29:47 Mews 8k finish, albeit on tired legs just a week after the half, indicates that a 62 minute finish in the Tely seems like a reasonable expectation. The longer distance should benefit her, and I expect she will reel in runners in the second half of the race – possibly even chasing Caroline down the chute to Bannerman Park. Up until this point, the Tely has not been her most beloved race, but she is due for a breakout performance. Tely 10 PB: 64:29 (2009)
4. Alison Walsh
Alison is a staple among strong distance runners in Newfoundland. Always in shape, yet always humble, she could run a 85 minute half-marathon backwards and blindfolded any day. However, she has not competed in any races this year, which is a disadvantage even for experienced runners like her. Most recently, she was one of the driving forces behind Caroline’s East Coast Trail record, both through working out the logistics, but also through pacing her on the trail for several hours. I’d say that a 63 minute Tely is definitely possible – with the potential to surprise us with an even faster time. Tely 10 PB 61:00 (in 2011 and 2012).
5. Karen Stacey
Coming back from a baby break, Karen is somebody to watch out for. She has many strong Tely performances under her belt, and is out there to prove that she can break that 60 minute barrier. Karen is known to race hard, and her strong willpower lets her squeeze out extra seconds here and there, especially during those painful last miles. If she stays injury free, she will be able to go sub-60 in the near future, but I doubt it will happen this year. On any day, it will be a close race between her, Alison, Krissy and Janelle. On a very good day, however, Karen may prove me wrong and hang on to the podium. Tely 10 PB: 61:04 (2010)
6. Krissy Dooling
Krissy is fast. Need proof? She ran the 3rd fastest 5k of the season last year, behind Julia Kawamoto and Anne Johnston. She also ran the 2nd fastest 10k of 2014 in Newfoundland. Her ‘No-BS’ attitude is refreshing – she never shows fear in races, but she does have a tendency to go out too hard, sometimes leading to early implosions. I doubt this will happen this time around if she paces herself smartly in order to prevent fading too much in the second half of the race. If she can do that, anything is possible. Tely 10 PB: 63:07 (2006)
7. Kate Bazeley
Kate is the strongest runner in the field. Together with Julia Kawamoto and Jillian Forsey, she will remain among the shining stars of Newfoundland running for the next decade and beyond. After giving birth to her second baby, Anna, in June (!), she is now on her way back to the top of Canada’s running world. This year, a sub-65 minute finish seems possible. This would be astounding by all accounts, but Kate is already thinking in the long term, hoping to finally become the fastest women to ever run the Tely in 2016. Tely 10 PB: 55:57 (2014)
8: Jennifer Murrin
Jennifer ran a strong sub-30 minute Mews 8k, indicating that she is on track for a PB after a strong first Tely in 2014. Then, she was ahead of Krissy and Janelle and could easily prove me wrong for not putting her higher up on the list. However, experience and good performances so far this year speak for the veterans. Tely 10 PB: 63:45 (2014).
Lisa ran a incredible race two years ago. Finishing in 61 minutes and change, I was sure she would be able to scratch at the 60 minute mark – and I still am. The question is whether she can do it this year. In 2014 Lisa succumbed to heat and humidity, jogging it in the middle of the pack. If the weather cooperates, we should see her further ahead again this time around. A small question mark remains as she has not been racing much as of late. Tely 10 PB: 61:14 (2013)
10. Susan Martyn
Susan recently won the Uniformed Services 10k in 41:55 and she finished 7th in the Mews (30:46). Susan has been running strong Tely races for two consecutive years, performing well under difficult weather conditions. She is good for a sub-65 finish, albeit it will be very close this year. Tely 10 PB: 64:37 (2014).
Wildcards: There is a group of runners in the 65 to 70 minute range that could potentially surprise. Names that have ran within that range before include Stephanie Hodge, Katie Wadden, Rebecca Rudofsky, and others. Also keep an eye out for Megan Dupuis (formerly YYT, now Calgary), Joannie Neveu, and Laura Lawes – they have been running strong as of late.
Who’s not there? Two big names are missing this year: Julia Kawamoto and Lisa Harvey. In her inaugural Tely, Julia ran strong last year (59:01) although the relative heat prevented her from running an even faster time. It would have been interesting to see what she could do this year, now that she has familiarized herself with the course and distance. Were she signed up, she may have given Anne a run for the money. The same is likely true for Lisa, who won the Tely many times in the last decade, most recently in 2013. Lisa will not be running the Tely for the second year in a row.