This year, Rudy Riedlsperger (Twitter) 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).
After taking a look at what promises to be a strong women’s field for the 2015 Tely 10 on Friday, today I’ll discuss what I believe to be the top male finishers this year. Of course, as is the case with predictions, they don’t always come true. Unfortunately Janelle Simmons was diagnosed with a stress fracture late Friday afternoon and won’t be able to run the Tely. I wish her a speedy recovery and I am sure she will be back strong as ever. But now, without further ado:
1. Matt Loiselle
The personable Toronto, ON, native is back in town and a sure bet for the win. Matt first ran the Tely in 2012 where he left his mark with an unbelievable time of 48:09. Last year he was out due to injury. He still flew in to cheer from the sidelines, as he has been coaching various athletes in Newfoundland over the last few seasons including Kate Bazeley. Can he come close to Paul McCloy’s record of 47:04 (1985)? A brisk average pace of 4:42 minutes per mile would be necessary to do that. Since Matt is in the process of building up for a strong marathon performance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, such feat may come just a bit too soon. However, a sub-48 is within the realm of the possible. Tely 10 PB: 48:09 (2012)
2. Colin Fewer
Nobody has left a bigger mark on the Newfoundland running scene over the last fifteen years or so than Colin Fewer. From being a member of the last MUN Cross Country team to win the prestigious AUS championships, to dominating the Tely year after year after year: Colin is a top shelf runner with gas left in the tank. A recent calf injury in the Ottawa 10k makes a start uncertain, however. Even without injury, Colin would need to have the race of his life in order to stick with Matt. Interestingly, Colin’s fantastic PB of 49:43 stems from 2012 – the year Matt won his first Tely. Tely 10 PB: 49:43 (2012)
Graydon is a Tely 10 veteran who broke the 53 minute barrier four times already. After not running the Tely for a couple of years, the 33 year old is back in St. John’s and as fast as ever – if not faster. Recently, Graydon made the podium in the Calgary half-marathon, finishing in 69 minutes at an altitude of about 1000m or 3500ft. Depending on Colin’s condition, this may be Graydon’s year to try and stay with him for as long as possible. A new Tely PB may be his reward. Tely 10 PB: 51:11 (2011).
4. Jordan Fewer
Not officially signed up at the moment, (trusted) rumours have it that the wheels are in motion to ensure Jordan toes the line on July 26. And for the sake of a suspenseful race, the running community sure hopes so! On home turf, Jordan won every race he signed up so far this season. In order to stay physically fresh and prevent injury he also mixed up his training a bit compared to last year. For example, he paced Caroline McIlroy on the East Coast Trail for close to twelve hours – only to dominate the Mews 8K two weeks later in a blazing time of 24:50. It will be Jordan’s best bet to stick with David Freake, Ryan Brockerville, Grant Handrigan et al. for the majority of the race before making his move. Tely 10 PB: 54:47 (2013)
David has big goals in running and he is not shy to share them. According to his blog, he is eying a podium finish this year. He certainly has the skills and experience to accomplish this feat. For example, David recently broke the course record at the St. Mary’s 8k (24:07). While Jordan kept winning by a small margin in the local race circuit, David ran a faster time at the Ottawa 10k: 31:53 vs. 32:11. If David manages to not put too much pressure on himself and stay calm, he may prove me wrong and even hang on to Graydon Snider for third place. Tely 10 PB: 53:59 (2013)
Canadian running star Ryan Brockerville is back in his home province to shake things up. Last week, Ryan competed in the 2015 Universiade in Gwangju, Korea, where he finished 8th in the 3000m steeplechase (8:46). While there is not much time for him to recover for the Tely, the track and field athlete has proven that he can run a wicked fast 10 miler on the road in the past. He ran 15:09 over the 5k distance this year already. On a good day, Ryan may even be a contender for the podium. Tely 10 PB: 53:31 (2013)
7. Grant Handrigan
While most of my predicted top female finishers live in Newfoundland, the same is not true for the male runners. However, many of the CFA’s have plenty of race experience on the rock. Grant Handrigan is but another example. The friendly professor from Moncton is back once again to be among the top finishers. Grant has taken some time off in recent seasons due to injury (a common theme among the top runners on this list) and recently ran a 10k in Ottawa in 32:51. He may not be able to run a new PB just yet, but he has enough skills and experience to stay with almost everyone on this list in order to keep things interesting. Tely 10 PB: 51:22 (2010)
8. Peter Power
When it comes to running legends, Peter Power is on par with Caroline McIlroy. He is said to never run slow, even on easy runs. He is said to hunt deer with bow and arrow, to build aerobic base. He is said to have had beers with the most interesting man in the world, only to leave rather bored after some conversation. The truth is, certainly, that Peter is among the best distance runners in the province and the most likely contender to pick up Art Meaney’s impressive age records as the years go on. This is the future, however. In the present, he is a staple in the top 10, and can likely give Grant and the others something to worry about. Tely 10 PB: 53:03 (2012)
9. Michael King
There is one indicator that tells me Mike is in top 10 shape this year: he is signed up. Mike is known to understand the science behind behind the sport, to prepare meticulously, and to leave little to chance. Over the last months and years, work and studies brought him to Brazil, South Africa, and Switzerland. While extensive travelling can take its toll on training regimen, Mike stayed focused and was never far off of being in great shape. For example, he won the Huffin and Puffin half-marathon in St. John’s last fall in a time of 75 minutes, and has been building up relatively consistently since. An injury required him to cross-train for parts of the winter, but I expect him to get close to the 55 minute mark – if not below it. A new lucky charm in the form of baby boy Nate should allow him to squeeze out a few extra seconds. Tely 10 PB: 54:38 (2011).
10. Peter Bazeley
In terms of training philosophy, Peter is the antithesis to Mike King. Like Mike, he is always in top shape, and always training hard. However, Peter is known to sometimes venture on unknown paths, both literally (traversing the Lewis Hills area with Caroline McIlroy, for example), and figuratively (running and winning ultra marathons, such as the Deer Lake 67 in 2013). Peter won several races over shorter distances this year already, sometimes while pushing his daughter Amelia in a stroller. He knows how to pace himself well, and should find someone within his range to cruise the first half of the race before getting down to business after the 8k mark. Tely 10 PB: 54:30 (2012)
Wildcards: In a perfect world, this year’s top 10 list would accommodate twenty runners. But it is not. So it can’t. Among the runners most likely to screw up my predictions are Trevor O’Brien, Mark Hayward and Ian Royle. Trevor has ran 51 minute Telys before (albeit over a decade ago), and easily jogged under 60 minutes without much training last year. If rumours are true he aims to run a 53 minute Tely this year but I could not find any recent results to evaluate whether he is in fact on track to do so. Mark Hayward, on the other hand, is coming back from a short hiatus from running. Since the Mundy Pond 5k he has been getting faster every week. Ian is good for a top 10 finish, but recent results indicated that he is not quite in the same shape as last year. In addition to the names mentioned thus far, runners who ran incredibly well this year and could prove me wrong for not putting them in the top 10 include: Daniel MacDonald, Jason White, Jason Guy, Trevor Trahey, Joe Dunford, Ed Durnford, and Nick Snow. Yes – the list is that long. In addition, there is a group of runners who likely won’t have anything to do with the top 10, but who can run good races and break 60 minutes: Chris Jackman, Pat Collins, Chris Lowe, Brandon Sager, Seamus Boyd-Porter, Charlie Kourvelas, James Greene, Ben Murphey, Dan Conway, Jeff Collingwood, Sheldon Marsh, Jamie West, Matt Power, and, hopefully, yours truly. The good thing about a deep field, of course, is that everybody can find a running buddy and kiss no man’s land good bye.
Who is not there: Several big names are missing in the lineup. For starters, some of the fast Nova Scotians (Brent Addison, Lee McCarron, and Daniel McNeil) won’t be making the journey to Newfoundland this year. All three of them would be good for top 5 performances. From a local perspective, John Angelopoulos and Adam Snow are missing. Both are coming back from injury and will likely be contenders again for top 10 performances in 2016.
Note: A previous version of the blog post indicated that Colin Fewer became Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion with MUN. This is incorrect. Colin was on the last MUN XC team to win the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) championships in 1999. Big difference, but still a big achievement. My apologies.