Defending a P.E.I. Marathon title or winning your first Marathon is just as sweet as Stan Chaisson and Jocelyn Peterson can attest to after completing the feats on Sunday.
Chaisson crossed the finish line in a time of 2:35:24, three minutes and 34 seconds off his record time of 2:32:58 set in 2009 but faster than last year’s time by over six minutes.
Peterson won her first P.E.I. Marathon in 3:18:51 and finished 13th overall.
The wire-to-wire win was Chaisson’s third and his second fastest time in the Island Marathon.
The Bear River native, who credited his better time to better training, said he wasn’t aiming for a new record but it seemed possible especially when he had a 1:17:40 split time.
“The thought crossed my mind after the halfway point, but it wasn’t on my racing plan. I just wanted to run at a steady pace,” said Chaisson, who lives in Charlottetown. “Compared to last year, I prepared a lot better. I trained in the Bonshaw hills, in the new trail system, and (it helped) my legs be stronger in the (course’s) hills.”
For Peterson, her first win ran over one goal but didn’t quite reach another.
“(My time) is OK. Finishing in 3:15 was my primary goal, but sub-3:20 is supposed to make me happy. So I’m happy. I’m feeling pretty good right now. Better training this year. I followed it,” said Peterson, laughing. “My whole family runs so I just tried to keep up with them.”
Kris Taylor of Hunter River finished second in 2:48:09 and Vicent Merriam of Stratford was third (2:50:14).
Amber Spriggs of Charlottetown was second on the women's side in 3:22:29, while Allie Keedwell also of Charlottetown was third in 3:31:11.
Summerside's Ryan Merrett won the half-marathon in 1:18:16. Bree Bates of Dartmouth, N.S., was the first women's half-marathoner to cross in 1:28:07. Bates placed fifth overall.
Weather wasn’t a factor at all, given the warm overcast day and virtually no wind. A rarity for the Marathon which has seen rain, snow, gales, blazing sun and brutal cold, sometimes in the same day, over its long run.
As for he 35-year-old Chaisson, his winning time has him looking forward to next year.
“I’m optimistic I can go faster,” he said.
Meanwhile, Peterson has a few celebration plans on the go.
“One of my kids had a (downhill ski) team barbecue so I’ll probably celebrate there,” she said. “And it’s back to work Monday.”
Top five category winners at the 2017 P.E.I. Marathon on Sunday
Full Marathon (overall) - 1. Stan Chaisson, Bear River, 2:35:24; 2. Kris Taylor, Hunter River, 2:48:09; 3. Vicent Merriam, Stratford, 2:50:14; 4. Michael McNeil, Riverview, N.B., 2:55:42; 5. Scott Langille, New Glasgow, N.S., 2:56:36.
Women - 1. Jocelyn Peterson, Charlottetown, 3:18:51; 2. Amber Spriggs, Charlottetown, 3:22:29; 3. Allie Keedwell, Charlottetown, 3:31:11; 4. Janet Hawkins, Halifax, N.S., 3:32:10; 5. Christa Hynes, Abercrombie, N.S., 3:32:56.
Half-Marathon (overall) - 1. Ryan Merrett, Summerside, 1:18:16; 2. Michael-Lucien Bergeron, Halifax, N.S., 1:21:33; 3. Jeff Boswell, Frenchfort, 1:24:02; 4. James Jessome, Antigonish, N.S., 1:27:22; 5. Bree Bates, Dartmouth, N.S., 1:28:07.
Women - 1. Bree Bates, Dartmouth, N.S., 1:28:07; 2. Kristy Newson, Stratford, 1:29:16; 3. Jennie Orr, Halifax, 1:29:29; 4. Helga Reisch Macneill, Kensington, 1:30:23; 5. Amanda Sullivan, Jackson, Wyo., 1:32:09.
Half-Marathon Walk (overall) - 1. Jasmina Garic Charlottetown, 2:33:19; 2. Gillian Niblett, Oakville, Ont., 2:37:25; 3. Karen Liptrap, Oakville, Ont., 2:37:26; 4. James Boswell, Frenchfort, 2:42:24; Donna Carver MacKenzie, Dartmouth, N.S., 2:51:23.
10K Run (overall) - 1. Aivar Koppel, Charlottetown, :38:13; 2. Ryan Keliher, Stratford, :38:38; 3. Daniel Quinn, Truro, N.S., :40:08; 4. Erin Poirier, Halifax, N.S., :40:36; 5. Damian McCarville, Bedford, N.S., :40:47.
10K Walk (overall) - 1. Ka Man Tam, Stratford, 1:00:22; 2. Roger Beazley, Charlottetown, 1:17:48; 3. Ronnie Blanchard, Charlottetown, 1:17:49; 4. Dale Atkins, Charlottetown, 1:22:12; Marie McInnis, Stratford, 1:22:53.
5K Run (overall) - 1. Joel Gallant, Wellington, :17:41; 2. Alex Bain, Oyster Bed Bridge, :17:47; 3. Daniel Godfrey, Charlottetown, 18:27; 4. Ryan Larter, Brookfield, 18:33; 5. Marcus Dirnberger, Charlottetown, :19:00.
5K Walk (overall) - 1. Shawn Lavie, Mermaid, :27:53; 2. Alvin Croken, Summerside, :35:30; 3. Susan Leduc, Charlottetown, :36:14; 4. Barry Cudmore, Brackley Beach, 38:07; 5. Rob Shaw, Bible Hill, N.S., :38:47.
Corporate Relay -1. CF 782 Men (Ryan Coffin, Jeremy Thompson, Billy MacDonald, Nik Reeves, Jonathan Mallard, Terry MacIsaac, Nate Mason, Michael Mayne), 2:50:13; 2. Court Six Crossfit (John Davidson, Tim McQuaid, Patrick Cullen, James Tremere, Meg McKenna, Logan Doiron, Jocelyn Dougan, Shawn McIernan), 2:55:17; 3. ADL Mooovaters (Trevor Cameron, Coles Adams, Jessie Cameron, Dakota Cameron, Brett Adams, Zach MacDonald, David MacDonald, Johnathon Gallant), 2:55:47; 4. CFC Orange (Jeff MacKenzie, Mike Rae, Greg Arsenault, Ben Howard, Steven Gamester, Jillian Howard, John Russell, Johnathon Broderick), 3:06:11; 5. Court 6 Racers (Colin Younker, Adam Gauthier, Josh Peterson, Jill Edwards, Gerry Lawless, Hannah Szwarc, Marc Arsenault, Kevin Douillette), 3:21:10.
Wheelchair 1K (overall) - Ryan Bolger, Charlottetown, :7:12; 2. Eric Payne, Warren Grove, :7:53; 3. Janice Gillis, Summerside, :8:32; 4. Allan Stanley, 9:06; 5. James Poirier, Charlottetown, :11:51.