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Dunk River Road Race marks P.E.I.’s first running event since COVID-19

Michael Bergeron of Stanley Bridge check his time as he hits the finish line in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race in Bedeque on Sunday morning. Bergeron finished first overall in 40 minutes 59 seconds (40:59).
Michael Bergeron of Stanley Bridge check his time as he hits the finish line in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race in Bedeque on Sunday morning. Bergeron finished first overall in 40 minutes 59 seconds (40:59). - Jason Simmonds



BEDEQUE, P.E.I. – It was different with some new regulations, but P.E.I. runners were happy to have the opportunity to participate in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race.

A total of 64 participants started and completed the 7.2-mile course on Sunday morning. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), it was the first running race on P.E.I. this summer.

“I’m very pleased with the response we have received from the runners,” said race director Mike Connolly, who had several participants approach him after finishing the run expressing their appreciation and praising the event’s organization. “They are very happy to be able to do an event. 

“We hope that if everything goes well this will open the door to other event organizers and they’ll be able to hold more running races into the fall.”

Connolly's proposal for the race to P.E.I.’s Chief Public Health Office (CPHO) received approval on July 17.

“I’m very pleased with the response we have received from the runners. They are very happy to be able to do an event. We hope that if everything goes well this will open the door to other event organizers and they’ll be able to hold more running races into the fall.”

- Mike Connolly

Some precautions included having two waves of a maximum of 50 runners each. The 23 women started at 9 a.m., followed by 41 men beginning the course at 10 a.m. Connolly noted this spread things out, relieved congestion and kept numbers under the guidelines.

Connolly praised the runners for respecting social distancing. Other adjustments included pre-packaged or individually packaged food, volunteers at each water stop wore gloves and a couple of water station attendants wore masks. Awards were presented as runners came in.

“Basically, everyone was six feet apart and when people were passing everyone was giving quite a wide berth,” said Jennie Orr, who was the top female runner in 48 minutes 39 seconds (48:39). “Everyone was great at the water stops, too. Everything was all pre-poured.”

Stanley Bridge resident Jennie Orr was the top female runner in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race in Bedeque on Sunday morning. Orr’s time was 48 minutes 39 seconds (48:39). - Jason Simmonds
Stanley Bridge resident Jennie Orr was the top female runner in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race in Bedeque on Sunday morning. Orr’s time was 48 minutes 39 seconds (48:39). - Jason Simmonds

Orr’s husband, Michael Bergeron, was the overall race winner, stopping the clock in 40:59. The couple resides in Stanley Bridge.

Bergeron jumped out in front from the start and didn’t look back. The weather, which was overcast with a breeze and light rain at different times, provided favourable conditions, noted Bergeron, a naval officer with the HMCS Queen Charlotte.

“It was a bit muggy and maybe an extra water station around the midpoint would have been good,” said Bergeron, who was happy with his time. “The course was favourable, well-marked, good volunteers spread out providing us with water using the proper safety measures with masks.”

Orr, a dietician, said she expected the temperature to be warmer than it was. She added the rain was a welcome surprise for the runners.

Orr said the Dunk River Road Race is always a fun event, with lots of challenging hills.

“I was just really excited to race because with everything going on in the world today it’s nice to be able to be back together with everyone,” said Orr.


WATCH: Runners participate in the 43rd annual Callbeck’s Home Hardware Dunk River Road Race:



Complete results of Dunk River Road Race:

Men

  • Michael Bergeron, 40:59;
  • Ryan Merrett, 44:07;
  • Steve Reeves, 44:43;
  • Gaetan Dallaire, 45:59;
  • Scott Clark, 47:10;
  • Mark Cullen, 49:03;
  • Max Koughan, 50:03;
  • Kevin MacIssac, 50:23;
  • JP Desrosiers, 50:37;
  • Derek Underhill, 52:07;
  • Paul Burnley, 53:38;
  • Isaac Mazer, 53:47;
  • Gordon MacFarlane, 54:20;
  • Damian Fay, 54:26;
  • Chad MacMillan, 54:50;
  • DJ Welton, 55:04;
  • Matt Allain, 55:16;
  • Francis Fagan, 55:28;
  • Peter Walker, 57:09;
  • Martyn Clark, 58:18;
  • Matt Vaughan, 58:23;
  • Nick Bridges, 58:25;
  • Jeff Mahoney, 58:30;
  • Clark MacLeod, 58:31;
  • Kipp Preston, 1:00:14;
  • Brooke Gregory, 1:00:23;
  • Clarke Petty, 1:00:27;
  • Gerard MacNeill, 1:00:28;
  • Wade Sweet, 1:01:08;
  • Brian Deveau, 1:01:24;
  • Matt Praught, 1:01:35;
  • Osmaini Contreras, 1:03:06;
  • Andy McQueen, 1:03:31;
  • Ensor McNeill, 1:04:03;
  • Perry Newman, 1:04:55;
  • Randy Kuypers, 1:05:05;
  • Gary Colgan, 1:05:57;
  • Brandon Webber, 1:09:08;
  • Daniel Zhang, 1:17:27;
  • Blair Steele, 1:18:44;
  • Chris Arsenault, 1:40:46.


Women

  • Jennie Orr, 48:39;
  • Sandra Gregory, 50:08;
  • Carrie Gregory, 51:54;
  • Amber MacLeod, 53:03;
  • Mamie McGinn, 54:50;
  • Alanna VanWiechen, 57:32;
  • Nancy Morris, 58:42;
  • Stacey Kuypers, 59:37;
  • Caitlin Campbell, 1:00:26;
  • Diane Boswall, 1:03:45;
  • Shanice MacDonald, 1:04:03;
  • Dorothy Gregory, 1:04:36;
  • Kelly MacKenzie, 1:04:57;
  • Beibei Jia, 1:05:18;
  • Barb MacLean, 1:10:19;
  • Melissa Hannauer, 1:10:41;
  • Loretta Van Ekris, 1:10:50;
  • Dianne Watts Pye, 1:11:37;
  • Hannah O’Brien, 1:13:27;
  • Sheryl MacLeod, 1:14:26;
  • hristelle Gallant, 1:16:39;
  • Marilyn Affleck, 1:20:58;
  • Shelley Read, 1:24:52.

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