The Telegram (St. John's)

Art peers into his crystal ball

Longtime runner and coach Art Meaney offers his take on 90th Tely 10


The 2017 Tely 10 will see a rematch between Colin Fewer and Matt Loiselle, with a Fewer win giving him a record 10 Tely titles.

Tied with the great Pat Kelly with nine championsh­ips apiece, Fewer has raced sparingly this year with two local victories in two appearance­s and two strong mainland efforts in Vancouver and Ottawa, indicating the 40-year-old speedster can still hold his own with the younger crowd at the national level.

His Tely training preparatio­n has gone very well, and he is confident he can pull off another win.

Ontarian Matt Loiselle has been a Tely champion twice, in 2012 and 2015. Both were sub50 minute achievemen­ts.

Loiselle is a big fan of the Tely, and loves the excitement generated by the huge crowds that come out to cheer on the runners. He has had many strong performanc­es at the national level, and is a formidable opponent for Fewer.

However, I believe Fewer’s long-time success on the Tely course, his confidence in his preparatio­n and his desire to establish a record that will be difficult to surpass gives him the edge.

On that basis, I think he will win again, but Loiselle will not make it easy for him. I’m expecting an exciting battle from start to finish, with the potential for one of the closest finishes in years.

Local road racing star David Freake is my choice for third. Over the past several years, Freake has won most of the province’s important road races. His victory at the recent Mews 8K race in 25:01 hints at a sub-53 minute time that should give him a lock on the bronze.

School teacher Mark Greene won the Uniform Services 10K race in June, and was runner up at the Harbor Front and Mews races. The former Memorial cross-country athlete is a hard trainer, usually alone and fast. Greene will be fourth.

Newfoundla­nder Grant Handrigan has been teaching at the University of Moncton for the past several years, and has establishe­d himself as one of the best runners in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He had wins at the Miramichi 5 Mile and Rock and Run 10K this spring, and this tells me he is strong enough for a top five finish.

Ian Royle has been provincial marathon and half marathon champion a number of times. He is truly a long distance specialist. In June, Royle won the Uniform Services half-marathon, and I think this weekend he will run his best Tely to date, for sixth place.

Peter Bazeley is another veteran of the local road race wars, with a long list of victories to his name. A strong third-place finish at the Mews race on July 9 shows he still has the speed and grit for a successful Tely. Bazeley will be seventh.

Fifty-three-year-old Peter Power is one of the best in Canada and the world for his age. On a good day, most competitiv­e runners in their 50s are delighted to place in a race. But Power defies the odds and wins races. In early June, he won the VOCM 10K in Garnish and later in the month won the Run for Freedom in St. Mary’s. I am choosing the astounding and amazing Power for eighth place.

I think two Memorial crosscount­ry runners will round out the top 10. Kyle Macleod has quietly moved up through the road race rankings this season, frequently in the chase for a top slot. His fifth-place finish at the Mews race in a strong field was an eye opener. Macleod in ninth.

Seamus Boyd-porter is probably the most versatile athlete in this year’s race. Winter biathlon star, mountain biker, trail runner and university cross-country runner, Boydporter is always fit and strong. He has been doing some impressive training lately, and I see him rounding out the top 10.

If you think my 10 picks are the only good and successful male competitiv­e runners in Newfoundla­nd, you would be very wrong. Will Fitzgerald, Garry Monaghan, Charlie Kourvelas, Dan Macdonald, Mike Scott, Dan Conway, Jason Guy, Zach Putt, Jason White, Adam Snow, Trevor Trahey, Jon Goodridge, Mark Hayward, Andrew Bruce, Jon Lodge, Paul Bassler, Rob Briggs, Alex Smallwood, Greg Greening, Sheldon Marsh, Jamie West and several others will be determined to upset my prediction­s on Sunday.

I may have to start picking the top 20 next year!

—— Reigning women’s champ and record-holder Kate Bazeley will not be running this year. She and runner/husband Peter Bazeley just welcomed a third daughter to their family.

In Bazeley’s absence, Jennifer Murrin has dominated the running season. Victories in each of this season’s major road races makes her the favorite for Sunday. Murrin has done several training runs on the Tely course recently, and she looked very fast and focused.

She won the women’s division at the Mews race and placed ninth overall. Her time of 28:10 time suggests a sub-60 Tely might be in the works. I am predicting Murrin will have her biggest win ever at the Tely this weekend.

Former Tely champ Caroline Mciiroy remains, after many years of competing, one of Newfoundla­nd’s best ever. Her amazing talents have allowed her to succeed as a road runner, cross-country runner and ultra marathoner. She was second last year, and I think she will be runner-up again this year.

Lately, Jennifer Barron has been getting coaching advice from Colin Fewer and it’s paying off. This season, she has raced very well with a second at the Boston Pizza 5K, a win at the Uniform Services 10K and a second at the Mews race. I

I am familiar with Yogi’s dilemma. Injuries, last-minute entries, surprise runners from the mainland, weather, and unexpected spectacula­r performanc­es can alter the outcome of a race.

choose her for third on Sunday.

Lisa Collins-sheppard has frequently been in the chase for a top five placing at the Tely. The Burin Peninsula native won the VOCM 10K in Garnish back in June, and earlier in the year had a second behind Murrin in the Harbor Front race. I see Collins Sheppard finishing fourth.

Karen Stacey is another successful Burin Peninsula athlete. She is a veteran with a career that stretches back to her days running cross-country for Memorial. Early in the season, she was second at the Mundy Pond 5K and last week an outstandin­g third at the Mews race. The very fit and mentally tough Stacey should be fifth.

Just like Ian Royle on the male side, Alison Walsh excels at the long events and has chalked up big wins at these races. She has appeared only once this season, but made a mark with a second-place finish at the Uniform Services half marathon. Her always-strong endurance will give her sixth place.

I met Janelle Simmons on the running trails a few days ago, and she told me she was ready to run a strong Tely. She has three top five finishes to her credit this season, and looks the fittest she has been for some time. Another Burin Peninsula runner who will make the top 10 this year, in seventh place.

For years, Sherri Lynn Reid has been a steady and reliable racer. As the race distance increases, she uses her endurance and mental strength to run well. This season, she has moved steadily up through the rankings and I think her experience will take her to an eighth place position.

Choosing the last two spots in the women’s top 10 is a challenge. There is a long list of notable female racers this year — Chantal Lockyer, Sarah Goodridge, Megan Smith, Melanie Van Soeren, Nicole Hollohan, Stephanie Nevin, April Lawlor, Susan Martyn, Thelma Greene, Karen Penwell, Karen Martin and Margo Murphy are all top ten contenders.

My stab at it puts Melanie Van Soeren ninth and Chantal Lockyer for 10th.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said that it was hard making prediction­s, especially about the future.

I am familiar with Yogi’s dilemma. Injuries, last-minute entries, surprise runners from the mainland, weather, and unexpected spectacula­r performanc­es can alter the outcome of a race.

The long history of the Tely 10 shows us we can frequently expect the unexpected. I am sure we will have that experience watching the 90th running of the race Sunday.

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