A piece of history
Colin Fewer ran into history with his Tely10 victory Sunday
Shortly after bounding over another finish line for another Tely 10 victory Sunday morning, Colin Fewer was marvelling at the greatness of the Hall of Famer, Pat Kelly, and his consistency and commitment to road racing all those years ago.
“To win 10 Tely championships,” Fewer said, “I mean, it seemed unattainable. To have that motivation to keep running year after year …”
On this glorious July day, Fewer did attain the unattainable, breaking Kelly’s record of nine Tely championships with his 10th win in the 90th running of the big race, which drew 4,811 entries this year.
It was Fewer’s second straight victory, and third in the past four years, and he did it in style with a personal best time of 49:41.
Fewer, the just-turned 40-year-old from Paradise, by way of Harbour Main, now owns three of the top 10 times in Tely 10 history.
And you wonder how many races Kelly had won if not for the Second World War. He raced to seven straight Tely 10 championships from 193339 before it was halted for five years. When the race resumed in ’46, Kelly peeled off another two wins.
After representing the province in the Canada Summer Games exactly 20 years ago in Brandon, Man., Fewer went on to run cross-country for Memorial University where he was an all-star and conference rookie of the year.
However, after graduating with an education degree, Fewer stepped away from racing. He continued to run occasionally, but still ballooned 30 or 40 pounds over his competition weight.
“I enjoyed myself,” he smiled, “but I had that moment, you know, that I asked myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ Did I want to be one of those guys who talked about what I could have done?
“Maybe I needed some time, but I decided to get back into it, and I’m enjoying the path I took.”
Sunday’s route included the sixth-fastest time ever run on the Tely course. Only Paul McCloy and Matt Loiselle, who finished second yesterday, have run faster than Fewer.
And it came as a newlyminted masters runner, who just turned 40 earlier this month.
The time, according to local road running guru Art Meaney, who was bang on with his Tely 10 picks in Saturday’s Telegram, not only broke McCloy’s masters record of 51:28 in the Tely 10, but it is the fastest 10 miles ever run by a Canadian in the masters 40-plus category.
Fewer and Loiselle were neck-and-neck for much of the race until the winner eventually broke free. He was on pace to “smash” his personal best time until a nagging calf injury started acting up around six or seven kilometres.
It was the same left calf muscle that hampered Fewer in the Vancouver Sun Run in late April and the Ottawa 10K in May.
“I really wanted to go under 49 (minutes) and I was there, until the bloody calf started to pull on me again,” he said. “I thought I was done, to be honest. I didn’t think I’d make it through 7K, but I talked myself through it.
“It was tight, but it didn’t cramp on me. I had to adjust the pace because I was in survival mode.”
Fewer was 46 seconds faster than Loiselle, the Toronto resident who won the race in 2012 and 2015. Loiselle ran it in 50:27.
David Freake of St. John’s was third in a time of 51:22, while Marystown native Grant Handrgan, who is currently a professor at the University of Moncton, placed fourth in 52:05. Mark Greene of St. John’s rounded out the top five with a 53:14 showing.
Colin Fewer’s winning time in his 10th Tely 10 championship was sixth fastest in race history.