For the first time in many years the Canal Run wasn’t doused with sunshine at the finish line, and instead 762 registered racers, more than 100 volunteers and hundreds of spectators were treated to an overcast day with a soft, chilly breeze blowing in off Lake Superior as the race’s finish line festivities were moved from their usual location of Quincy Green to the beautiful McLain State Park.
Despite the chill and constant threat of a light sprinkle of rain, it was a picturesque morning that will not soon be forgotten. The new two-mile fun run/walk was a hit as it opened doors to a whole new crowd of participants, the speed racers came into the finish line was incredibly impressive, and the entire community can be proud that this classic event, which has now gone on for 43 years, persevered through one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit our area.
One course record was broken as Marquette-native Lance Rambo did the first sub-28 minute five-mile run. He came in at 27:48, nearly a full minute faster than his closest competition. Lela Rautiola of Chassell High School basketball fame was the fastest female runner, coming in at 34:58.
In the Bob Olson 10-Mile Run there were a pair of new winners with Kelly Menge and Daniel Byrne.
The 10-mile walk had a pair of three-time winners earn the title with Karen Ham winning her third straight title, and Ray Sharp winning his first since 2015, coming in five minutes short of the course record of 1:18:37 he set in 2007.
The five-mile walk was won by Harvey Richards of Sullivan, Oregon, while Paige Remali was the first woman finisher.
In the half marathon it was another dominant performance for Stephen Eles, who has now won the race four straight years. Stephanie Peterman won on the female side, breaking up a two-year run by Kate McCloud.
The Canal Run committee wants to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers for coming out and helping, all of the homeowners on M-203 for allowing hundreds of people to run and walk by their property, the many business, agencies and organizations that work with the Canal Run to make everything happen smoothly, and the passionate participants who come back year after year. If you participated in the race this year, please consider completing our racer survey.
Don’t forget to add the 2019 Canal Run to your calendar. Next year’s date is Saturday, July 20, 2019!