New Brunswick runner finishes first in P.E.I. Marathon

A New Brunswick runner placed first overall Sunday in the 16th annual Prince Edward Island Marathon.

Trevor Funk of Saint John covered the 42.2-kilometre course in a personal-best time of two hours, 43 minutes and 11 seconds.

The race was Funk's 22nd marathon — he has been running them for about 15 years. Sunday's race was his first win. He was back on P.E.I. after completing the half marathon four years ago. 

"Things have definitely progressed dramatically in my running since that time. In the last two years I've been putting in a lot of kilometers and a lot of training. And to run a personal best now here at 45 was quite satisfying," Funk said. 

Fastest woman

Helga Reisch MacNeill of Kensington, P.E.I., was the first woman to cross the finish line. The 47-year-old finished in three hours, 12 minutes and 27 seconds.

Reisch MacNeill was excited about her win, which she said was "pretty unexpected." 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

Reisch MacNeill has run a number of marathons over the years, including the P.E.I. marathon several times, and the Boston Marathon in 2014. She said she particularly enjoys the P.E.I. run, and said conditions were good. 

"It's a really pretty run. It's probably one of the prettiest marathons I've ever run, and I've done a few all over the place. And the weather was good, the wind was at our back for a good part of it, it's just, it was perfect today."

The race began in Brackley Beach at 8 a.m. and finished in downtown Charlottetown in front of Province House.

The event raises money for the Canadian Mental Health Association's P.E.I. chapter. It is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

'So happy'

As well as the full marathon, Sunday's event also included a half marathon, 10K, 5K, 2K wheelchair race and corporate relay.

Kylie Muio completed the half marathon, her first race in several years, after having children. 

She said she runs not just for the physical benefits, but also the mental health benefits. Her two sons, Owen and Elliot, were there cheering her on with a homemade sign. 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

"It made me remember why I was doing it …the last couple kilometers were a struggle, and just seeing them and that sign just made me push through, and just be so happy that I completed my goal, and I could show them that it's possible."  

For fellow half-marathoner Erinn MacDougall, Sunday's race marked the culmination of a personal challenge she set for herself in 2019. 

MacDougall turned 30 this year, and set a goal for herself to run 30 races over the course of the year — ranging from 5K runs to half marathons. 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

"It was harder than I thought to get in every one, because it was almost every weekend possible that a race was going on I had to do it."

The P.E.I. event was race number 30 — which she completed in her home province. 

"I'm feeling great, I'm feeling so happy. I have had a smile on since the start and I finished with a smile and I'm so happy right now."

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