Olympians, Canadian record holders and national cross-country champions were among those who braved the cold in southern Ontario for the Boxing Day 10-miler.

More than 800 participants were entered for the Dec. 26 road race in Hamilton, the first major event of winter, between the two distances. Tuesday’s race marked the 97th edition of the Boxing Day tradition. Conditions were frigid, with the windchill making temperatures feel like -22 C, according to the Weather Network.

Canadian steeplechase record holder and Olympian Matt Hughes won the 10-miler (16K) in 51:18 followed by two-time national senior cross-country champion Ross Proudfoot. Reid Coolsaet, a 2:10:28 marathoner and two-time Olympian, was third in 51:45.

Vancouver’s Robyn Mildren was the top woman in the 10-miler in 59:17 clocking an identical (gun) time as second-place finisher Carmen Hussar. Hussar was an Olympic finalist in the 1,500m at the 2004 Olympics and won a silver medal at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Amy Hicks was third at the B.D. 10-Miler in 1:00:22.

The event also included a 4-miler (6.4K) won by Jeff Dill (23:15) and Mary Unsworth (24:25).

Coolsaet scoped out the course beforehand and captured the scene at the 6-mile marker (10K). The entire field battled snow-covered roads as recent snowfall hit southern Ontario over the winter holidays.

The Boxing Day 10-Miler is one of four popular southern Ontario off-distance (not a typical race length) road races this winter. The next three include the Robbie Burns 8K, Re-Fridgee-Eighter and Around the Bay 30K.


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