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80-year-old Florence Barron runs Cape to Cabot 20K in 2:12:46

This race, one of the toughest in eastern North America, inspires amazing performances

Four hundred and twenty six runners (out of more than 500 starters) finished the 12th running of the Orangetheory Fitness Cape to Cabot 20K in Newfoundland yesterday, and the province’s doyenne of masters running, Florence Barron, did it in 2:12:46, at the age of 80.

RELATED: Tely 10’s Florence Barron smashes 80+ record

Barron has been running races and breaking age-group records in Newfoundland for years. And these races are not for sissies: the Cape to Cabot, which runs from Cape Spear to Signal Hill in St. John’s (with four major hills a mile-long climb up near the end), is billed as the “toughest race in Eastern North America.” Barron has run it many times, and last year she set a new personal best of 2:06:58.

Katie Wadden was first across the finish line in the women’s race, in a time of 1:32:12. Melanie van Soeren was second, in 1:33:10, and Ali Crawford was third, in 1:35:29.

The men’s race was won by Zach Putt in 1:18:41. Pete Bazeley was second, in 1:21:22, and Brian Caines third, in 1:22:53. 

Craig Spurrell earned the distinction of being the first blind runner to finish this race. Running with two friends as guides, Spurrell’s time was 2:22:19. Spurrell lost his sight six years ago. Last year he set a new PB, 4:37:36, at the California Marathon in Sacramento.

 

The Cape to Cabot also has the distinction of being the first “green” race in Newfoundland and Labrador, with reusable cloth tote bags for race kits, permanent signage, real cutlery and plates for post-race refreshments, paperless communication, no thermal blankets (runners’ bags are brought to the finish line area), and the race has subscribed to a Pledge of Sustainability, working towards lowering the environmental impact of athletic events.

Update: In an earlier version of this story, we reported Florence Barron’s time incorrectly. We very much regret the error. – Eds.