Local Ryan O’Shea PBs despite mid-race stop, wins 2017 Fredericton Marathon

Meadowvale, N.S.'s Heather O'Donnell was the top woman at the 2017 Fredericton Marathon on an ideal Mother's Day morning for road running.

Fredericton Marathon
Fredericton Marathon
Fredericton Marathon men’s winner Ryan O’Shea. Photo: Paul Jordan.

Defending his Fredericton Marathon title wasn’t a lock for Ryan O’Shea at the 25K mark on Sunday.

Battling a nasty side stitch, the 2016 champion was forced to stop and let a two- to three-minute gap form between him and Jean-Marc Dorion, who was in second at the time. As the stitch subsided, O’Shea was able to overcome the deficit to set a two-minute personal best. Dorion ended up third with Greg Sawyer splitting the two in 2:41:26. (The men’s course record is 2:34:46 by Chris Brake.)

O’Shea, of New Maryland, N.B., ran 2:37:59 on what was a gorgeous day in Atlantic Canada with little wind and temperatures around 15 C by the late morning. In 2016, O’Shea ran 2:39:23. “The support out on course was amazing,” he says citing spectators with megaphones and cheers from fellow runners on the out-and-back sections.

As O’Shea is from New Brunswick, his overall win also doubles as a provincial championship.

Fredericton Marathon
Fredericton Marathon women’s winner Heather O’Donnell. Photo: Paul Jordan.

In the women’s race, Heather O’Donnell of Meadowvale, N.S. paced her marathon to perfection splitting 1:31:54 through the halfway point winning in 3:03:39. In second was Stephanie Myles in 3:11:14 followed by Kyla Gillis in 3:21:10. Paula Keating holds the women’s course record in 2:53:57 and this year Keating ran the 10K, finishing fifth in 39:31.

Annie Pellerin, who was fifth overall, was the first New Brunswick woman across the line as part of the provincial marathon championships.

The Fredericton Marathon, the oldest 42K in New Brunswick, celebrated its 39th anniversary in 2017. The marathon comes on the second day of race weekend as a youth fun run went off on Saturday. Today, Fredericton hosted a 5K, 10K, half-marathon along with the popular Boston Marathon qualifier.

It’s a busy couple of weeks in the Maritimes as the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax is next weekend. O’Donnell is the defending Blue Nose Marathon champion.

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