Marathon start at De La Salle Park. Photo: Tom Sandler

By Mike Anderson

Ideal weather conditions greeted more than 600 runners at the start of last Saturday’s Georgina Spring Fling Marathon, held at De La Salle Park in Jackson’s Point.

Daytime temps on May 6 — hovering around 18C — combined with low humidity and virtually no wind, helped many runners achieve personal bests.

That was certainly the case for Fernando Bralha, 36, from Aurora, the winner of the men’s marathon (42.2K), who completed the race in 2:43:13, more than two minutes faster than the 2nd place finisher, Christopher Mayor, 39, from Burlington, who crossed the line in 2:45:43.

“The race was amazing; it was the best race of my life,” said Bralha, who shaved nearly two minutes off his personal best.

“The course is flat, no wind. Perfect conditions; I can’t wait to do it again!”

Male marathon winner Fernando Bralha. Photo: Tom Sandler
Lukas Vadeika, 19, from Mount Albert, wins men’s 10K. Photo: Tom Sandler
Jane Weber, 41, from Toronto, wins female half marathon. Photo: Tom Sandler

Jeslyn Chantler, 25, from Barrie, was the top female with a time of 2:57:27, well ahead of 2nd place finisher Laura Ross, 30, from Toronto, who crossed in 3:17:43.

While there were no Georgina runners in the marathon, they were well-represented in other races.

Brian Power, 30, finished 49th in the half marathon with a time of 1:43:43, while Trina Bailey, 45, was the top female finisher (118th) with a time of 2:04:06. Paul Tait, 61, was also awarded 2nd place in the male aged 60 to 69 category (M60-69) with a time of 1:45:15.

Andrew Waters, 40, from Keswick, was 7th in the 10K with 41:03, winning 2nd place (Male 40-49). Pauline Smith, 47, from Willow Beach, was the top female, finishing 27th with 51:13; but also won 1st in her age category (F40-49).

Also, in the 10K, Luke Would, from Pefferlaw, was awarded 2nd (M20-29), while Dylan Locke, from Zephyr, was 3rd. Owen Sanders, 33, from Sutton, was 2nd (M30-39), while David Wraggett, 62, from Pefferlaw, finished 2nd (M60-69).

Anthony Smith, 19, was 13th in the 5K with a time of 25:00, while Savanna Quiring, 32, from Pefferlaw, was 26th with a time of 28:25.

Georgina award winners in the 5K included Linda Berg (1st, F70-98), Anthony Smith (1st, M1-19), Tommy Thain (2nd, M1-19), Sean McManus (3rd, M30-39), Chris Cooper (3rd, M40-49) and Dave Wilson (3rd, M60-69)

Whether or not they achieved a personal best, most people – judging by the smiles – who registered for the event were happy they did so.

“It was my first post-baby challenge. I do a lot of other fitness stuff, so this like Everest for me because I don’t run,” said Carley Roberts, 34, from Keswick, who was running for the first time in the 5K – which was added last year to attract more local runners and walkers.

“It’s such a lovely community event. It’s nice to see some cool things coming to this area. It puts Georgina on the map. It brings awareness to how lovely our lake is and how much potential is here.”

Carley Roberts
Linda Berg, 71, (1st, F70-98), from Jackson’s Point, walks across finish. Photo: Tom Sandler

Co-race Director Cindy Lewis-Caballero says after mounting several successful running events at De La Salle Park; the word is spreading within the GTA running community that Georgina is the place to race.

“The race grew by 80 per cent over last year, “she said.

“People love the course. It’s fast, flat and scenic. That’s what we advertise, and that’s why people keep coming back.”

Lewis-Caballero says that runners also bring their families, and that’s good news for local businesses.

“It’s become a destination that people come to with their families, staying overnight and eating at the restaurants,” she said.

“We also added a kid’s race this year, which brings more families. And it encourages them to stay for the weekend instead of just coming for the day and heading home.”

Indeed, nearly 20 kids registered for the kid’s 1K Fun Race, held at The Briars later that afternoon, and were cheered on by their delighted parents.

Kid’s 1K Fun Race at The Briars
Race Directors Cindy Lewis-Caballero & Sandie Orlando. Photo: Tom Sandler
Race day volunteers. Photo: Tom Sandler

While Lewis-Caballero acknowledged the support of major sponsors, like The Briars Resort & Spa, she says the event wouldn’t happen without the Town of Georgina.

“The Town has been a huge supporter of the event,” she said.

“They help things run smoothly, ensuring that the road surface is clear and there are no potholes for the runners. They also made sure the people at the aid stations had what they needed to clean up afterwards. They’re always available and accommodating.”

Lewis-Caballero also thanked the dozens of volunteers, many from Georgina, who made the race a success. She also acknowledged the support from residents along Lake Drive, who, for the most part, held off driving until the race was over.

“We had residents walk by excited about the race. We haven’t had anyone come by and complain. So, so far, we’ve had a good year.”



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