Brendan Lunty reclaims Ole’s Run Off crown
(Clockqwise)Brenden Lunty gets congratulated by his daughter Julie Lunty, 6, as he comes into the finish line to win the 8K Ole’s Spring Run; 151 runners took off from the starting line at the Stoney Creek Centre in Camrose; Zachary Paulson comes into the finish line for the 3K race on May 13. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
Brendan Lunty has reclaimed his Ole’s Spring Run Off crown
The Camrose runner claimed his fourth 8-kilometre title at the ninth annual season kick off. He finished the Stoney Creek course in a time of 27 minutes and 43 seconds, besting the Scott Kohlman’s 28:23 and Daylan Wizniuk’s 28:24.
For Lunty, though, it wasn’t so much about winning the race as it was about getting off to a good start in the running season.
“I’m more worried about my time than winning it,” said Lunty, 38. “There are a lot of other good runners here and if I ran a good time and they beat me, then I’m good with than, but it’s nice to win too.
“I’m getting old so it’s nice to hold pace.”
Lunty has plans to run several marathons this year, including the Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer this weekend with several other members of the Camrose Running Club.
Running has become more than just a sport for Lunty. It is now something his entire family does together. His wife Lorie Lunty is a regular in the race as well, though she was not there this year, while their daughters Julie, 6, and Marielle, 3, also competed in the kids 1 KM race.
“That’s the coolest part now is watching these guys,” said Lunty. “They’ve been excited for weeks now to run Ole’s big race. Just to encourage them to be active and follow in our footsteps.”
The run has grown up as well over the last decade. In its infancy it was known as the Puffin for Muffin, but after five years the format was changed and it was renamed Ole’s Spring Run Off.
This year 151 runners took part in the race, running in crisp temperatures and drizzly conditions, which are ideal for a race – competitors don’t get too hot or too cold and are constantly refreshed without getting too wet. The race helps fund the Camrose Ski Club, which the running club is a part of, and also raises money for the Camrose Public Library.
The race has become an important part of the Camrose running community.
“It’s a great community run and a great way for families to get out and really encourage their little kids to stay active, as we know if parents are active then their kids stay active too,” said race organizer Mary MacArthur.
Many runners in the longer two distances started out running the kids’ 1 KM race, but there are no plans to grow the race to longer distances like a 10 KM or half marathon.
“We don’t want to make it inaccessible,” said MacArthur. “We want to have it as an accessible run where people feel like it is something they can do. For many people this is their first run and is a stepping stone to do a 10 KM or and 8 KM in a different community.”
The course starts at the Stoney Creek Centre, east on 39 Ave toward the ski hill. The three kilometre course works north on the trails towards 44 Ave and loops back to the centre. The eight kilometre course adds on to the loop, and instead of finishing at the centre, will complete a five kilometre loop south of the centre which includes the challenging ski hill.
NOTES – Wesley Joyce won the 3KM race in 12:40 while Mitchell Joyce was second at 13:14. Mathew Searle followed at 13:20 with Luka Taylor at 13:28 and Sidney Cusack at 13:31 to round out the top five. Kieran Baird (28:32) and Matthieu Martin (29:06) completed the top five for the 8KM event.