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Lunty’s reign ends in Red Deer

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Brendan Lunty won the 8K race at Ole’s Spring Run off in Camrose on May 13. He finished in second at the Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer on May 21. File photo

Brendan Lunty won the 8K race at Ole’s Spring Run off in Camrose on May 13. He finished in second at the Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer on May 21. File photo

Brendan Lunty’s reign as king of the Woody’s RV Marathon is now over. 


The Camrose runner won the 42-kilometre race in Red Deer six years in a row, but that streak ended on Sunday on May 21 as he finished second to hometown runner Craig Schmitt. 

The two have battled for years on the Red Deer course, but Schmitt finally got the better of him. 

“We ran together until about 27 kilometres and then he put a move on and took off and I did not,” said Lunty. “It was one of those days, I didn’t have it. He deserved it.” 

Lunty finished in a time of two hours, 53 minutes and 56.14 seconds while Schmitt finished in 2:44:37.77. 

He was coming off a season-opening Ole’s Spring Run Off on May 13, his fourth win of that race. He has more than 30 victories to his name in throughout his marathoning career. 

Lunty attributes his success at these two races to the work he does in the off-season in preparation for the running season. 

“I’ve always worked hard through the winter and a lot of people take some of the winter off or do something else and get into running mode a little later,” he said. “I’ve always made a point of being there because I do like the race itself and the running community there.” 

He is more concerned about his time than his finish. His goal is to get back down in the 2:40:00 range he would be happy. Lunty ran a 2:35:37 last year to win his second Edmonton Marathon in August. 

“It’s a good starting point for the year, now I know where I stand and now I know I have to work a little harder here,” he said. 

Lunty was not the only local runner to do well in Red Deer. 

Camrose’s Daylan Wizniuk was not far off the pace, finishing in fifth place at 3:00:18.25 while Ian Blokland was seventh with a time of 3:03:55.26. 

In the half marathon, Robert Renman finished fourth (1:22:08.90) and Jason Ernst was 11 (1:28:46.55). Meanwhile, Graeme Thain finished with a time of 1:50:12.56, Jocelyn Burns 1:59:31.18, Preston Norris 2:04:50.96, Sheila Kidd 2:04:51.22, Trevor Vinet 2:20:42.93, Christa Tkaczyk 2:21:11.57. 

Natalie Thain was first in the 15 and up  girls 10 K at 55:17.10, while Lucy Ernst was sixth in the 40-49 women’s 10K at 58:12.21. 

It was the kind of weekend that goes to bolster the reputation of Camrose runners. 

“It’s neat to have some young guys coming in that are really pushing us,” said Lunty. “We’ve had for years a really strong running group in town, and we are recognized when we go to Edmonton, they go ‘There’s those guys from Camrose.’” 

Up next is the Saskatchewan Marathon in Saskatoon on May 28 followed by the Banff marathon on June 18. Lunty has had success in Saskatoon over the years, winning four titles, but none since 2013, though he did finish second last year. It is a course that sets up well for him. 

“I love it, it’s kind of like Edmonton, but mini,” said Lunty. “It reminds me of running in the river valley in Edmonton except on a smaller scale. It’s beautiful, there’s lots of pretty scenery all up and down the river, it’s great.” 


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