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East St. Paul athletes dominate at Manitoba Marathon

Posted: June 29, 2017

Jeremy Walker, above left running stride for stride with eventual winner Teresa Fekensa, and right after the race, finished second in the full Manitoba Marathon in just his first attempt.

East St. Paul athletes dominate at Manitoba Marathon


 Jeremy Walker takes second place in full; four others pull off Top 20 finishes


By now, East St. Paul’s Jeremy Walker has likely recovered from the June 17 Manitoba Marathon where the first time full marathoner pulled off a shocking second-place finish in the 26.2 mile event with a time of 2:39:07.

Shocking for everyone but Walker, who was happy with his result but almost immediately found his mind racing, wondering how he could improve his performance.

"I can’t be disappointed, I was happy. It would have been nice to beat the guy at the end but I couldn’t quite do it,” Walker said the day after the marathon.

"For my first one, it was good…even a day after I’m already thinking what I could do better and how I could run faster, so…I think there’s lots of room for improvement.”

Walker ran track and cross country at the U of M for five years and graduated in 2006. Since then he’s run about 10 half marathons and a bunch of 10k races, but chronic injuries kept him from lacing up for a full race.

This year everything worked out and he registered one week before the annual Fathers Day run.

The cool, rainy weather the day of the run was somewhat of a relief, though he’d been anticipating hot and humid conditions and had even trained in a sauna to prepare.  

"It was funny, we had rain and I was almost shivering at the start,” he laughed.

Eventual winner Teresa Fekensa (2:38:03.2) pulled out to an early lead and had about a minute and a half on Walker fairly quickly. But Walker pulled even around mile 10 and stayed with Fekensa until about mile 23.

"The last two or three miles he just pulled ahead and at that point my calves were cramping up on me a bit and I guess my lack of experience came back to bite me at that point,” Walker said.

He’ll likely take the rest of the summer off, give his knees a break from the pounding and train mainly on his bike, riding alongside his wife, Nicole, who’s an accomplished triathlete who competed in the World Championships last year.

A warning to anyone who lives in the couple’s East St. Paul neighbourhood – if you’re at the community picnic, DO NOT enter the three-legged race against these two.

The fall might bring another marathon for him, and he’s definitely considering challenging for the title of Manitoba Marathon winner in 2018.


Joshua Brown places fourth in wheelchair half marathon

Joshua Brown finished fourth in the wheelchair half, after just two weeks of training.

A desire to improve his fitness for wheelchair basketball led 16-year-old Joshua Brown to his first ever half marathon, and his results were impressive.

Brown finished fourth in the half with a time of 2:04:53.4, despite training for just two weeks.

"I like my results. I felt pretty good about them after,” Brown said.

He and basketball teammate Steve Hayward trained together, at coach Jarret Yaworski’s urging, and kept pace with each other during the actual race. That was key to his success, Brown said.

"It was a good experience. It’s always good to have people who are going with you. I was with my friend Steve, who’s on my team, and it was important that he was there with me because it kind of kept me going. We kept each other going, pushing hard at all times. It was nice to have someone beside you,” Brown said.

Hayward, who finished third with a time of 2:04:45.2, proved what a good friend he is when Brown had a mishap near the end of the race.

"At the very end, I flipped in my chair and he stopped for me, but I told him just to go…I got up quick,” Brown said.

"He’s a good friend.”

Brown has his mind set on the full marathon for next year, and plans to do another half in October.

Other East St. Paul residents finishing in the Top 20 include Darren Klassen in the half (1:21:12.0), Kristine Cowley in the wheelchair full marathon (2:37:43.9) and Amanda Mathwig in the women’s half (1:36:34.0)










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