AMHERST – A new course record, by one second, was set Saturday in the Cross Border Challenge, a 10 km foot race from Aulac to the Amherst Stadium. Overcast and rainy weather did little to slow Jeremie Pellerin of Cocagne, New Brunswick, who completed the course in 32:15 minutes – beating the previous record, which was 32:16.
The fastest Cumberland County resident was Ryan Hatchard, who placed third with a time of 35:55. And the fastest Amherstonian – also the fastest female – was Kaili Vanvulpen, who placed 11th with a time of 40:46.
Organizer Paul Giroux thinks there were about 350 entrants in the race, which raises funds for the YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign. Racers from as far away as Australia participated. This was the fourth year the race has been held. The first three years, collectively, have raised about $24,000. Giroux hoped this year’s run would bring in another $20,000.
Giroux attributes the success of the race to the quality of the event.
“One of the things is the number of volunteers we have out,” he said.
The organizer was undeterred by the dark skies.
“Cloudy, cool is good for runners,” said Giroux.
“It was a really nice course,” said overall winner, Pellerin.
The 18-year old came fourth last year.
“Last year it was a really strong field,” he said.
The runner beat his closest competitor this year by a definitive three minutes.
Pellerin said the first kilometre of the race was fast. Around three or four kms in, he was alone. It was windy crossing the marsh, and he remarked on the hills in the final stretch through town.
This was Carman Merrill’s third year volunteering with the event. He’s a member of the Y’s Men.
“We enjoy doing it…I think it’s great,” he said.
Josanne Cormier of Dieppe recently finished the Toronto Marathon. The Cross Border was a “fun run” for her.
“The course (was) wonderful,” she said.
Cormier said she’d be back next year.