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Matt Molloy
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10th annual Centennial Cup attracts most runners yet

The 10th running of the Centennial Cup Road Race turned out to be the best one yet. 

A record 264 runners registered for the 5k and 10k events on Sunday, which started in front of the YMCA building on Price’s Avenue in Grand Falls-Windsor.

Local runner Stephen Ford was the first male to finish the 10k event in a time of 37:59, and Stephanie Nevin was the first female to cross in 42:19.

Lewisporte’s Kurtis Mullett was the first male to finish the 5k race in 19:07, and Maria Churchill was the first female to finish at 24:52.

“I’m pretty proud,” said Ford. “I came in second last year, and I was kind of gunning for first this year, but you never know what to expect in a race like this.”

Runners left the start line around 9 a.m., and although the weather is usually cool at that time of day, the temperature was warm, and got even warmer as runners were on the course.

The heat made things a little more difficult, especially for those hoping to beat personal-best times.

“I like to say I’m well conditioned to be able to handle it, but it’s not true,” said Michael Taylor with a laugh, who was the second male to finish the 5k event. “Heat affects just about everybody, and I felt like I wanted to stop a couple of times…but I managed to hang on and finish.”

“It is a factor,” said Ford. “Usually…30 minutes before a race I make sure I’m properly hydrated; that way I usually don’t have to stop along the way. As long as you drink plenty of liquids before, but not too much, you should be fine, especially for a little run like 10k.”

Danielle Holloway finished 41st in the female 5k event with a time of 31:55. However, she wasn’t in the Centennial Cup hoping to win a medal, like she did six years ago when she captured the 5k title.

This year, she started the race with her mother, Sandra, and pushing her six-month-old daughter, London, in a stroller.

“Three generations crossed the finish line at the same time.” Danielle Holloway

According to the mother of one, the idea of running the race with her mother and daughter was something that was planned while she was still pregnant.

“Three generations crossed the finish line at the same time,” said Holloway. “Mom and I held hands when we crossed and put up our arms. It’s my mother’s first road race and, obviously, it’s my daughter’s first road race, so it’s a big accomplishment for my Mom, and a big accomplishment for us to do it together. I think we’re going to keep doing it, and I think it’s going to be a tradition. The three of us are going to run it together every year.”

They weren’t the only family to send three generations of runners across the finish line. For example, the Wall family — Jim Wall, 67; Jeff Wall, 43; and Ian Wall, 9 — all crossed the finish line, proving just how big a family event the Centennial Cup is.

The race was also special to another young runner, Ryder Barton. The five-year-old was the youngest runner in Sunday’s event, crossing the finish line in 47:47.

His mother, Tammy, said it’s a story she’ll proudly share with her son when he’s a little older.

“Five at five,” said Tammy, referring to Ryder’s age and the distance he ran. “He’s non-stop active, a very active kid. He ran a lot in the very beginning, then he said he was going to walk, then he ran again, and walked some more. He did that continuously throughout the race, and when he heard all of the cheering, he powered through to the end.”

Twitter: @TiserSports

Organizations: YMCA

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, London

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