Laundry starts Thanksgiving races with Victor Matthews Memorial 10k win

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH — For Guelph’s Jackson Laundry, Thanksgiving Day Monday seemed like a good morning to get up and go for a good run around Exhibition Park.

“It was a little hard.I wasn’t used to going for a hard effort like that, I haven’t raced for four, five or six weeks now. I’m just trying to get the cobwebs off and get back into it,” the pro triathlete said after winning the Victor Matthews Memorial 10-kilometre race, sort of the pre-event competition for the Thanksgiving Day Road Races run on the roads that surround the park.

Although organizers who set up the course and the timing equipment long before the runners arrived were greeted by a heavy frost and temperatures slightly above the freezing mark, it didn’t slow the runners down.

“It didn’t feel too cold out there when we were running,” Laundry said. “There wasn’t much wind.”

Laundry won in 32 minutes, 58.04 seconds while Markus Vollmer of Guelph was the runner-up in 34:19.69. Top female finisher, eighth overall, was Stephanie Zammitt in 42:09.71.

For Laundry, the race was a break from training.

“Usually I race pretty much every weekend,” he said. “Even though I’ve been training a fair bit, I just haven’t gone hard like that and there’s a whole different feeling for that than training, for sure.”

With a small field of 11, most competitors raced most of the distance alone as each was on a different pace.

“I kind of expected that so I knew I’d just kind of be racing against myself out there,” Laundry said. “There were some good runners out there as well, but when you’re kind of off on your own, you just have to focus. It certainly helps to have others with you, but I’m off on my own sometimes so you just have to do it and get through it.”

The longest of the day’s races, the participants did get to run by the spectators at the finish line a few times.

“With all the laps, you get to see the crowd near the finish line five times or six,” Laundry said. “That’s a little bit nice. The course is good. It’s not perfectly flat, but not super hilly either. It was definitely a pretty fast course, so I can’t complain about that.”

While Laundry usually competes in Olympic-distance triathlons, he’s looking at increasing the distance by competing in Ironman events in the future. Ironman triathlons feature a 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bicycle ride and 42.20 km (marathon distance) run. The Olympic distances are 1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run.

“I just did the one (this year) and I didn’t have a good day. I wasn’t able to finish,” Laundry said. “The training for it has been going pretty well and I’m confident that the next time I try it next year, I’ll have a better result. That’s more next year. I’ll do three or four halfs, Half Irons, just trying to build into it slowly.”

Laundry’s plans for the rest of the year will be centred on training.

“I’m not really doing any racing,” he said. “I’m just kind of doing some swimming and running trying to speed those up a little bit over the next four weeks and then I’m going to take a little bit of easy time and then just build it up for next season. Maybe I’ll do some running races in the early spring and some early triathlons in May or even March down in Florida.”

Races on the actual Thanksgiving Day Road Races card Monday included the Nicolas Lambden Memorial Mile, 100 metres for competitors aged 5 or under, the Metalumen 5k, the one-kilometre race for children in Grades 1 to 3 and the 3k Open.

Adam Medeiros of Guelph won the Nicolas Lambden Memorial Mile in 5:25.21 while Toni Santisteban Roncero of Spain was second in 5:38.81. Sara Lawrance of Belleville was top female finisher as she was sixth overall in 6:19.29.

Michael Gill of Oakville won the Metalumen 5K in 15:50.46 while Larry Bradley was second in 17:34.92. Mary Catherine Stewart of Guelph was 10th overall, top female finisher, in 19:01.00.

Winning the 1k for Grades 1-3 students was Fraser Litchfield of Guelph in 4:12.42. Peyton Cummings of Guelph was second in 4:18.63 and Adrienne Fraser of Guelph was third, top female finisher, in 4:23.11.

Roncero won the 3k Open in 10:42.58 while Medeiros was second in 10:50.90 and Glenn Reimer of Guelph third in 11:36.11. Top female finisher, sixth overall, was Isabelle Beattie of Guelph in 12:45.47.

A total of 12 competitors raced in the mile, 3k and 5k races. Medeiros had the best overall time of 35:03.4 while Roncero was second at 35:20.1. Top female in sixth was Christie Hamilton of Oakville at 43:27.5.

Those three events attracted an overall field of 421 competitors.

The Thanksgiving Day Road Races were run in support of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.