Mason runs to another Summer’s Night 5K win

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – Another Summer’s Night Classical 5K and another victory by John Mason.

On a muggy Wednesday evening, Mason led from start to finish of the race just north of the downtown area of Guelph to claim his third victory in the event and second in as many years.

Mason, a Speed River Track and Field Club member from Drumbo, has three wins and a third-place finish in the seven-year history of the race. And he usually parks in the same spot in the parking lot outside the Guelph Youth Music Centre. The race started in front of the centre and finished behind it.

“I like doing (this race),” Mason said moments after his cool-down run. “I was thinking about it when I came up here that I just like doing these small races and how when I was 18 or 19, just trying to be decent, I always looked for races with Speed River guys in them because you knew it was going to be decent. I thought, shoot, if we could get that all the track people just did the same thing, just show up and race and help each other out, people wouldn’t have to go to Europe and all over the place. You’ve got to support the local races, too.”

Mason won this year with a chip time of 15 minutes, 41.4 seconds, his slowest time for the event. He won in 2016 in 15:36.6 and was third in 2015 in 15:14.6. He was also the winner of the race’s inaugural event in 2011 in 15:11.3.

“It’s just a low-key deal. You just kind of roll in after work and just do it,” he said of the race. “There’s no stress. You just kind of go with the flow and do it – just have a lot of fun.”

The win added to what has been a fairly successful season for the 29-year-old.

“It’s going really, really well,” he said. “I had some really good road races all spring. The Inferno 10K wasn’t great and then I had a bit of back trouble after that. I took a bit of time off and I’m just in the rebuilding base phase for training right now. I’m getting in some longer, slower runs at this time and tonight just fit to have a bit of fun.”

In the last year or two, Mason has upped his mileage and run a few marathons.

“The plan is to do one this fall, likely it’ll be Toronto because it’s the Canadian championships,” he said. “That build-up will start at the end of July, first of August. From now until then, the next few weeks, it’ll just be some steady mileage and some longer workouts to get ready for that.”

The women’s category also had a repeat winner as Guelph’s Sarah Wismer, another Speed River runner, won in 18:21.5. That was good for seventh overall.

Wismer also won in 2015 in 18:07.2.

Others in the top 10 were Sam Baxter of Kitchener second in 16:13.3, Cael Wishart of Guelph third in 16:21.5, Luke Cabral of Guelph fourth in 17:46.1, Liam Stiles of Guelph fifth in 17:58.9, Matt Stanley of Guelph sixth in 18:10.5, James Seery of Guelph eighth in 18:36.4, Christopher Batty of Guelph ninth in 18:40.8 and Courtney Laurie of Brantford, 10th in 18:42.2.

The race, which had 236 finishers, was run in support of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra.

Next race in the local Guelph series is the Highland Games 10K Aug. 13 in Fergus.