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MSC Trail Walk and Run

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Tillsonburg's 2014 MSC Trail Walk and Run met its fundraising target bringin g in nearly $5,000 Sunday morning.

About 150 people participated walking or running 2 km or 5 km courses, coming from Tillsonburg, Langton, Brantford, St. Thomas, London... and even further afield.

"I was hoping for 35 (minutes)," said Marie Delen from North York, after clocking 33.19 on the longer 5-km route.

"Yes, I did 5 km, with all the hills... it was good. It is very hard because I never run those hills, but it's good because next month I'm trying to do a 10 km clinic. So this is an introduction."

Delen had expected a somewhat flatter course.

"I thought this golf course is like the one at Angus Glen (Markham) where it is like smooth and rolling. This one is like.... whooosh," she laughed, motioning a steep incline. "But this is a beautiful place to run. I've never been here before, so it's a bonus. I was taking pictures along the way."

Delen, who had been looking for a charity run, found Saturday's MSC Trail Walk and Run online.

"When I found this, I said where the heck is Tillsonburg? So I bugged Chris (Yancey) at the office and he said it's 'all the way here.' I said, 'okay, if I can get there in time... I will do it.'"

With a burst of speed, Connor Mullen sprinted past the finish line at 46.30, just ahead of his mother, April Mullen.

"We did a lot of walking," said April after finishing 5 km. "I think we would have done better if we had brought water."

For Liam Spencer, Sunday's MSC Trail Walk and Run was a leisurely stroll with family.

"Just a nice family walk with my mom and Jeff," said Spencer. "Nice, calm and beautiful. Nice to see the successful runners go by," he added with a smile.

The top male and female 5 km runners were Sean Cross, from London, and Tillsonburg's Ruth Crosier.

Spencer felt no real urge to race any of them.

"We've been doing the Ironman and Triathlon all week at school, so I was like, 'I'll just take a day for rest.' I actually just wanted to sleep but I got pressured into coming.

"No regrets," he laughed. "I like the sun – get my tan on."

Katherine Dekraker walked across the finish line at 0:56.26 with four-year-old daughter Ashley, pushing a stroller.

"We only did the 2 km," said Dekraker. "She rode there, walked back. She wanted to get back to play in the park."

Madeline Jelsma ran 5 km in 30 minutes, edging her mother, Penny, by about a minute, but finishing about five minutes behind her younger brother, Beau.

"This was our first time doing it," said Madeline, a bit surprised to be ahead of her mom after their first Trail Walk and Run. "I think it'll be closer next year because we know what it's all about now."

PERFECT WEATHER

"We couldn't have asked for anything better, weather-wise," said Angela Newson, race director and Health and Wellness Consultant at Stonebridge Community Services. "The Weather Network said it was going to be the best weather of the year so far... we lucked out for sure."

Newson said the 2014 Trail Walk and Run had moved from September to May, mainly because there were a lot of running events in the fall, including Tillsonburg's Terry Fox Run and George Papadakos' charity duathlon for the Alzheimer Society.

"We didn't want to compete with them because they're all great causes. We just hoped the spring would bring great weather, and more people."

They hit the mark on both – attendance was up to nearly 150 from 113 last year. And they achieved a $5,000 fundraising goal for the Multi-Service Centre and Parkinson Society of Southwest Ontario.

"It's great to see the community really step up with sponsorship dollars and donations," Newson summed up. "That's the bulk of our money raised."

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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