Well I’ve really enjoyed running historical races, and Berwick has a long history being the 103rd running. With the top seven men and women winning diamonds (rings for the men and pendents for the women), so it had it’s appeals. I love being part of the history of such historic races as Around the Bay and wanted to make my mark at Berwick and bring home a diamond.
My high school coach Mr. Atkinson told me about the race a few years ago and Adam my training partner and myself were all set to go, but got selected to the Canadian Ekiden team competing in Japan, which conflicted with the Run for the Diamonds, but I knew I wanted to run it and two years later I went down to Berwick with Mr Atkinson. The stories I had heard were about the hill (a long uphill that lasted 1.7 miles), so I wanted to run the course the day before to see what I’d be dealing with, running a course gives you the best idea of what you’ll be dealing with race day. That evening before the race there was a pasta dinner, and the winner from last year Fred Joslyn was the guest speaker, he went over the race from last year that he won by less then a second. He stated how he was able to work the down hills to keep contact in the race, he also mentioned how he ran the 2012 US Olympic trials in the marathon. So this was my main competition and he had revealed some of his strengths and weaknesses in his speech.
On race day it was decent weather cool and sunny, but nice enough for shorts and singlet, I did a slow 20 minute warm up. When the race started I headed for the front Joslyn set the early pace and at 1 mile which was mostly flat we went through in 4:50 and had pulled away from the rest of the field we felt each other out during the next mile easing off a bit with a 5 minute mile before the hill. At the hill I just maintained and didn’t really pick up the pace, but began to pull away from Joslyn, the hill was tough and the pace was much slower, which was to be expected. After the hill there was some big downhills with a few ups in there. I had figured Joslyn was done and I had the race won until after a long downhill and a sharp turn at the halfway mark I heard foot steps Joslyn had pulled right up on me, after the turn there was a decent up hill and I pushed the pace to gain back some more of my lead. As the race went on I felt every down was working against me and worked the uphill’s to help maintain my lead. The course had many spectators so I listened for the cheers after I had passed to determine my lead, a few times I had people tell me I had 50 yards on him, but he never seemed to really fall back which kept me honest. Down the final street, which at about a km distance seemed so long, but I was able to run in for the victory in 45:51 (5:06 avg. miles) ten seconds ahead of Joslyn. It was a great day and the people of Berwick were very nice as well as the race director Margaret Livsey. I won a diamond and carried on a tradition of strong Canadian finishes, throughout the years many Canadians have contended and won the Run for the Diamonds and I’m just happy to put my name in with such great athletes that have won the Run for the Diamonds in the past.