For Sault resident Michael Drescher, a running career which bottomed out three years ago is now only picking up speed as it goes uphill.
Less than a month after competing in the Boston Marathon, the 36-year-old Drescher ran to victory in Sunday’s Run the Great Lakes Half Marathon, an event starting and ending at the Holiday Inn.
Drescher crossed the line at 1:22:08. Second-place finisher David Gallant’s time was 1:23:30.
“I’m quite happy with how the race went,” said Drescher, a native of Germany who came to the Sault after stops in the Netherlands and Guelph. “I started out second, after another runner who went out ahead very fast maybe too fast.
“After I passed him, he couldn’t keep up.”
By the halfway point of the 21-kilometre course, Drescher had a commanding lead on the pack and ran to his best Run the Great Lakes performance in three straight tries.
His previous best finish was a third-overall placing, and first in the 30-39 age group in 2006.
“I’m quite happy with how the season is starting for me,” Drescher said.
When he first moved to Sault Ste. Marie, he was suffering one of his worst seasons ever.
“I was injured,” Drescher said. “It was from overuse, overtraining, so I had a very bad year. But now it’s starting to go very well.”
He has plans to run in Ottawa’s Fall Colours Marathon later this year, but also intends to take part in several other road and trail races in the Sault area and Northern Michigan.
“I really like these local races,” Drescher said.
In women’s competition Sunday, Jennifer Field came in first with a time of 1:32:54, followed by Janice MacKay at 1:37:18.
Run the Great Lakes hosted a total of 197 runners competing in the half marathon, a 10-kilometre run and a five-kilometre race.
Scott McCron took the men’s 10-kilometre title in 37:30. Mark Wetzl was second at 40:48.
June Ann Byce was first in the women’s 10-kilometre run with a time of 45:44, followed by Anjali Oberai at 46:37.
Adam Fortais won the men’s five-kilometre event in 18:08. David Eisler was second in 19:30.
Anya Mallinger took the women’s title in 21.18. Jennifer Skinner was second with a time of 23:82.
Men: 1. Michael Drescher (1:22.08); 2. David Gallant (1:23.30)
Women: 1. Jennifer Field (1:32.54); 2. Janice MacKay (1:37.18)
10 Kilometre Race
Men: 1. Scott McCron (37:30); 2. Mark Wetzl (40:28).
Women: 1. June Ann Byce (45:44); 2. Anjali Oberai (46:37)
Five Kilometre Race
Men: 1. Adam Fortais (18:08; 2. David Eisler (19:30)
Women: 1. Anya Mallinger (21.18); 2. Jennifer Skinner (23:52)