MARS runners bring home the bling

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The Muskoka Algonquin Runners Club (MARS) continued their stellar season this past weekend with excellent results at the Athletics Ontario XC Championships. The club sent a record 21 runners and made the podium in four different categories as they continue the hunt for their first Breslin Cup.

Leading the way for the Muskokan runners were Troy Cox and Katherine Ahokas. Cox finished fourth overall in the Masters race featuring nearly 300 runners, was second in his 45-49 age group, and led his Men’s 40-49 team to their third consecutive victory over powerhouse rivals such as the Newmarket Huskies and The University of Toronto Track Club. Ahokas was the third overall woman in the Masters race and first in the 30-34 age group, a performance made all the more spectacular coming on the heels of her running an incredibly fast marathon in Victoria just a month ago.

The gold medal winning W30-39 Team of (from left): Kat Ahokas, Mary Unsworth, Jess Sheppard and Melissa Kosowan

(From left): The gold medal winning W30-39 team of Kat Ahokas, Mary Unsworth, Jess Sheppard, and Melissa Kosowan

Led by Ahokas, the Women’s 30-39 team of Mary Unsworth, Jess Sheppard, and Melissa Kosowan also won gold while the 40-49 team of Helen Dempster, Tina Steele, Sandra O’Dell and Catherine Smith placed third. Tony Marra and Roger Penney accepted the challenge of “running down a decade” to join Dan Quigg in capturing second overall in the Men’s 30-39 event.

Other impressive individual results included Chris Watson’s eighth overall and third in the Masters Men’s 40-44 category, and Melissa Kosowan taking home third in the Women’s 30-34. Helen Dempster, Jess Sheppard, Mary Unsworth, and Bob Wild all came second in their respective groups (W40-44, W30-34, W35-39 and M80-84).

For the first time ever, MARS entered an Open (Senior) Men’s team of Kip Arlidge, Josh Stevens, Brian Moore, and Orion Austrup. Bob Wild, racing well into his 80’s placed an incredible second in his age group.

Bob Wild, right, finished in second place in the Men's 80-84 age group

Bob Wild, right, finished in second place in the Men’s 80-84 age group

The MARS Masters runners are looking to win their first ever Breslin Cup, an Ontario-wide race series and club competition made up of five races. The Newmarket Huskies have dominated the event in recent memory, winning the competition in nine of the last 10 years, but the MARS team has been giving them a run for their money this season.

Teams are required to enter runners in at least two of the first three races of the year, with their best two results contributing to their final score. The results from the Ontario and Canadian Championships are also included in the calculation. The MARS Men’s 40-49 team have won all three races they have entered this season (Taylor Creek, Sunnybrook, and the Ontario Championships), and with just the Canadian Championships remaining they are ready to bring home the hardware.

For more information about the Breslin Cup, click here.

MARS runner Roger Penney (left) pulls away from the pack

MARS runner Roger Penney (#617) pushes the pace during the Masters race

(From left): The gold medal winning Men’s 40-49 Team of Mark Sinnige, Pierre Mikhail, Troy Cox and Chris Watson

(From left): The gold medal winning Men’s 40-49 Team of Mark Sinnige, Pierre Mikhail, Troy Cox and Chris Watson


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