It’s too bad for the boys Tannis Reddy runs like a girl.
The Toronto native made history here Sunday, becoming the first female to take the overall title of the Prince Edward County Marathon.
Reddy, 28, posted a time of 2:51.00, nearly four minutes ahead Todd Shannon of Ottawa who took top spot for the men.
“I’m really excited and happy (and) I think being the first female (to win) is really cool,” she said after emerging from her post-race massage. “All of the ladies I passed, everyone on the course cheering, was amazing and when I heard people saying, ‘It’s a girl, it’s a girl, she’s in first,’ I just felt like, I’ve got to f…ing do this for all these women. I’ve never won a race before, so this is special.”
A recruiter for Shopify, Reddy said she has competed in cross country running but has only run four full marathons, including the fabled Boston event earlier this year. On Sunday, she cut nine minutes off her Boston time and credited the work with her running coach for the improvement.
She said running is a great coping mechanism for her,
“I deal with anxiety so (running) it’s a great outlet for me and I think it’s important to talk about things people struggle with and for me it is anxiety and running is just a great resource,” she said.
Shannon, who won the men’s division in County Marathon debut, said the wet and windy conditions actually helped on the course.
“It rained hard for about five kilometres and after that it was just a sprinkle so it wasn’t bad,” he said. “I like supporting small races, I’ve done the Waterloo Marathon and this is a local race that supports the community. It’s so beautiful here and lots of wineries to visit after.”
Shannon, 34, was equally as excited for Redding’s win as he was his own.
“I think it’s incredible,” he said. “She passed us at about (the) five K (mark) and then was just gone for the rest of the race — I really think it is amazing.”
Race coordinator Tracy Reid said the event enjoyed a surge in registration.
“I don’t know how many actually showed up today — a lot of people see the weather and just decide not to run, but we had about 740 people registered which is up from last year,” she said. “Last year we had 29 teams in the Team Relay and this year we have 40. It’s a great event for people just starting out and they can run part of the course.”
Again this year, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation was the recipient of a donation when race director Mark Henry presented Foundation executive director Shannon Coull with a cheque for $3,600.
When word trickled into the finish line station a female runner was leading, Reid said she was thrilled with the prospect of having the first ever female overall winner.
“Yes, I’m a little biased, but we’ve always had a male win the event, so to have a female win would be excellent,” she said. “Anybody who gets out there and runs a full or half marathon and whether they finish first or last, I think they’re a winner because they did it.
With kilometres of open road ahead of her during the race, Reddy said she didn’t have to search far for inspiration. Her and partner Steven Artemiw were scheduled to leave Picton and head to Pearson to catch a flight to the Barbados.
“Every time I could feel fatigue setting in, I would tell myself over and over — tomorrow I will be on the beach, tomorrow I will be on the beach,” she said with a laugh. “It worked pretty well.”
In the half marathon, Sean Smith of Toronto was first to cross the line with a time of 1:29.53. Tiff Lucia of Ottawa was the first female with a time of 1:35:23.
Team Walsh crossed the finish line first in first in the Hospital Foundation Team Challenge in a time of 3:02:32, to take the overall and mixed team titles.