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Paradise runners enter Athletics Hall of Fame

Conception Bay woman who dominated road racing in the ’70s and ’80s also celebrated

By Staff/October 21, 2021

One of the founders of the Paradise Running Club, Keith Glynn, has been inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, along with Paradise long distance runner Peter Power and Colleen Martin-Ward, one of the province’s pre-eminent runners, who lives in Conception Bay South.

Cross-country star Anne Barrington-Johnston of St. John’s was also inducted during a ceremony held October 13 at the Pearlgate Track and Field Complex in Mount Pearl. Glynn was inducted in the Builder category, while the other three were inducted as athletes.

Inductions to the Athletics Hall of Fame were first held in 2005 and then annually until 2014, since which the ceremony has been held every second year. Last year’s induction ceremony was postponed until this autumn because of the COVID pandemic. Initially six members were inducted each year with the exception of 2008 when 23 individuals were recognized. Since 2012, the Hall of Fame Constitution calls for four individuals to be presented each year, one in the Builder category and three in the Athletic category.

This year’s additions to the 16-year-old Hall of Fame brings the number of individuals recognized for achievements and contributions to the sport of athletics in the province to 85.

Glynn was instrumental in founding the Paradise Running Club in 2009, and has spent countless hours devoted to the club over the past 12 years, said Hall of Fame spokesperson Joe Ryan.

“He has served as Vice-President and President of the Club a number of times as well as developing a Learn-to-Run program for the club in 2010,” Ryan noted. “He has indeed been a leader there for many years, inspiring and encouraging others to become involved as group leaders for the Learn-to-Run program. He continues to be an integral member and leader of this now well-known club.”

In 2013 Glynn was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award in the Town of Paradise. Earlier this year, he was named Male Athlete of the Year for the Town of Paradise.

Ryan describer Power as a gifted athlete who has enjoyed a truly outstanding running career.

“But it has been in his later years that he has recorded some remarkable racing times,” Ryan noted. “He has competed over the years in international, national and provincial road racing events. In 2005 he placed 12th overall and 1st in the master’s category in the Detroit Free Press Marathon.”

Among Power’s numerous running records is the Canadian record of 54:05 for 10 miles in the male 50+ category set in 2014. He also holds the Canadian record of 54:37 for 10 miles in the 55+ category established five years later in 2019.

In the Tely 10 Road Race in which he has competed 28 times since 1988, Power has compiled 18 top 10 finishes and six top 5 finishes. In the male 50+ category he has run under the 60-minute mark six times.

Martin-Ward, meanwhile, who is originally from Trepassey, was a tremendous athlete in the province during her competitive years dating back to the early 1970’s, right from her high-school days to university and beyond, said Ryan.

“She was one of the very first female athletes to compete in athletics in Newfoundland, paving the way for others to follow. She dominated the road racing scene all through the 1970’s and early 80’s, winning numerous races and setting new provincial records in many of those events,” said Ryan.

In 1972, Martin-Ward was named the top female runner of the year. She competed in a number of National competitions from 1972 – 1974. These included the Eastern Canadian Cross-Country Championships and the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in 1972, the Canadian Junior Track and Field Games in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1973 and the Eastern Canadian Cross-Country Championships in 1974.

Martin-Ward also has the distinction of being a 4-time consecutive Tely 10 champion from 1976 – 1979, setting a new female record in the 1977 event running 1:05:28. Nine years later in 1986, she recorded a personal best placing 2nd in 1:04:10.

“In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s she won a series of road races including among others, the competitive Harbor Front 10 km, the Northern Bay Road Race, the CHCM 10 mile and the Provincial 10 km Road Race Championships, and in so doing, inspired other young female athletes to participate in athletics,” Ryan said.

“I would like to thank the people and Town of Trepassey on my behalf for all the support they gave me during that time,” said Martin-Ward. “I truly am grateful.”

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