Aaron Cooper did it again.
The 30-year-old Camlachie resident took first place in the St. Clair River Run 10k for the second year in a row.
Not only did he complete the run in 31:48, the record holder bested the 32:10 time he set in 2015.
The increasingly popular run — that curves along the St. Clair River Trail — drew 800 runners, making it the largest event of its kind in both Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent.
St. Clair Township shuts down the road for the duration of the event and has become custom, residents and spectators line the trail cheering the runners on.
Cooper, a software developer, started running competitively later in life but says it was on his bucket list for a long time.
“It’s great getting up for a run,” said Cooper following the awards ceremony. “It always feels good.
He said he pushed himself in the middle of the run, which helped him cross the finish line first.
“This is a great event and Ben (Hazzard – the run coordinator) does a fantastic job,” Cooper says.
Krista Cranston of Chatham took first place for women in the 10k with a time of 40:01. Cranston, a massage therapist, also broke her record for last year’s run by 30 seconds.
Hazzard says cooler temperatures and overcast skies made for an ideal run.
“We were thrilled with the beautiful day and the work of our volunteers,” an obviously happy Hazzard told The Independent. “Records are being broken.
“Our runners comment that this is one of their favourite runs due to great efforts of our volunteers.” “We look forward to next year’s run on July 15, 2017.”
Competitors in this year’s event came from as far away as Edmonton and Indiana.
Technology added a new twist this year’s event.
A live video feed allowed viewers — from as far away as Japan — to watch friends and family members cross the finish line.
More than 200 volunteers participated in the event, providing water, snacks and encouragement to runners as they made their way down the course.
A 200m ‘Minnow Run’ was also held for the younger crowd, some who were competing were as young as four years of age.
Notable finishers from Central Lambton were: Aaron Cooper in the 10k, Nathan Outridge of Port Lambton third in the 10k, Darren DeGroot of Wyoming fourth and Andrew Flanagan of Port Lambton fifth.
Allison Lloyd of Bright’s Grove came in third in the 10k.
Justin Anjema of Petrolia came in 11th over all in the 5k, second in his age division.