Officially the distances covered at the Moose Jawg Charity Road race at five or 10 kilometres.
Moose Jaw’s Tom Montgomery has come even further.
Montgomery finished the 5k race in a net time of 38 minutes and nine seconds.
That put him well behind Iain Fife’s unofficial winning time of 15:10, but there couldn’t have been many happier runners than Montgomery when he crossed the finish line.
Montgomery’s time was 10 minutes and 10 seconds faster than his time from a year ago at the Jawg when he was proud to merely cross the finish line. It also came the day after he broke the 300-pound barrier — in a good way — on his scale.
“This race became a goal: ‘can I finish five kilometres?’” said Montgomery who weighed in at 298 pounds Saturday. “Last year I ran it with Chris Rasmussen and I was 350 pounds-ish at that point. I finished it — just under an hour. Then it became: ‘how fast can I go?’
“I came in third-last last year, so I wanted to be better. Now that I’ve broken 39 (minutes), next year the goal is 35.”
Two years and 162 pounds ago, Montgomery decided he needed to make a drastic change in his life. While he works hard every day to stay on track, the Jawg is a good chance to take stock and reflect on how far he has come in a year.
“It’s something you mark every year. Every year I know I can do this and see where I’m at,” said Montgomery. “How fast did I go? And that will be a good indicator of what kind of shape I’m in.
“It’s great for the community to have 500 people out here running a race on Canada Day.”
If he needed inspiration, Montgomery had the names of his daughters Cassia and Marisa written on tape on his wrists.
“They’re my good luck charms. They’re the reason I lost 162 pounds,” said Montgomery.
Caitlyn Warkentin from Saskatoon won the women’s 5k in 17:38. That broke Brandi Pozniak’s course record of 18:20 set in 2005. Warkentin now owns both the female 5k and 10k records.
In the 10k Regina’s Michael Middlemiss won in a time of 33:50 and Edmonton’s Erin Humphreys won the women’s race in 40:41.
The finally total of money raised won’t be know for at least a week, but race organizer Dawn Luhning expects that they will have raised in the range of $10,000 for the Moose Jaw Health Foundation.
This year a field of 470 runners took part. Another 65 runners under the age of 12 took part in the Runt Run.