Veteran runner Joe Ryan will run his 47th Tely 10, he won this race in 1969

““On Sunday, I will run my 47th Tely 10 — and 44th consecutive race — joining thousands of other runners and walkers in the morning as we journey eastwards from Octagon Pond in Paradise to Bannerman Park in the heart of St. John’s,” says Joe Ryan.

“I have witnessed many changes in the classic road race, the most obvious being the tremendous increase in the number of participants in recent years.

“On a recent Sunday morning, as I led a training run for a group of Tely participants over the Topsail Road course, a passing comment from one of the runners got me thinking back to my first Tely 10 so many years ago.

“The year was 1969, the date Oct. 12, much later than our now standard fourth Sunday in July. And instead of lining up in starting corrals on McNamara Road, as we will do for this year’s race, all seven or eight of us toed the starting line on King George V Track near Memorial Stadium.

“Yes, that’s right. The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race was held on an oval track — for the second consecutive year.”

At the age of 20, Joe Ryan won the 1969 Tely 10. Since then, he has run 46 Telegram 10-Mile Road Races, 21 of them under 60 minutes, with a personal best of 51:33

In addition to running the race, Ryan chaired the Tely 10 organizing committee for 10 years, from 1997-07, and authored a book, “The Tely 10 — A History of Newfoundland’s Premier Road Race” in 2002.

A provincial track and field Hall of Famer, Joe Ryan is a noted marathoner, having run 70 marathons to date, including Boston (12 times), New York (twice), Ottawa (five times), Honolulu (twice), Dublin (three times) and Athens, Prague, Reykjavik, Edinburgh, Bermuda, Paris, Vienna, Rotterdam and Toronto.

He is a retired teacher, and is now teaching and coaching runners.

posted Thursday July 25th