Male Roadrunner of the Year – Dan McCarthy
A long-time recreational and competitive runner, Dan maintained a healthy lifestyle running regularly for 30 years. About 14 years ago, he endured an injury that pushed him to the sidelines, but he was not interested in sitting still for very long. He credits his wife, Carol Ann, with suggesting they buy bicycles after his injury, so that they could remain active and enjoy the outdoors.
After several years of peddling, Dan decided to give road running a try again. About 7 years ago, in his early 60s, he re-entered the PEI road running world and since then, he’s improved his running and overall fitness to the point where he was recently heard to say he is in the best shape of his life;
Staying active, pushing to new challenges, staying young-at-heart, and inspiring family and friends to do the same is a significant part of who Dan McCarthy is. Dan’s five eldest grandchildren have all completed triathlons
As runners, we all know that the race results and awards are what everyone sees, but it’s the long hours of cross training, weight training, running intervals in the suburbs & boardwalk of Summerside, pounding hard sand beaches in Florida during winter vacation, tempo and hill runs on the PEI northshore, and multi-generational gallops with Chris and the grandkids, that make Dan the competitor he is today.
Dan has always been a competitor. He competed in hockey (and still does today) and many sports growing up Dan’s stated favourite PEI event was always the “PEI Red Cross Relay” where he and his teammates performed for many years. The disappointment of seeing that challenge come to an end was overcome in in 2018 when he found what he calls his “new favorite event” – the Cape Breton relay. In 2018, in addition to competing in several PEI Roadrunner events where he placed well overall and virtually always medaled in his age group, Dan ran leg 8 as part of the PEI based “Red Soles” team.
What did he do in that run? Well, he finished 15th place in his 12.36km leg (of 70 runners) with a pace of 4:38 min/km. He was the top PEI finisher in the leg, and… he helped his team to their best finish since they started participating in the event.
With running as his real love but the desire for more challenge, Dan has also taken to multi-sport competitions in a big way. In 2018, Dan competed in all of the TRI PEI events, received recognition for competing in the full race series, and was awarded the TRI PEI senior male Duathlete of the year!
At the 2017 TRI Lobster event, Dan competed in the sprint duathlon and qualified for the ITU Sprint Duathlon World Championship in Odense, Denmark. At the 2018 World Championships, representing Canada, PEI, and the McCarthy clan, Dan finished the sprint duathlon as the top Canadian, and 8th overall for his age group. He ran a 5k at 4:40/km, cycled 20kms at 33.8kms/hr, and galloped a consistent 4:40/km pace for the 2.5k finish leg
Dan is planning to compete in the 2019 ITU Sprint Duathlon World Championship year in Spain. In preparation for this next challenge, Dan continues to train and to run the roads of PEI. Since the start of 2019 he has also found time to compete in the TRI PEI indoor sprint duathlon, the St. Patrick’s day 5k, and the Freeze Your Gizzard 10k (where his 4:58 pace put him on the podium as 2nd male finisher).
Congratulations Dan for a fantastic 2018 and for showing us all what a lifetime of running can look like! PEI Road runners will be watching and cheering for you in April as you compete for the Worlds again in Spain and when you attack the hills of Cape Breton in May. Just remember, there is a reserved spot for you at the 2019 PEI road runner races, right up front with the other young fellas.
A big thank you to Carol Ann for making Dan buy that bicycle…and for sharing Dan with the PEI running community all these years.