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Corner Brook native Mike Russell gives the thumbs up after a recent road race.
Corner Brook native Mike Russell gives the thumbs up after a recent road race. - Contributed

As he approached Brooklyn Bridge two miles from finish line Mike Russell struggled to keep his emotions in check.

The Corner Brook native, who has called Conception Bay South home for the past four years, finished 16th overall at the 2018 The Great New York 100 Mile Race June 23 in New York City.

Making his debut at a 100-mile race, the 28-year-old arborist and rope access technician, a guy is a trainer for new trail runners in his spare time, posted a final clocking of 24 hours and 23 minutes in a race that saw 50 per cent of the field not crossing the finish line.

 “An intense amount of emotions came over me,” Russell said of the happiness he felt knowing he was almost home. “I was overwhelmed from all the people who reached out to me and believed in me, and it was just incredible to know as an athlete I’ve conquered a 100-mile race.”

It may have been his first, but he figures his body can do more if he was willing to find out when he realized there were so many people who never finished the race.

“It was like another milestone and from here it’s like where do I go and how much further can I push my body,” he said.

Running became a constant in his life two years ago. He had decided he wanted to train for the Tely 10 road race as a good starting point, but before long he realized he was able to stay on the trails longer and it was a great escape from the daily grind so it was good for his mind as much as his physical conditioning.

“It is my life. It is my passion for sure,” he said.

100 miles doesn’t sound like a long journey anymore. He survived his first 100 Mile race in a city he never visited before so it was time well spent.

“I was sightseeing all of New York by foot. Oh my God it was an absolutely amazing feeling,” he said.

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