Last year was a record breaker for organizers of the Nova Scotia Marathon/Half Marathon and 10 Km, with 367 runners registered.
BARRINGTON – A welcoming community and volunteer dedication have led to a big win and top honours for an annual event in the Municipality of Barrington.
The Nova Scotia Marathon/Half Marathon and 10-K has won first place as Best Marathon and Best Half Marathon and third place for the 10-K run in the Run Nova Scotia series.
Winners were decided through an annual survey of Run Nova Scotia membership.
There were two other marathons in the running: the Johnny Miles Marathon and Valley Harvest Marathon. The Nova Scotia Marathon received 60 per cent of the popular vote, more than double the votes received for the runner-up of the best races in the Road Race Series.
The event has also been named as part of Run Nova Scotia's Performance Series for 2016. Barrington Recreation staff and many other volunteers assist to make this qualifier for the Boston Marathon succeed.
Run Nova Scotia’s vice chair and communications officer Ian McGrath commended marathon director Anna Kenney for her willingness to not only listen to constructive criticism, but to actively seek it out so that she can improve the race, which has been held for 45 years.
“Anna and her team do a fantastic job hosting this event,” he said. “The entire town is very welcoming, with just about every business in town displaying a sign welcoming runners to the community.”
McGrath ran his first marathon in Barrington in 2008, and won the 10K there in 2015.
“Running the final stretch under the Nova Scotia flags that line the causeway, with the music and energy of the finish line drifting across the open water, makes this finish one of my personal favourites,” he said.
Kenney says it was a pleasant surprise to learn of the awards, after a record-breaking total of 367 runners registered for the run last year.
“Running has become such a popular sport because it's an easy way to get in shape and it's easy to do,” she said.
The committee is now in the planning stages for 2016: arranging for finishing medals, ordering tech shirts and approaching sponsors, amongst other details.
“People say they like our race because it's small compared to others. One runner from Ohio, US, said it was nice to run the first mile without being elbow to elbow with the next runner,” said Kenney. “Some runners like that it' s a very scenic route, relatively flat course (runners can get good times), great volunteers and a good finish line with lots of food.”
Runners belonging to the Facebook group Run Nova Scotia had this to say about the event:
Troy Musseau: “It is an awesome event. Well coordinated. The energy at that race is wonderful, super volunteers, super community, and an excellent course!”
Donald Perry: “Great course, although it's not as flat as people tell say it is. I love the atmosphere and it is super well organized.”
Jennie Ellen: “I really enjoyed it, scenic... and fairly flat. Great course we'll organized and plenty of snacks and post finish line nutrition definitely one I will do again!”
Stan Sarty: “Barrington is a great course, not much for elevation. Even though it's coastal it has been the hottest run I have ever done so be prepared and train in the heat and be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you and good luck on your training!”
Paul Gallant: “Barrington is a great race, some say it is too hot, but I find it with the sea breeze coming off the water that it makes it cool enough to run it comfortably. I usually go there to get my Boston Qualifier time.”
If you go
The 46th annual Nova Scotia Marathon/Half Marathon and 10 km event will be held on Sunday, July 24.
For more info: Facebook Page
For more info: Event website