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Organizers of Yarmouth Starlight Runway Run pursuing growth potential

The Starlight Runway Run has been held at the Yarmouth airport for the past three years at dusk.
The Starlight Runway Run has been held at the Yarmouth airport for the past three years at dusk. - Carla Allen

Unique Yarmouth event to be pitched at TIANS conference in December

YARMOUTH, N.S. —

The owners of Mile East Productions hope participation in their Starlight Runway Run at the Yarmouth airport will soar to even greater heights in future with more funding.

The run has been held at the Yarmouth airport for the past three years at dusk. This year 230 participated. Airport runway lights shone bright and ‘passengers’ lit up the venue with gear provided in the race kits, as well as lumination they brought.

On Nov. 2, Candice Phibbs, who co-owns Mile East with husband Rick Allwright, presented their pitch for a cash investment at the Ignite Tourism Startup Weekend, along with others who were vying for the $1,000 prize.

Phibbs described the conception of the Starlight Runway Run, its growth potential and guest experiences. She then shared how investment would allow the creation of a digital marketing plan to target those showing interest in travelling to Nova Scotia. The funds would also be directed towards the creation of a website, to draw a wider reach than social media alone.

“It would also allow us to do more print advertising and get our brand out to other large-scale events to show that we have something unique and worth travelling for,” said Phibbs.

She hopes to see the event eventually grow as large as the Baie Sainte Marie Gran Fondo, a cycling event in Clare that has grown phenomenally over the past three years.

“We know that there’s growth potential in the Starlight Runway Run,” she said. “And that growth leads to room nights sold, meals purchased and much more economic impact for the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores region.”

Phibbs says over the past three years their event has evolved to become a sought-after experience, with 96 per cent of participants indicating they would return.

“The atmosphere is truly unique,” she said.

One of the key points in her Ignite Tourism presentation was that the Starlight Runway Run has already proven it can attract visitors. Participants include those from across the Maritime provinces, from British Columbia, New York State, Ohio, Missouri, California and even Austria.

She says those guests found out about the event with “very small-scale advertising.”

“Imagine if we could do more. Imagine if we could advertise in print media focused on running events or if we could attend running event expos at the Bluenose or Fredericton marathons,” she said.

In December, Mile East will be pitching the Starlight Runway Run as a destination event at the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia conference in Halifax in hopes of support through that association as well.

The 2020 Starlight Runway Run takes off Oct. 3.

 More info

For more information on the Starlight Runway Run check out their Facebook Page

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