Quirky road races in the Maritimes

The Bluenose marathon is a great event with a different quirky slogan every year, but it takes more than that to get on this list!

The Bluenose marathon is a great event with a different quirky slogan every year, but it takes more than that to get on this list!

I recently had the pleasure of writing a guest blog for the Fredericton Tourism website profiling some of Fredericton’s quirky road races (it’s a good read – go check it out, I’ll wait right here.)

The running scene in the Maritimes has really developed into something fantastic over the last 10 years or so, and I had to ruthlessly cut many races because they either weren’t during the summer or were too far from Fredericton.

Read on for the rest of my list of quirky road races in the Maritimes. After all, running is a lot more fun with a passel of pirates, abundance of aviation, or plain old history to entertain you!

Maritime Race Weekend

September 11 & 12, 2015

Pirates ready to run at the Maritime Race Weekend in Nova Scotia

Photo courtesy of Maritime Race Weekend

Arrrr! This pirate-themed race in Nova Scotia is on my agenda for this year, and I can’t wait. The scenery of Eastern Passage, tons of swag, and three medals (because I’m doing the Tartan Twosome) make the Maritime Race Weekend a must-run even without the costumes. They sell out early, so if you want to check it out, you’d better sign up soon!

Hartland Covered Bridge Run

July 12, 2015

Coming up this Sunday, this affordable race (just $20!) in Hartland, New Brunswick takes you across the longest covered bridge in the world. The covered bridge is a national and provincial historic site, has graced a postage stamp, and is over 100 years old. How’s that for a unique race?

Not Since Moses

August 2, 2015

“Oh yeah? Well I ran on the bottom of the ocean! Beat that.”

Sure, technically this isn’t a “road” race, but Not Since Moses could be your trump card in every argument of coolest-race-story-one-upmanship from now on. This Nova Scotia race takes you out onto the floor of the Minas Basin, and because tides come into the Bay of Fundy with such speed, I definitely recommend you pay attention to the cutoff times for this race. You’ll also want to throw out any PR hopes and bring a pair of your second-best runners: mud, water, and more mud are on the agenda here.

YFC Runway Run

Photo courtesy of the Fredericton International Airport Authority

Photo courtesy of the Fredericton International Airport Authority

In addition to the three quirky races included in the Fredericton Tourism post (the Beer Run, Kilted Run, and Wine Run), Fredericton plays host to what is, in my completely biased opinion, the best Runway Run in the Maritimes.

Where else do you get to meet a pilot, do a good deed for your community, sit in a helicopter, and run 5k on an active (but closed!) runway?

2015 marked the first YFC Runway Run, and the organizing committee [which, full disclosure, I am a member of] pulled out all the stops. The run raised over $20,000 for mental health, hosted a static aviation display so the public could come see planes and meet pilots (out on the apron, no less!), and of course, closed the maneuvering areas so that they could let 300 runners loose on the runways of the Fredericton International Airport.

Plans are in the works to make this into an annual event, so follow them on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to hear about new developments!

The Running Dead

November 7, 2015 (register here)

If you’re lacking motivation, this fall race should do the trick – the zombies will be after your BRAAAAAAAAAINS!

The Running Dead is a 5k fun run (usually code for “not timed”) where volunteers dress up like zombies and try to catch you. Technically, instead of brains, they’re after one of the three flags you’re given before you start the course. Oddly, this race in which you’re chased by scary things is a fundraiser for the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, but if you can get past that cognitive dissonance, it’s an inventive race for a very worthwhile cause.

Prince Edward Island

Astute readers will have noticed that none of the runs above are in PEI. It’s true, I wasn’t able to dig up any particularly quirky races there, but if you’re headed to the island on vacation, definitely pack your running shoes. It’s a gorgeous place to run (I did my last run there on Cavendish beach), and their Tourism department is clearly on board, with a page on their website dedicated to runners.

Tell me…

Did I miss one of your favourite offbeat races? Tell me about it in the comments below (I’m always on the hunt for fun races to try out!).

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