Spirits not dampened at race weekend

Published in: Weekly News
Written by: Joanie Veitch

The torrential downpour lead up to the start of last weekend’s Coastal Sunset 5K run, the kick-off event to Maritime Race Weekend in Eastern Passage.

With 3,000 participants registered for the two-day event, the tropical storm headed for Nova Scotia, event organizers Stacy Chestnutt and Michelle Kempton had more than usual last-minute chaos as they conferred with the national hurricane specialist and the RMCP.

“On race day we had conference calls every two hours to ensure it was safe for the race to proceed. On each call the meteorologist gave us in-depth information, confident there would be minimal wind and no lighting… make it an easy decision – we’d run in the rain” Kempton said.

Friday night’s rain gave way to thick fog for the “sunrise start” of Saturday’s events – 5K, 10km, half marathon and marathon.  There were none of the promised “spectacular views” but for those who came out to do the Tartan Twosome – participating in both the Friday evening run and one of the next days’ events – the spirit of the event more than made up for that.

“There were people dressed as pirates out running… I couldn’t believe some of the costumes that people were running in.  They had all the gear, some even with full-length swords,” said Sara Francis, who did the Tartan Twosome.

A mother to four children, Francis began running nine years ago, after her first child turned one.  Over the years she’s taken part in many local running events, including last yea’s inaugural Maritime Race Weekend.

“I like their (race organizers) attitude about races.  Their whole idea is to put on a fun event.  The volunteers are amazing, everyone is so encouraging along the way.”

It would seem more than a few people agree with her.  The event sold out in May, a full four months before race day, with participants from every province and territory and a few states as well.

The unique concept of the Tartan Twosome, in which participants receive two race shirts and three medals, has upped the race’s profile, said Kempton.”

“(It) is the first of its kind for our region… our race shirts and finishers medals have set a new standard for East Coast races.”