Written by: Michelle Kempton
The Moose Run in Cow Bay (Nova Scotia) is proof that some things in life are FREE! This race is a fun run with no registration fee (though donations are accepted and appreciated).
The Moose Run is a 25K route consisting of gorgeous scenery… hills… fresh salt air... more hills… winding roads… and when you reach the causeway… then it’s more hills with wind! Ok, maybe I’m exagerating a little bit about the hills (but not much). This route is definitely not for the faint of heart! It is however, perfect for runners who enjoy a challenge and are excited for race season to start! There is the option of tackling the entire 25K on a solo-mission or the much more managable approach, which is to conquer this route with friends in a relay-team!
This year mother-nature took pity on Nova Scotian runners and delivered optimum weather for the Moose Run. Teetering around the freezing mark, with not a cloud in the sky, runners were surprisingly stripping off the layers as the sun shone down on them as they enjoyed running the challenging coastal terrain.
March 20, 2011 was the 19th year of the Moose Run. Race co-ordinators (Tom Harmes and Steve MacNeil) reported it was a tremendous success, with 157 participants (which is 30 more runners than the previous record set in 2010).
The race started at 10am, but runners were anxiously showing up as early as 8:30am to register. The Moose Run is open to all runners. The participants ranged from new runners who were anxious (and a bit fearful) of their 8K leg to elite runners who ran through the entire course with grace and unbelievable speed. Two of the most spectacular runners to watch in the Halifax are are without question also the winners of this race. The male winner was Rami Bardeesy (completed 25K in 1:27:58) and the female winner was Stacy Chesnutt (completed 25K in 1:46:31 seconds).
Winning the Moose Run isn’t about the medals or trophies, because there aren’t any. It’s the respect you receive and deserve for winning such a challenging race that makes it such an honor among the running community to be a Moose Run winner.
When you cross the finish line at the Moose Run, there are hot bowls of chili and delicious fresh rolls waiting to be served. It is without a doubt, one of the heartiest re-fuel meals you could imagine and again it’s FREE!
The race co-ordinators find the most creative prizes for the race. Every race participant is entered into a random draw and when your name is called, you get to go up to the prize table and pick whatever you want. Of course there are standard race prizes (t-shirts, water bottles etc), but there are quite a few unique prizes too (which are always the first to go). Wrenches, tire pressure sets, local artist prints and one year there was even a cookie jar. Race co-ordinator Tom Harmes said “You never know from year-to-year what prizes we’ll have, someone might even go home with a lawn chair!” The prize everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for, was the donation from Aerobics 1st for two pair of sneakers (valued at $160 each)!
There were runners from most of the local running clubs at the Moose Run. Even the newest running group in town called Heart & Sole Running Club (which had only been created a month before the Moose Run), managed to get over 40 participants from their club to register for the race. Heart & Sole Running Club had 5 runners on solo-missions running the entire 25K and 12 relay-teams. After their inaugural run as a club, they met at a member’s house to enjoy lattes and eat cupcakes! All races should end this way! It was unanimous among the Heart & Sole Running Club that they’d all like to do the Moose Run again next year (turns out their weekly hill-repeat training paid off at this race).
Interested in paying homage to The Moose in Cow Bay? Checkout the website: http://www.mooserun.blogspot.com