Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Three new races set for Nova Scotia in 2012

Published in The Chronicle Herald
Written by: Glenn MacDonald

For those who made a New Year’s resolution to get fit, the local running scene will have three new races to choose from this year.

Two avid runners — Michelle Kempton of Halifax and Dartmouth’s Stacy Chesnutt, a marathoner originally from Nashville, Tenn. — have combined forces to create three themed races to the 2012 running calendar: a five-kilometre women’s race in June, a marathon weekend in September and a half-marathon team relay in November.

Kempton said the trio of races are designed to make Nova Scotia a destination for running.

"In different parts of North America, people travel to the races and even locals travel away to get the big show," said Kempton, co-founder of Heart and Sole Running Club.

"People go to Toronto for the waterfront race. People go to Boston to get the Boston experience. People go to Vegas for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. People are travelling away from Nova Scotia to race.

"We wanted to offer an exciting race with the destination angle which will keep people racing and will also attract people to Nova Scotia."

The Maritime Race Weekend, which will feature a marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K races, will run Saturday, Sept. 15 in Eastern Passage and Cow Bay.

"It’s a race that will celebrate the east coast and everything that’s great about the east coast," said Kempton, who added that each event during Maritime Race Weekend will be pirate-themed.

"We want it to be a celebration and make you feel that you’re part of a big running community. It’s where the destination race comes in."

The Sole Sisters women’s 5K race, to be held Saturday, June 9 in Dartmouth, is billed as the first all-women’s, five-kilometre race in Nova Scotia.

The Lucky 7 Relay, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18 in Halifax, will feature teams of three with each member running seven kilometres. Random prizes will be given to those runners who finish seventh, 77th and 777th.

Kempton said these races aren’t meant to challenge or conflict with established marathons like the Blue Nose — held during the long weekend in May — or the Johnny Miles in June.

"I have nothing negative to say about those marathons," she said. "We’ll have ours in the fall so we won’t compete with the Blue Nose or Johnny Miles. When we picked our dates, we made sure it didn’t compete with others.

"The more great races we have, the stronger the racing community will be."