READY TO RUN
Rain damage not expected to impact Cabot Trail Relay
Rain damage not expected to impact Cabot Trail Relay.
Officials with the Cabot Trail Relay are monitoring road repair work along their race route after a recent stretch of heavy rains washed out roads and shoulders.
However, they have no worries the damage will affect the 30th anniversary edition of the relay, which is set to begin May 27.
“We are fortunate in that the weather was obviously not good and there were lots of problems, but some of the worst problems are not on the Cabot Trail at this juncture,” said David Parkinson, the race committee chair.
Last week, a section of the Cabot Trail was closed after heavy rains, ranging from 207 mm in St. Anns to 176 mm in Baddeck, washed out some of its stretches.
Roads in other areas were also damaged.
Relay officials monitored road and weather conditions throughout the week and reached out to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for updates.
They were told no course issues were anticipated.
The 276-km race begins in Baddeck and sees competitors race through 17 stages through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Margaree Valley and along various points of the Cabot Trail.
Relay officials will still be inspecting the trail this week, but that’s something they do at this time of year anyway.
“Primarily, their role is to hand out posters to the different businesses and just to look at the shoulders,” Parkinson said.
“At the same time every year we are in contact with the highway’s manager for the area and he arranges to make sure their crews go out and upgrade the shoulders. Anything that’s really going to be a big problem, especially on the night legs, they are generally very helpful to look after things for us.”
Half of the relay course is in the national park, so a similar level of co-ordination must also take place with Parks Canada officials.
“We rely on them to help us keep the road conditions either identified or safe for the runners. Parks Canada and the Department of Transportation have always been fantastic to co-operate with us.”
Last week, Steve MacDonald, area manager with Department of Transportation in Baddeck, said two roads in Victoria County were closed to through traffic after two culverts were destroyed — one on the west side of Middle River Road and the other along MacDonald Lane.
Environmental regulations require the department to meet design criteria before replacing those culverts.
As soon as approvals are finalized that work would begin.
As for washouts on road shoulders, MacDonald estimated all repairs would be completed within weeks.
“We are fortunate in that the weather was obviously not good and there were lots of problems, but some of the worst problems are not on the Cabot Trail at this juncture.”
David Parkinson, Cabot Trail Relay race committee chair
Eric McCarthy crosses the finish line in Baddeck during the 2016 Cabot Trail Relay, helping the Maine-iacs capture their sixth relay victory.