Cel­e­brat­ing 30 years

Cabot Trail Re­lay Race to cel­e­brate 30th an­niver­sary next weekend

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

A well-known and re­spect re­lay race in Cape Bre­ton will be cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary when the event kicks off next weekend.

The Cabot Trail Re­lay Race will mark its 30th year when the event be­gins next Satur­day in Bad­deck.

The re­lay race will fea­ture 70 teams from across the coun­try, start­ing at the Gaelic Col­lege at 7 a.m. on May 27. The 276-km race will see com­peti­tors race through 17 stages through the Cape Bre­ton High­lands Na­tional Park, the Mar­ga­ree Val­ley and along var­i­ous points of the Cabot Trail.

David Parkin­son, chair of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, said the group is look­ing for­ward to be­ing part of the spe­cial an­niver­sary.

“Each year brings new mem­o­ries,” said Parkin­son, when asked his most mem­o­rable mo­ment of his 23 years of be­ing in­volved in the race. “The most im­por­tant thing from our per­spec­tive as or­ga­niz­ers is that ev­ery­one comes to the race and has a great time.”

The an­nual event has be­come very suc­cess­ful and very well re­spected by the run­ning com­mu­nity.

“The event has grown from a very hum­ble be­gin­ning to an event that typ­i­cally has to turn away 10 teams each year,” said Parkin­son.

“Part of the Cabot Trail Re­lay Race’s mis­sion state­ment is to or­ga­nize an event that sup­ports the com­mu­ni­ties around the Cabot Trail,” he said. “We are very proud to show off the Cabot Trail, and hope­fully en­tice run­ners to re­turn for va­ca­tions with their fam­i­lies and friends.”

The race first started in 1988 when six teams of 17 run­ners per team tested out the idea of run­ning around the Cabot Trail. Since then, over 27,000 run­ners have par­tic­i­pated in the event.

Or­ga­niz­ers be­lieve the race has brought close to $8 mil­lion

into the com­mu­ni­ties around the Cabot Trail.

“The peo­ple who run in this event ab­so­lutely love the race,” said Parkin­son. “They love the chal­lenge of the run, and ca­ma­raderie with other run­ners. There are many of these run­ners who com­ment to us that the race is the best run­ning event of the run­ning sea­son.”

Last week, a sec­tion of the

Cabot Trail was closed fol­low­ing heavy rains, from 207 mm in St. Anns to 176 mm in Bad­deck, washed some stretches of the fa­mous route. Roads in other ar­eas were also dam­aged.

Re­lay or­ga­niz­ers are not an­tic­i­pat­ing any prob­lems for race weekend.

“We have been in contact with the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion,” said Parkin­son. “We

have some­one from our com­mit­tee drive around the Cabot Trail on the May long weekend to in­spect con­di­tions from a run­ner’s per­spec­tive, and will pro­vide a re­port of our find­ings to the run­ners for in­for­ma­tion purposes.”

“The only backup plan would be a de­tour around a por­tion of the Cabot Trail as di­rected by site con­di­tions,” he said. “Dur­ing the event the Cabot Trail is open to the mo­tor­ing pub­lic, we have to fol­low the rules of the road — if the rules change on ac­count of site con­di­tions, then the CTRR will re­act ac­cord­ingly.”

The re­lay race is ex­pected to wrap up on Sun­day at around 9:45 a.m. in front of the court house in Bad­deck. Fol­low­ing the race, an awards ban­quet will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Vic­to­ria High­land Civic Cen­tre.

NANCY KING/CAPE BRE­TON POST

In this Cape Bre­ton Post file photo, Erik McCarthy tri­umphantly crosses the fin­ish line in Bad­deck in May 2016, help­ing his team, the Maine-Iacs, cap­ture its sixth vic­tory in the 17-leg race. McCarthy fin­ished sec­ond in the re­lay’s fi­nal leg.

Parkin­son

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