Countdown on to N.S. Marathon
More than 500 participants are expected for the 52nd running of the Nova Scotia Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 6K on July 23 in Barrington.
Just under two weeks out from race day, almost 450 runners were registered, representing seven counties, 18 U.S.A. states and nine Canadian provinces.
“We are anticipating once again to exceed 500 total participants,” says Candice Phibbs of Mile East Productions, which was contracted to handle race administration after providing administrative services to a successful 2022 event.
“We have signed on for a three-year term and handle registration, participant inquiries, supply and promotional item orders, marketing, race day administration, virtual kit mailing, acquisition of permits and more," she says. "There are many pieces to put on a successful event and we're so pleased to work with the Municipality of Barrington and the Nova Scotia Marathon board to grow this event in the area."
A youth run has been added to the weekend line-up this year. “The committee wanted to grow the event further and help promote youth-friendly activity in the community,” says Phibbs.
The youth run will take place at 1 p.m. on July 22 at the Barrington Recreation Complex baseball field on Sherose Island. Youth can choose from 350 or 700-metre distances and run laps.
Also on July 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. is the pre-marathon spaghetti supper, sponsored by Sobeys at the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena.
The municipality is providing RV and tent camping options on Sherose Island for visiting runners once again. In total 50 tent camping spaces and 20 RV spaces are available.
There are staggered start times for the marathon, half marathon, 10K and 6K, which begin at the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena and end on the Barrington Passage side of the Cape Sable Island Causeway. The full marathon starts at 7 a.m.; the half marathon at 8 a.m. and the 10K and 6K runs at 8:15 a.m. The staggered start times are to minimize large groupings crossing the Cape Sable Island Causeway at the same time.
The Cape Sable Island Causeway will be reduced to one lane during the running of the marathon.
Following the races, there will be a banquet/awards ceremony at the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena at 11 a.m.
This year, the full and half marathons, as well as the 10K, have title sponsorship. “We offered title sponsorship in our race sponsorship package this year and we had Tusket Toyota and Untapped Marketing step up for two of the distances,” says Phibbs.
The full marathon is in memory of Angela Atkinson, who passed away on Dec. 30, 2018. Well-known Cape Sable Island resident Mervin Atkinson sponsored the marathon in his wife's memory.
“Angela and Mervin were both very active members of the local Lions Club. The Lions would always offer to do a water station for the marathon for many, many years and this was something that Angela absolutely loved to do,” says Amanda Nippard, who serves on the organizing
committee and is a runner herself.
“I lived in Stoney Island for a few years before I met Angela. When my daughter was 4 years old I decided to take her to the road to watch the runners. Angela and Mervin's water station was by my driveway so we walked over. Kenley was greeted with a smile and asked if she wanted to help pick up cups discarded by the runners. The excitement in her face was priceless," Nippard says.
"This is when I think I decided I wanted to become a runner,” she says. “A few years later Mervin asked myself and a friend to help decorate their house for Christmas as a gift to Angela. We did this for three years and were able to spend time with her and hear stories from the past. She loved people and organizing things. I believe the water station was something she took pride in and looked forward to each year."
The water station was and is still located at Mervin's residence.
"Angela started off each marathon morning by providing a big breakfast for their water station volunteers.
They always made sure ice and cold water were provided for the runners along with smiles and cheers. It was a day Angie loved," Nippard says. "Mervin has kept his love of the marathon going by sponsorship over the past several years and this year took the opportunity to honour Angie.”
A virtual component is offered again this year for runners who can't make it to Barrington to participate in person. The Nova Scotia Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
Many volunteers step up to help out during the marathon.
“This year, as always, we have had community members, as well as different groups, volunteer. They help with setting up and working water stations, passing out medals at the finish line, and helping to service meals and clean at the reception. We always welcome anyone who would like to help out and would love to see more youth from the area join us,” says Nippard.
“Our volunteers are always wonderful and come back year after year," adds Phibbs. "We do have some water stop vacancies that remain and anyone who wishes to volunteer can reach out to us at email@example.com."
Information about the marathon can be found online at: