This was the second year I participated in this run and the second year it was held, but weirdly the first time I did it alone. That wasn’t for lack of trying though. It’s funny last year this was the first run I had ever done with someone else and this year I was (sort of) all alone. There were actually some pretty big changes from last year so probably refer to this post for next year. All of the changes were positive ones and it was tones of fun. Since the trainees were away for it I did lie to myself for a bit and pretend I wasn’t going to do it, that my race budget for the year was already blown but then I saw the ornament and was like here take my money, that reindeer is wearing a tutu! So here’s how it went and what you need to know.
A bit about the race
This is the second year for the fun run in Mahone Bay and it seems to benefit a different charity each year. Last year it was the lodge that gives and this year it was Autism Nova Scotia. It’s just a part of the larger father Christmas festival which features all sorts of fun for the whole family. It’s a fun run so there’s no bibs and it’s untimed. As a medal you get an Amos Pewter ornament which they must donate because they are worth basically the cost of the race. Finally both last year and this year there was a cap on registration last year it was about 240 and this year 300 and both years it sold out. It seems like for now it’s growing but it’s also popular so if you want to do it register early.
Parking and weather
Truthfully I didn’t even check the race route this year but I did read (not all that closely) the two emails the race sent out. I think now it might be a Run Nova Scotia event since they had their blow up arch there. The only prizes are for best costume and draw prizes, a lot of draw prizes. Last year we happened to park just barely beyond the race end so we headed down the shore a ways further and picked up the highway an exit late. That’s totally an option but this year I opted to park in the lot next to the churches and walk the half km or so to the start and after the race. Since the race now shuts down all of main street for about an hour this is a safe bet for getting out after the race, especially if you want to avoid the 103 and take the old road. It’s a good place to park and they want you not to park on the course on main street but for now there is lots of parking in town for racers. The weather on the day was pretty good just above freezing with literally no wind which is weird for that close to the ocean. But it is December so if you’re planning on coming in from the city or farther a field remember its about an hour so you might not get to go if mother nature doesn’t want you too. Also if that’s the case you should know that Lunnenburg County doesn’t do nearly as good a job keeping the roads clear as fast as HRM. If in doubt check the highway web cameras.
Last year I was so excited to run with my mom I forgot to start my app and collect the somewhat complicated course. That doesn’t matter now since they changed the course but it’s so easy now you basically don’t need it. It’s a straight shot up main street when you get to the giant reindeer turn around and come back. The main street is the iconic street in Mahone Bay and some local businesses and residents were cheering and had warm refreshments on course. Also it starts and ends at the marina which is just beyond the end of all the businesses. There is a little bit of a gentle hill end even though it’s on the long side the angle is almost imperceptible.
This year it was just me and honey. I invited two separate toddlers to come with me but after some back and forth it turns our they are both too cool to hang out with me on a Saturday night. It’s okay I get it I wouldn’t hand out with me either. We had a really stressful day taking down a 120 ft pine tree 12 feet from a million dollar home and honey decided to go hulk on the truck ignition so that was fun. In the end we just had enough time to hop in the other truck and pick up the registration pack before check in officially closed at 5:15. He went to Tim Hortons and ordered supper I walked to check in then back to collect him, tutu-ed up and then we walked down together. We were both a bit spent from the day but he did a great job holding the bum bag and weirdly did a facebook live for the whole event. So I gather he was excited. Since it was cold and short I decided to go fast so we could head home earlier and start PJ time.
Logistics and support
In some ways there is none, no aid or water stations on course but there really doesn’t need to be. Every intersection has a volunteer in it even though all you have to do is go straight. You pick up your race kit in a restaurant (the hub) next door to the start/finish line and last year I think that’s where the reception area was too. This year they built a pretty permanent looking hut where they had cookies, hot chocolate and cider waiting. That was pretty nice. As we drove out of town we saw that the fire department basically had the whole town shut down to traffic but they were just out of sight of the race. Finally there was also a decent RCMP presence on the course as well and they were even wearing lights.
I just wanted to have some fun and of course were my silly snowman costume again. Also the tutu on the medal was a big draw too. After the day we had I was tiered and I knew honey was cold so I figured I’d just go fast and get into my PJ’s faster.
The swag on this one is pretty darn good especially considering the $25 entry fee. You get a pewter medal, flashing nose (the nice baker at Tim’s taped mine back together for me), antlers some coupons and a sample from the Haskap store. For this one it’s all about the medal though.
I has lots of fun and feel that I looked cute in my costume
Shoes: Asics Gel Cumulus 19
My mom was super upset that she wan’t in town for this one but now that I have two ornaments Im thinking I’ll be doing this one every year. It’s really fun to get dressed up and run around for a bit in December and this fun run is just the place to do it. But organizers if you’re listening you could take more of my money since it’s for such a good cause.