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Blue Nose Marathon: 15 Years Strong

Dubbed “the people’s marathon,” the Blue Nose Marathon has been welcoming runners of all ages, abilities and fitness levels to Halifax for 15 years.From the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run to the full marathon (with plenty of options in between), there’s lots of excitement for runners of all ages on race weekend, taking place May 18 to 20.

To mark this year’s milestone, organizers are launching a new 15K race, which will be a permanent distance for the event going forward. The race will have runners crossing the Macdonald Bridge, with about nine kilometres of the course taking place in Dartmouth.

“We now have seven different races and are expecting nearly 13,000 participants in 2018,” said Rod McCulloch, a co-founder of the event and chair of the Blue Nose board. “We are inclusive to all and I’m proud to say we truly do have something for everybody, which is exactly what we intended when we founded the event 15 years ago.”

Legacy of fitness and fun

A key part of the marathon for 14 years, the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run has become one of the biggest youth runs in Canada.

It’s helped open up the marathon to kids and families. “It’s really become a family event,” said Kerry Copeland, coordinator of the Kids’ Run Club, which provides free running programs at schools across the province.

“It inspires the adults as much as it inspires the kids. You meet people who started running because of the Youth Run. And you meet kids who are now adults who started running because of the Blue Nose.”

Kids’ Run Club connection

The youth run offers 2K and 4K routes for young runners and their families. Many kids participating are part of Kids’ Run Club, which has about 17,500 student members throughout Nova Scotia.

“Having an event like the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run at Blue Nose to train for is a great way to motivate our participants,” said Ms. Copeland. “Many teachers tell us that when their students return to school in September they ask, ‘When are we starting to train for Blue Nose?’”

Blue Nose organizers are expecting about 4,000 participants at this year’s Youth Run. When you factor in all the family members and friends who will be accompanying the young runners on the streets of Halifax, that number can easily double.

unique role for Medical students and residents

New this year, Dalhousie medical students and residents will be lacing up as “running buddies” during the 4K race; you’ll spot them wearing bright orange T-shirts running alongside the kids, offering support and encouragement.

“We’re excited to have Doctors Nova Scotia members so engaged in the youth run this year,” Ms. Copeland said. “We’ve always had physicians handing out medals at the finish but having them on the ground running with the youth this year provides another way for them to be engaged in this awesome event.”

Have you or your family taken part in the Blue Nose Marathon? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.