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RaceGuide’s featured events: Sept. 26-27

The fall racing season continues to heat up here at home with several historic events including an east coast relay, a scenic Banff half and the oldest marathon in the country.

Rum runnersSaturday Sept. 26th: Rum Runners Relay, Halifax to Lunenburg, N.S.

Historic, Popular, Destination Race

Profile: First run in 1985, this annual event takes place on the last Saturday of September and always sells out (there’s a waiting list in case of last-minute drop outs). The event is limited to 70 teams, all guaranteed to have fun, and who compete in a ten-stage, approximately 110K relay that starts in Halifax and follows Nova Scotia’s south shore to the quaint coastal town of Lunenburg. Most legs include scenic rolling hills with some featuring a few significant climbs and fast descents. The post-race reception and awards are an equally important and always-enjoyable part of the tradition.

By the Numbers: Participants: 700 (70 teams); Fee(s): $500 (per team)


Ratings: Scenery: 5; Organization: 4; Atmosphere: 5; Amenities: 4


BanffSaturday Sept. 26th: Melissa’s Road Race, Banff, Alta.

Certified, Popular, Historic Event

Profile: One of Alberta’s most popular races, often voted among the best in the province. Melissa’s offers a challenging 21K plus a 10K to suit participants of every ability. The courses are run within the beautiful Banff National Park guaranteeing a scenic experience including a loop around the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. There is a popular pre-race dinner at Melissa’s Restaurant the night before, and awards and a beer garden after the race as well as a post-race party in the evening. All participants receive a commemorative cotton long-sleeved shirt with original artwork.

By the Numbers: Participants: 4,500; Fee(s): $60

Charity: Banff Day Care, Kindergarten, YMCA, High School and Community Foundation

Ratings: Scenery: 5; Atmosphere: 5; Amenities: 4; Organization: 4

Photo credit: Paul Lahey
Photo credit: Paul Lahey

Sunday Sept. 27th: Huffin’ Puffin Marathon, St. John’s, N.L.

Certified, Boston Qualifier, Historic

Profile: The Huffin’ Puffin Marathon is the longest running marathon in Canada having first been run in 1950 and taking place a record 63 times. The event also serves as the provincial marathon championship and also offers a relay and half-marathon option. New to 2015, the races will use a 21.1K loop course that starts and finishes in Bowring Park and offers a scenic tour of downtown St. John’s and Quidi Vidi Lake. Marathon participants continue past the finish line to complete a second identical loop of the course while those running as part of a relay team each complete a leg of either 11 or 10.1K. All participants receive a finisher’s medal and long-sleeved shirt and are invited to the post-race awards reception and barbecue.

By the Numbers: Participants: 500; Fee(s): $75 (Marathon & Half); $60 (Relay team member)

Ratings: Scenery: 4; Organization: 4; Refreshments: 4; Swag/medals: 4