The 36th annual Rum Runners Relay in Nova Scotia was the scene of great drama yesterday as 70 teams (most with 10 members, though the minimum is five) battled it out in the 110K race between Halifax and Lunenburg. The men of the Maine-iacs (who dominated the Cabot Trail Relay for years before being defeated by the Halifax Road Hammers this year) claimed victory in their first outing at this race. Their time was 5:59:10.

The Maine-iacs runners were Robert Gomez, Erik McCarthy, Jesse Orach, Judson Cake,  and Dan Vassallo.

The Road Hammers men’s A team finished second (6:11:30), improving on their time from last year by eight minutes. The Road Hammers had six teams competing (some all-male, some all-female, and some mixed-gender), and four finished in the top 10. Three-time defending champions A Few Good Men finished 37 seconds behind the Road Hammers, for third place (6:12:07). Lee McCarron, coach of the Road Hammers, reports that all three of the top teams ran faster than the course record this year.

RELATED: Cabot Trail Relay upset topples Maine team’s seven-year reign

However, the Road Hammers’ women’s A team was the first all-female team, in 7:27:48. Team members were Colleen Wilson, Charlotte Gardiner, Jennie Bergeron, Erin Poirier, Morgan Hawkes, Denise Robson and Maura Wieczorek. The Mountain View RunHERS finished in second place (8:08:19), and the Halifax Road Hammers Women’s B-team finished third (8:24:20).

The Road Hammers’ men’s B team finished fifth overall.

Maine beat the Road Hammers by 11 minutes and 20 seconds, and that’s with only five team members running the 10-leg race, according to the Maritime Runner site, which also reported that most legs were highly competitive.

The race saw some very fast running, especially by Road Hammer Matt McNeil, who cranked out a 32-minute 10K on leg 10 after finishing the 17K leg 4 only eight seconds off the frontrunner.

The race takes place on the last Saturday in September every year, and it usually sells out well before race day. We’re told that the barrels given out as prizes to the winning teams do not actually contain any rum.

(Feature photo by Andrew Wagstaff, Maritime Runner)


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