Halifax run group breaks 276-kilometre Cabot Trail Relay record
The Halifax Road Hammers women's team broke the previous relay record by only five minutesPhoto by: Brett Ruskin
The historic Cabot Trail Relay returned to Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island on May 28 and 29 for the first time since 2019. Sixty-three teams and 1,000 runners from across North America hit the famous trail for 276 kilometres through some of Canada’s most stunning scenery. This year, the women’s course record was broken by the Halifax Road Hammers, who covered the course in 19 hours, 18 minutes and seven seconds.
The team made up of 15 runners from Halifax broke the previous record of 19:22:57 with five minutes to spare, defending their 2019 Cabot Trail Relay title. Colleen Wilson and Denise Robson, who have both represented Team Canada internationally, led the way for the Halifax Road Hammers, completing two legs each. Wilson recently won a bronze medal for Canada at the NACAC Half Marathon Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. Erin Poirier has written a lengthy blog post about the team’s effort, which you can enjoy here.
The race has 17 relay legs spread across 276 kilometres of different terrain. The suggested minimum number to register a team for the Cabot Trail Relay is five and the maximum number is 17. Some of the famous participants in this year’s race are Canadian Olympians Eric Gillis and Adam Van Koeverden.
The race begins in Baddeck, N.S., in the steep mountains in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Then teams are required to travel through many small communities along the Cabot Trail, to the finish in the rolling hills of Nova Scotia’s Margaree Valley.
An American men’s team called the “Maine-iacs”, won the 2022 Cabot Trail Relay in 16:01:48. The Halifax Road Hammers men’s team finished second, 16 minutes behind the Maine-iacs in 16:18:26.
The pandemic has made things tough for organizers of the race, as they didn’t get the green light to go ahead with the event until late April. Despite the race getting through the pandemic, there was a familiar feeling among the small restaurants and businesses on the Cabot Trail. The race traditionally brings a lot of tourism and money to the northern communities of Cape Breton Island.