Signed up for this race on a whim once I knew I would be visiting family in Halifax during the last weekend of April 2017. Online registration was easy and inexpensive at a price of $15 + tax. It’s worth mentioning that because of this low price, there are no bells & whistles with this race. No t-shirts or medals – only for the top 3 male and female finishers. If you’re not familiar with MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) races, they usually hold a lot of local events including road and trail races. It’s a good option if you’d like an inexpensive timed race or you just want to join a bunch of random people for your Saturday or Sunday run.
MEC emailed us the course description a few days before the race, but it was hard to visualize for this very unique course. The race runs around and through the Halifax Citadel (http://pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/ns/halifax), which is a series of forts that served to protect the Halifax Harbour from 1749 – 1906. It’s a national historic site, and I was excited for this race because I haven’t visited the Citadel in over 10 years.
This race starts at 9:30 am, which isn’t too early, so I showed up a few minutes before and met up with a friend. We decided to run the 10K together, which ended up being a good decision because the focus of this race became about fun. The course involved running around the perimeter of the Citadel, up and down side hills, through short tunnels, and inside a WWI trench. So, while being a very unique course, it’s not really a PB race unless you’re situated right at the front of the pack. Main complaint is that the directions could be more clearly communicated from onsite volunteers. My friend and I got a little lost around our 3rd or 4th loop, so making sure we were going the right way got confusing. We even improvised our last lap to make sure we came in around 10 KM instead of crossing the finish line short. (We crossed at 10.20 KM)
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at this race. Good company and a fun course certainly made the atmosphere for a great morning. Luckily, the weather was beautiful, so the views while running around the Citadel were outstanding. You get to see green spaces, downtown, and the ocean! Got to love that!
– Unique, fun course (go to this race with an attitude of fun)
– Inexpensive, easy to register online
– Nuun hydration tablets and water at the end, plus fruit
– Great views (if the day is clear)
– Course directions could be improved
– Possibly add a water station half way through the 10K
If you’d also like to check out how I rate certain aspects of the course, please check out the rest of my review on Bibrave.com!
Have you run a MEC race before? How was your experience?