Nova Scotia

Blue Nose Marathon on the move to June

The Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon will give up its traditional slot on the Victoria Day weekend next year as Halifax makes room to host the Memorial Cup.

Event giving up Victoria Day weekend slot to accommodate Memorial Cup

More than 13,000 people participated in the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon weekend in 2018. Organizers are wondering if that will grow when the event is no longer competing with a long weekend.

The Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon will give up its traditional slot on the Victoria Day weekend next year as Halifax makes room to host the Memorial Cup.

The city was named host of the junior hockey championship last April. The tournament is scheduled to be held at the Scotiabank Centre downtown on the May 2019 long weekend.

The annual Blue Nose race and its related events, which draw more than 13,000 participants, will instead be held three weeks later, from June 6 to 9. 

"It's going to be a lot of pressure on the city — great pressure — but we looked at the opportunity to try something different for Blue Nose," said Sherri Robbins, the event's executive director.

Logistical challenge

The potential double booking would have been a logistical headache, said Robbins.

Organizers had to consider the demands on volunteers as well as the flood of visitors needing hotels and restaurants. The race routes would have also had to change.

Organizers are hoping the later date will bring better weather for the event. (Michael Gorman/CBC)

"If we were to remain on Victoria Day weekend, we were going to need to do some fairly significant route changes because we would have street closures in the downtown core all around the Scotiabank Centre," she said.

"It's hard to put up street closures when you're having hockey games."

Only available weekend

Robbins said it took months to finally decide on the new dates. Organizers consulted with other communities to make sure they didn't step on any toes.

"This was really the one weekend that we felt we could move Blue Nose into," she said. "It's a busy running calendar once the race season kicks off."

Robbins points out there could be a lot of perks linked to the new date: they no longer have to compete with the long weekend, it gives participants more time to train and the weather could be better.

It's too soon to say if the move is set in stone. The races in 2019 will be treated as a test.

If the runners are keen on the new dates, the Blue Nose may permanently leave the long weekend behind.

About the Author

Carolyn Ray

Videojournalist

Carolyn Ray is a videojournalist who has reported out of three provinces and two territories, and is now based in Halifax. You can reach her at Carolyn.Ray@cbc.ca