Scallywag run and walk around Bear Island is Sunday

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on August 13, 2014

A young runner flies over the sandbar headed home from Bear Island during the Scallywag 8k in Smiths Cove NS.

©Jonathan Riley

Summer going too fast?

Here’s an opportunity this Sunday to soak up some sun by the ocean.

The Scallywag 8k Fun Run and Walk around Bear Island is a great way to log some serious beach time before summer comes crashing to an end.

Joan Ross, president of the Smith’s Cove Fire Commission, says everything is organized and ready to roll for the third annual race against the tide on the floor of the Annapolis Basin on Sunday morning, Aug. 17.

Photos and results from 2013 Scallywag

The first Scallywag 8k in 2012

Walkers will start from the firehall a little after 10 a.m. and the runners will leave closer to 10:30 a.m.

The participants have to cover about 1.5 km on the rail bed, gravel road and beach before they  reach the sandbar to Bear Island, which is only exposed for several hours each day near low tide.

During both of the first two races, the fastest runners and bravest walkers have splashed and waded through the water before the tide completely leaves the sandbar.

By the time they get around the Island (counter clockwise), the sandbar has dried out completely.

No one has yet needed any assistance getting off the island (knock on wood), but members of the Smith’s Cove Fire Department will be on hand with four-wheelers if necessary.

The race course surface varies from pavement to gravel rail bed, to gravel road, to rocky beach, to short stretches of mud and maybe water, long stretches of sand, back to rocky beach, and repeat with possibly more mud, depending on how tight you take the corner when leaving the island.

Organizers will have prizes for first place male and female and the oldest and youngest participants plus door prizes.

Participants can register online at or on race day starting at 9:30 a.m.

The entry fee is $30, which includes a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt for the first 50 registered. They had 78 participate the first year and 84 last year.

Sean Merrett of Digby won the first two races with a time of 41:58 in 2012 and 40:46 in 2013.

The Smith’s Cove Fire Department is also holding a firefighters bucket brigade competition Saturday night about 6:30 p.m. to be followed by a campfire and sing along outside the firehall.

Saturday morning the fire department is also holding their last community breakfast of the year from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Race organizers are looking for more volunteers and anyone interested in helping is invited to the volunteer meeting at the Smith’s Cove Firehall Friday night at 7 p.m.

Volunteers also get a Scallywag t-shirt.