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Yarmouth Marathon goes Sunday, May 5; ninth year for event

An image from the 2018 Yarmouth Marathon as participants go up Vancouver Street. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, starting at 8 a.m.
An image from the 2018 Yarmouth Marathon as participants go up Vancouver Street. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, starting at 8 a.m. - Eric Bourque

Marathon day comes early this year in Yarmouth, where the annual Bean There Ran That event will take place Sunday, May 5.

Again, participants are being offered a variety of distance options, from 5K to the full marathon.

For the past two years, the Yarmouth race was held the second weekend in June – after having been a late-August event from its inception in 2011 until 2016 – but organizers decided to move the date of this year’s race to early May so as not to conflict with the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax.

The Blue Nose is usually held the Victoria Day weekend, but for this year it was pushed back to June 9, which is when Yarmouth normally would have held its own marathon.

Blue Nose organizers changed the date of their event because Halifax is hosting the Memorial Cup junior hockey tournament this year.

With the tournament scheduled for May 17-26 (Victoria Day is May 20), the decision was made to push the Blue Nose to June, given the logistical challenges and other issues that would have resulted from holding the race while the Memorial Cup was underway.

Bobby Lou Reardon, the Yarmouth Marathon's race director, suspects Blue Nose organizers will want to move their event back to the long weekend after this year. As for the Yarmouth race, Reardon says she's not sure whether this year's early-May start will be repeated in the future.

"We'll see how this goes," she said. "We might stay with early May or we may go back to June. I'm not really sure. We'll have to reflect on that after this year and see what people think."

If nothing else, the schedule change may draw runners who are looking to do an early-season marathon, she said.

For this year at least, Yarmouth is "the first marathon in the Maritimes, I think, so we do have a few people coming to run the marathon," Reardon said.

For marathoners hoping to run Boston, the Yarmouth race is a chance to aim for a Boston qualifying time.

Of course, like the Blue Nose in Halifax, the Yarmouth race gives participants various distances to choose from besides the marathon, including 5K, 10K and half marathon. There also is a relay option whereby runners can team up with others to cover the full marathon distance (42.195 km). The relay seems to be pretty popular, Reardon said.

New to the Yarmouth event this year is a “virtual run,” a chance for people to take part even if they can’t be there in person.

Interviewed on April 30, Reardon said they seem to be in pretty good shape for volunteers, although they can always use more.

The race starts at 8 a.m. on Main Street in the north end of town, between Sealed Landers Park and Lakelawn Motel. The finish is at NSCC Burridge Campus.

Runners can register in advance in person at Runner’s Attic on Main Street (by 5 p.m. on May 3) or online at www.raceroster.com (by midnight on May 3).

Proceeds from the Yarmouth race will support the Yarmouth hospital’s kidney dialysis unit.

For more information – whether you’re interested in running the race or helping out as a volunteer – send an email to yarmouthmarathon@gmail.com

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