MARITIME RUNNER
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Rolling the dice with Shubie Sam

Groundhog to choose distance for runners for new event

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Jan. 10, 2017

SHUBENACADIE, N.S. – Shubie Sam will decide on more than just the weather forecast when he rears his head on Groundhog Day this year.
The famed furry prognosticator will play a key role in what distance the participants will run in the region’s newest running event, Shubie Sam’s Groundhog Gamble, which will take place at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.
If Sam does not see his shadow on Feb. 2, then the Groundhog Gamble will be a 5K run. If he does, then not only will we get six more weeks of winter, but the runners will continue for six additional kilometres, making it an 11K run.

Shubie Sam (no relation to this guy) will determine the distance at the inaugural Shubie Sam's Groundhog Gamble on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Andrew Wagstaff photo

The event is being held by @RunAtCan and RaceEventGuide.ca, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the wildlife park.
“I’ve been toying around with coming up with some unique events to offer runners, particularly during periods when there aren’t many happening,” said Paul Merrigan of @RunAtCan. “Winter is definitely the slowest period but I wanted to tie it in to something fun – and Groundhog Day was my first thought.”
If the location or date does not meet with everyone’s convenience, the event also offers a virtual option, where participants can run the distance on their own or with friends wherever they like, anytime after Feb. 2.
The course is located within the park, but will not pass through the wildlife section, so as not to cause any stress to the animals, Merrigan explained. It is a looped course on a closed but paved section of the park, starting at the visitor centre and advancing to the picnic area. Sam will determine the number of loops.
Response so far has been very positive, with more than 50 registrations already.
“I’ve been really pleased,” said Merrigan. “Because it’s the first time having the event and the concept is different, I really wanted to promote it only as much as seemed reasonable – let word of mouth be the main source of advertisement.”
He emphasized that the event is promoting the wildlife park and supporting it with a portion of each registration.
“Being able to support important causes through my passion for running is very rewarding and the feedback has been terrific,” he said.
For more information about Shubie Sam’s Groundhog Gamble, or to register, visit here .