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A mile on Main Street

Sackville run coincides with annual fall fair

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 14, 2017

SACKVILLE, N.B. – It’s about a mile from Windsor Hall to Salem Elementary School – the perfect distance for a parade, and for a road race that’s been happening here for the past 16 years.
The Main Street Mile will return on Saturday, Sept. 16, and race director Andrew Black is hoping to see a returning crowd of all ages.
“The goal way back was to make a race that was accessible, but also to get people active and get them out to see what running is all about,” he said. “A lot of times, some of the younger kids we have running, it’s the first time they have ever run a race that is timed, with prizes, and a legitimate start and finish line.”

The annual Main Street Mile will take place in Sackville, N.B. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Shown here is the starting line from last year’s race.

Photo courtesy of The Main Street Mile on Facebook

That was the idea behind the event when local doctor Graham Stewart created it in 2002, according to Black. Stewart wanted a run accessible and fun for both young children and more serious runners.
What he needed was a good weekend to do it, and the Sackville Fall Fair presented a rare opportunity.
“We have the parade for the fall fair on Saturday, which closes Main Street,” explained Black. “The course of the parade takes a little more than a mile, and our race precedes the parade. So we have an entire street closed off, plus a whole bunch of people standing around and cheering for people in a mile race, which usually doesn’t happen.”
From the starting location near Windsor Hall on the Mount Allison University, the route is flat through the downtown area, and then becomes hilly, with the last stretch to the elementary school completely uphill.
A headwind usually gets throw in every year as well, just to “level the playing field.”
The race draws plenty of young folks every year, including university students, and high school students. In fact, cross-country team members from two Moncton high schools come every year and start their season at the race, according to Black.
With great weather in the forecast, he is looking forward to a good crowd.
“I’m really hoping it’s going to be what it’s been for the last few years, which is typically between 150-200 runners, at varying age levels and varying experience levels,” he said. “We’re hoping for a really good turnout.”
For more on The Main Street Mile, visit here .