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A race among the rocks

Third annual multi-terrain Hopewell run May 20

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
May 16, 2017

HILLSBOROUGH, N.B. – Thousands visit New Brunswick’s iconic Hopewell Rocks every year, combing the beach and marveling at the Bay of Fundy wonder. But Garth and Helena Millar had a different idea.
The local bed and breakfast owners thought the rocks needed a race.
“The goal is to kick off the tourist season for the park, and for us it’s kind of our first race of the year that we organize, so it kick starts the season for us as well,” said Mr. Millar. “It’s kind of neat to see if what we think as a course will actually work for runners, and so far feedback has been really good.”

The third annual Hopewell Rocks 8K(ish) Multi-terrain Race will take place at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park in Hillsborough, N.B. on Saturday, May 20.

Photo courtesy of Fundy Sports & Tourism

The Hopewell Rocks 8K(ish) Multi-terrain Race will be held for its third year on Saturday, May 20 at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, which will open for the season on the same day.
The point-to-point course starts in the parking lot, and covers every part of the park, including gravel trails, grass, the beach around the famous flowerpot rocks, and even the stairs to get there.
“It’s a different event, it covers the beach, and the course will be determined by the conditions of the beach next Saturday,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
The beach conditions also determine the start time of the race, which has to take place at low tide. This year’s race will start at 12:30 p.m., although it will be preceded by the new 1K kids’ fun run at 11:45 a.m.
The past two years have averaged about 130 participants, with probably none recording a personal best time, but all gaining a memorable experience.
“It’s beach, it’s gravel, it’s road, it’s stairs…. It’s definitely not an easy course but it’s really varied in fun,” said Mr. Millar. “A lot of people walk/run, some walk the entire thing, and a few competitive runners do it in 30 minutes.”
Race registration includes a two-day park entrance during race weekend, while the Millars have also negotiated a discount price for friends and family of runners who wish to come watch them take part.
For more information on the Hopewell Rocks 8K(ish) Multi-terrain Race, visit the Fundy Sports & Tourism website here .