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New course, three-day event for 2018 Fredericton Marathon

Event to celebrate 40th anniversary on May 11-13, 2018

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 20, 2017

FREDERICTON – Turning 40 just got a lot more exciting in Fredericton.
In celebration of the Fredericton Marathon’s 40th anniversary in 2018, the event will see a number of changes, including a new course for its existing races, and the addition of a Friday night and Saturday morning races.
“We wanted to give runners a new experience concerning the 40th, so we decided to do a three-day event,” said Bruce Macfarlane, sponsorship and marketing coordinator. “We’re going to try and have a little festival, and get away from the traditional one-day event.”

The Fredericton Marathon will celebrate its 40th anniversary on May 11-13, 2018 with a three-day event that will include new one-mile and 3K races, and a new course that will include the Westmorland Street Bridge.

Andrew Wagstaff photo

May 11, 2018 will see the debut of the event’s one-mile race, featuring cash prizes for the top three male and female participants, while the next morning will feature a new 3K race prior to the existing youth fun run in the afternoon.
Both races will make use of the city’s trail system, according to Macfarlane.
“With a 3K, there are no age restrictions, so it’s a perfect opportunity for an up-and-coming young runner who would like to experience a chip timed race, running with their family and friends,” he said. “Along with the Friday night one-miler, we hope it will entice people to come and spend the weekend with us. Between now and then, we’re going to see what special events we can add on to it.”
Sunday will continue to feature the traditional full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K races, but with a new course that will make use of the city’s Westmorland Street Bridge, and parts of the city that have never seen an organized run before. Popular existing features of the course, such as the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, and the trail system, will also continue to be part of the course.
“The addition of the Westmorland Street Bridge to our 40th anniversary event allows us to provide participants with an extraordinary experience on race day,” said race director Paul Lavoie.
“Participants will get to see both sides of our picturesque capital city from both sides of the Saint John River.”
While the details of the routes are still being finalized, the Sunday races will have separate start and finish lines. The finish line will remain the same, but the start line will be located on the other side of Queen’s Park. Only the full, half and 10K races will cross the Westmorland Street Bridge.
Fredericton has a widespread reputation for its flat, fast course, and has been the region’s most reliable qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Macfarlane assured that will continue.
“We’re still going to be flat and fast,” he said. “There’s only one hill.”
He said organizers have been working on these plans for the past two years, and permission had to be gained from the city and the province.
Other anniversary highlights will include bonus swag for runners participating on each of the three days, a new medal design, and a new two-day expo at the Delta, which will serve as the event’s new host hotel.
Registration for the 2018 Fredericton Marathon will open on Oct. 28.