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Long time running in Berwick

Annual Gala Days 5 Miler returns Sept. 3

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Aug. 25, 2017

BERWICK, N.S. – Berwick Gala Days has been happening for more than seven decades, and its annual road race is one of the oldest of its featured events.
The 66th annual 5 Miler will take place in Berwick on Sunday, Sept. 3 as part of the festival, which now spans six days in the Annapolis Valley community.
“Gala Days started in 1945 when the Berwick Amateur Athletic Association wanted to raise funds to improve Rainforth Park, which still hosts many of the events,” explained race director Shoneth Salsman. “In the first years it was Gala Day – a one day event with a parade, horse pulls, tug-o-war, softball, baseball and a street dance.”

The 66th annual Berwick Gala Days 5 Miler will take place in Berwick, N.S. on Sunday, Sept. 3. Shown here are participants during a previous year’s run.

Photo courtesy of Berwick Gala Days on Twitter

That packed schedule is now spread over several days, and runners are invited to come early and stay for the entire festival. Fun for the whole family starts on Wednesday, Aug. 30 and lasts through to Monday, Sept. 4.
Larry’s Pharmacy has sponsored the road race for the past three years, an arrangement that has worked out well, according to Salsman.
“It seemed a good fit, as running promotes a healthy lifestyle, several of the staff and owners are runners, and it was an opportunity to give back to the town,” she said. “Larry’s Pharmacy has been very generous in their support of the race, which allows us to return profits to Gala Days.”
All funds raised through Gala Days events are returned to youth programs in Berwick and surrounding areas, and representatives of these groups volunteer their time to help out during the festival. A total of six different groups benefited from Gala Days in 2016, according to Salsman.
The race, which starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 3, begins and ends at Centennial Park on Union Street. The course is mostly flat with two gradual hills, looping around the perimeter of the town.
Last year, the race was certified by Athletics Canada.
Salsman is hoping to building on the 2016 participation total of 161 runners this year.
For more on the Berwick Gala Days 5 Miler, visit here .