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Moose Run to celebrate 25th anniversary

Low-cost, no-hassle run a popular March tradition

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
March 2, 2017

EASTERN PASSAGE, N.S. – There are no trophies, no awards, and no guarantees that your time will be accurate.
Tom Harmes does not promise anything fancy when you do the Moose Run, but he expects you will have a great time running, and he promises to fill your belly with a hot meal afterwards. For 25 years, that has been enough for runners, many of who do the run every year.
Plenty are expected for this year’s event on Sunday, March 19, which will mark its 25th anniversary.

Participants awaiting the start of last year's Moose Run.

Photo courtesy of Tom Harmes

“When we started this run, I made up my mind it was just going to be ‘come as you are and have fun. We’ll put on the event, you come run with 200 other people and we’ll feed you,’” recalled Harmes, who coordinates the event each year with Steve MacNeil. “The idea was to keep it simple.”
The event was started by MacNeil and fellow runner Rick Skutter 25 years ago, the idea being to offer a race to better condition spring marathoners. Harmes came on board as a participant, and also helped out with the announcing and presentations.
A distance of 25K was settled on for the run, which was named the Moose Run because the route passed by the iconic moose statue at the entrance to Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay.
While registration fees are necessary to offset costs for putting on an event, the Moose Run organizers decided in the beginning to keep costs low, and let the runners donate whatever amount they decided on. Any leftover proceeds would be donated to local charitable causes.
For a quarter century, that system has worked well.
“Donations have been quite generous in terms of so-called registration,” said Harmes.
In fact, each year the run has given a donation to the Buffalo Club, which serves as the host venue, and has supported such causes as the local food bank, seeing eye dog programs, the Terry Fox Foundation, and fundraisers for individuals with medical problems. The Moose Run has donated more than $30,000 to charitable causes throughout its duration, according to Harmes.
Because not everyone is up for a 25K run, and the course is a bit challenging, there is also a team option.
“To be sure we had participation, a couple years into it I set up a relay, so now you can come run with your buddies on a Sunday morning, and we’ll feed you, and you run any distance you want,” he said. “It’s really a no-pressure event, just a fun event and I think we do it well.”
The out-and-back route keeps to the coast, passing such landmarks as Rainbow Haven Beach Provincial Park, and turning around at Cole Harbour/Lawrencetown Coastal Heritage Provincial Park.
In celebration of the anniversary, all participants will receive a souvenir toque this year, and be eligible for about 100 door prizes that will be drawn for. A birthday cake and special guests will also be on hand.
For more information on the Moose Run, visit here.