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Return of the MACPASS Mile

Macdonald Bridge road deck reopens to runners Aug. 6

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Aug. 3, 2017

HALIFAX – At 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6, a group of women will be the first people to run across the new road deck of the Macdonald Bridge.
The men’s group will follow them at 9:30 a.m., the girls at 10 a.m., and finally the boys at 10:30 a.m. It’s all part of the return of the MACPASS Mile, a Natal Day weekend tradition that has been missing for the past two years due to construction work on the bridge.
“We’re thrilled to be back and welcoming runners back to the bridge,” said Alison MacDonald, communications manager at Halifax Harbour Bridges.
The event may be back, but those familiar with the run should no expect the same MACPASS Mile they ran in 2014.

After a two-year absence, eight hundred runners will run across the Macdonald Bridge over Halifax Harbour on Sunday, Aug. 6, with the return of the MACPASS Mile. Shown here are runners during the last event in 2014.

Photo courtesy of Halifax Harbour Bridges

In fact, the bridge’s new road deck is higher than the previous one, meaning runners will have a steeper incline to overcome in the one-mile race.
Whereas traffic used to travel through the truss of the bridge, that truss is now underneath the structure, MacDonald explained.
“We had to accommodate for that truss now being under the bridge by elevating it to keep the clearance the same distance underneath,” she said. “So it’s a different run. If you’re looking to break your old records, you probably will not.”
The lengthy construction project not only resulted in the absence of the MACPASS Mile for the past two years, but also the rerouting of the annual Blue Nose Marathon in May. MacDonald hopes to welcome that event back to the bridge again next spring.
This year’s MACPASS Mile has been capped at 800 participants, and has been sold out for the past two weeks. Even though it is free of charge, the pre-registration process was necessary to keep the numbers under control.
Because there is no financial commitment, however, MacDonald said there might be some registered runners who choose not to come out on Sunday morning. For that reason, she said there is the possibility of on-site registrations.
“I can’t make promises, but if you’re not pre-registered and you show up early Sunday morning, you might still get a bib,” she said.
The point-to-point race will start on the Halifax side of the bridge, and finish on the Dartmouth side.
Following the four runs, the annual Bridge Walk will also make its return, from 2-4 p.m.
For more on the MACPASS Mile, visit here .