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Saint John Hypo Half a unique challenge

Terrain, location make this one a little different

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Feb. 1, 2017

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The Running Room will wrap up its Hypothermic Half events this year in Atlantic Canada on Feb. 19, and this one is for those who like a bit more of a challenge.
Despite hilly terrain and often-frigid temperatures, the Saint John event draws a sizable crowd of hearty runners, according to Running Room events manager John Acheson.
“It’s a little unique out of the Hypo Half events, in that it is very challenging,” said Acheson. “Of the events, it’s very hilly. It has kind of a nice view, but it can be kind of cold too.”

Participants in last year's Hypothermic Half event in Saint John, N.B.

Photo from Facebook

Unlike the Halifax and Moncton events, which see the half marathoners running two laps of a looped course, the Saint John half is on a straight point-to-point course, that starts near the Cape Spencer lighthouse and proceeds along Red Head road into the city, ending at Lily Lake Pavilion in Rockwood Park.
The majority of the route wraps around Saint John Harbour, which can be both scenic and/or cold, depending on the weather conditions of the day.
“The first 10K is up and down hills, then the last half for the most part is relatively flat, except for right at the end, where there’s a nice hill to finish it off,” he said. “It’s quite a challenging course but a fun one. It’s on the road for the most part, but for the first 17-18K you really don’t hit traffic.”
The 5K route will take place within Rockwood Park, while details are still being hammered out for the 10K route. Current plans are for it to be basically the 5K route x 2, but Acheson said he is looking at making it more in line with the half marathon route, just with a different starting point.
Due to the nature of the course, the Saint John event tends to be smaller than the others in terms of registration numbers, but Acheson said he expects to see it match last year’s total of about 80 people.
“It’s a unique course, but it gives a little variety, especially for those who have done the Hypo Halves a few times,” he said. “For those looking to add something a bit different and more challenging, this is the type of course for them.”