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Shubie Sam deals out a winner

Runners enjoy inaugural Groundhog Gamble event

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Feb. 4, 2017

SHUBENACADIE, N.S. – It seems Shubie Sam’s first Groundhog Gamble has paid off.
The inaugural running event took place on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, with runners completing a 5K fun run instead of 11K, thanks to Shubenacadie Sam deciding two days earlier that spring was just around the corner.
“It was super successful,” said Paul Merrigan of @RunAtCan, which co-sponsored the new event along with Race Event Guide. “It was beautiful and cold, but it seems like people had a blast.”

Members of the Mountain View Runners club were among those taking part in Shubie Sam’s Groundhog Gamble at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park on Saturday, Feb. 4. (From left, Kevin Dutchak, Donald Perry, Sarah Wrightly, Sherry Brennan and Durwin Brennan.

Photo courtesy of Durwin Brennan

“The course was incredibly challenging,” he said. “I had no idea what I was getting into since I wasn’t familiar with the park before today, but as a newer runner (less than a year) I was pumped when I realized how difficult it was going to be. The environment was fun.”
He also loved his medal and bib, memorable keepsakes from the first-time event.
Equally impressed with the run – and its swag - was Angela Fillmore of Halifax.
“The hill was brutal and the cold was brutal but the scenery at the top was oh so beautiful,” she said. “It was worth it! It was a lot of fun, with one of the cutest race bibs.”
According to the event’s Twitter account, planning for 2018 is already underway.
Among the satisfied participants was Jon Zwicker of Mahone Bay, who said it was well worth the 90-minute drive from the South Shore.
He complimented the event for its clever organization and promotion.
“Paul has created a fun and exciting RunAtCan community, including a weekly Twitter chat, so it kept people engaged and made people want to tell their friends about it,” said Zwicker.
The route, which was located within the wildlife park but not near the animals in residence, was snow-packed and hilly, but that did not bother Zwicker.