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Thirty years of the Demi-marathon de l’Acadie

More than 100 expected for anniversary race on Sunday

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 29, 2017

TRACADIE-SHEILA, N.B. – It’s been 30 years since Edmond Morais and Rheal Sivret challenged themselves to run a half marathon from St-Isidore to Tracadie.
On that day, the Demi-marathon de l-Acadie was born as a monthly event, and it has never faltered. Over three decades, more than 7,000 registrations have been made for 359 races. The 30th anniversary will be celebrated when the 360th event is run on Sunday, Oct. 1.
“It’s amazing, and it’s all documented,” said race director Donald Wade.

The 360e Demi-marathon de l’Acadie will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1, marking the 30th anniversary of the monthly race series. Shown here is the group that participated in last year’s October event.

Photo courtesy of Demi-marathon de l’Acadie

“We have proof of every race in our documents. It was not something that at, at one point, stopped and then started over again. No, all our races are documented with pictures, sometimes paper clippings, everything.
“Jean-Marie and Marcelle Breau took care of it, and did a fantastic job of keeping Demi-marathon alive,” he added.
Like other runs in the series, Sunday’s race will wrap up with a reception and get-together for participants at the A.’A.-Dionne Swimming Pool in Tracadie-Sheila, but this one will include some special features.
“We’ll be going back over the last five years, and my presentation is going to celebrate our female runners,” said Wade. “We’re going to honour the first three ladies to run our course.”
Nancy Lebreton, Raymonde Breau, and the late Pauline Losier were the first female participants in the Demi-marathon de l’Acadie in 1988. Lebreton did so at the age of 15, something that would not be allowed today, when the minimum age for participants due to safety requirements is 18.
All three women will be paid special tribute on Sunday, and Breau is expected to be in attendance.
“We will also recognize other women who have followed their tracks, looking at the trailblazers in our group, and will have special words for them,” he said.
The race begins at 10 a.m. in St.-Isidore, with transportation from Tracadie provided. A 9:30 a.m. early start is also offered for those who expect to take longer than 2:15 to complete the course. Those runners must let Wade know beforehand so transportation can be arranged.
Other activities taking place on Sunday will include a kids’ race at 2 p.m., with 1K and 100m distances offered.
The reception will include a nice meal and a number of great door prizes donated by the local business community, including a $500 gift card from a local spa.
Response has been very strong for the event, with Wade expecting to surpass 100 registrations on Friday, and possibly match the previous high of 114 set at the 300th event in 2012 by race day.
For more on the 360e Demi-Marathon de l’Acadie, visit here .