HALIFAX -- With many events being cancelled country-wide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, seven women from Cape Breton weren’t going to let that slow them down… literally.

The women planned to run in the Cabot Trail Relay Race in May before it was cancelled because of the virus.

The event normally draws roughly 1,100 runners to the scenic Cabot Trail each spring.

With their spirits still high, the friends from the North Sydney, N.S. area decided to strap up their laces, and run part of the course that weekend anyway.

“And we started talking about running the rest of it,” said runner Patricia Swan.

The Cabot Trail is nearly 300 kilometres long, covering some of the hilliest terrain in Eastern Canada.

With plenty of time on their hands, the women decided there’s no better time than now.

“There was no pressure,” said runner Stephanie Langley. “It was just friends out for a run and we really tried to take in as much of the scenery, and everything around us, during the run.”

From the Gaelic College in Englishtown, N.S. to Mackenzie Mountain in the Cape Breton Highlands, the women checked off each of the relay’s 17 legs one-by-one, capturing spectacular sights and special moments along the way.

“We enjoyed every minute of it,” explained Swan. “There was so much to see and you don’t really realize how much is out there in terms of beauty.”

“Like-minded people sometimes find each other,” said runner Laura Power. “They provided support, I guess, when the mountains were tall and the sun was hot.”

When the women finished all 17 relays on Nov. 7 in Baddeck, N.S., they presented each other with hand-made necklaces to mark their accomplishment.

What normally takes some people up to 17 years to complete, took these women just under six months.

“There were mixed emotions because you were finishing the journey,” said Swan.

The women say they’re already brainstorming ideas for their next adventure, even though their COVID-19 Cabot Trail success will be a tough one to beat.