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Runners 'Giv'er' at the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax

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Thousands in Halifax strapped on their running shoes over the weekend, as marathoners in Halifax were ready to “Giv’er” in the 21st Blue Nose Marathon.

Downtown Halifax was all ready for the occasion, with many streets shut down, and the Halifax Common and Emera Oval full of Blue Nose-related attire.

The 5k and youth races took place Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon in downtown Halifax. The 10K race, half, and full marathons took place on Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout Halifax and Dartmouth.

Donavon Nickerson was named first place in this years full marathon, running a time of 2:50:40. 

This years full marathon took runners all through downtown Halifax beginning at the Emera Oval. The route takes participants to see some of the city’s major attractions, including the Macdonald Bridge, Lake Banook, the Halifax Harbour, the city’s North End, and Point Pleasant Park.

Police advised drivers to plan their routes during the weekend, as they had a number of streets in Halifax closed for the thousands of runners participating in the city’s trademark marathon.

On top of street closures, weekend parking bans were also in place for a number of roads to allow runners to have more room in the road. Roads shut down for the entire weekend include:

  •  Robie Street
  •  Cogswell Street Roundabout
  •  Cunard Street Roundabout
  •  Bell Road

A full list of closed roads, as well as roads experiencing parking bans can be found on the Bluenose Marathon website.

Runners line up to begin the 2024 Blue Nose Marathon. (Mike Lamb/CTV Atlantic)

The Blue Nose Marathon

The Blue Nose Marathon was born in 2004 by Nova Scotians Gerry Walsh and Rod McCulloch, who were looking to bring a running event to Halifax showcasing the beauty of the city. In its first year, the race had 3,500 registrants, and has only grown since with the 2014 race reaching 13,000 attendees.

This year’s marathon saw a total participation of around 8,800 runners, according to the Blue Nose Marathon executive director, Sherri Robins. 

"Our success and growth area testament to the dedication and support of our participants, fundraisers, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and the entire community. We're incredible proud of what we've achieved together," Robbins said in an announcement Saturday. 

The race also doubles as a non-profit society in Nova Scotia, and they run a Giv’er Charity Challenge, which has grown to over 80 charities who have collectively raised more than $500,000. In 2023, the Giv’er Charity Challenge raised over $250,000 at the Blue Nose Marathon for 61 charities.

This years event had more than 350 fundraisers participating in the event, and raised an estimated $210,000 as part of the Giv'er Charity Challenge, with donations still being accepted until June 9. 

The marathon is also an Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group qualifier, meaning athletes in nine separate age groups can compete in the Blue Nose Full Marathon to earn ranking points. After the qualifying period, the top ranked runners in each age group is invited to participate in the Abbott World Majors Marathon Wanda Age Group World Championships. 

Click here for a collection of photos from the Blue Nose Marathon.

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