For the first time since May of 2019, runners took over the streets of Fredericton.
It’s the first time the Fredericton Marathon has been run since 2019. The 2020 edition was cancelled and this year’s race was postponed from its normal slot in May. Race director Bruce Macfarlane said just pulling the event off is a win.
“It was just great to see people smiling and running and having a good time,” he said.
The race was split over three days, with the full and half marathon taking place on Sunday. Macfarlane said that was to avoid the normal bunch start.
“It’s good to have and you can show others that it can be done,” he said.
“I think we’ll be regarded as maybe a stepping stone or encouragement to other races that, yeah, it can be done.”
The event attracted runners from across the Maritimes and beyond, many hungry for a chance to race again. Jarvis Googoo came from Nova Scotia to run the full marathon. He says he’s been running as many races as he can this summer after most were cancelled in 2020.
“The atmosphere, the people, I missed that. And so having all this is such an incredible morale booster. You’re fast on your own, but you’re faster when other people are around you,” he said.
This was Katie Jerrett’s first race since the fall and her first full marathon. She was among the top finishers on the women’s side.
“It feels like I’m on top of the world. I love it, it’s amazing,” she said.
“I’ve never been in this specific marathon environment with this kind of energy, and it’s like, there’s no words for it, it’s incredible.”
About 100 people crowded around the finish line to cheer runners and loved ones as they crossed.
Katy Berry was waiting for her boyfriend and his brother to finish their first marathon.
“I’m so proud of all the hard work and dedication they put into training for this, and it’s going to be so worth it and it’s so exciting to see,” she said.
Just as Berry began to express some nerves as she waited, the brothers’ mother, Anne Summanen, spotted her youngest heading towards the finish.
“Oh it feels so good,” Summanen said as she watched her son cross the finish line.
“And he looked good! He wasn’t too tired!”
It’s just those sort of moments that organizers hoped to see.
“People have been waiting like this for a long time,” Macfarlane said.
“You know, virtual runs are great, but to have a live in-person race, competition, couldn’t ask for better.”