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5 Quirky Road Races in Fredericton

5 quirky road races to run in Fredericton

Runners are a strange bunch. To the uninitiated, sweating your way through 5 to 42.2 kilometres seems like a strange thing to plan your travels around, but a runner will argue: what better way to get to know a city and get to see a little of it while you’re at it? After all, runners are one of the most agreeable, welcoming bunch of athletes out there, and by design a road race will generally take you on a scenic tour of the city.

Fredericton’s one of the best cities in the Maritimes to do a road race in. For one thing, most of them wisely stick to the flat riverside and downtown areas, making for fast and scenic routes. This is good for both serious runners looking for a “PR” (personal record) and for those of us just hoping to survive the race.

More importantly, Fredericton offers a selection of off-beat races designed to entertain and exercise.

Not a runner? No problem. You’ll probably be able to walk 5k in under an hour, and walkers are welcome at most road races too. My guess is that you’ll even find yourselves walking with some locals who’d be delighted to tell you about our town during the walk.

Kilted Run 5K
Each year, Fredericton hosts the New Brunswick Highland Games Festival, showcasing Scottish dancing, music, and athletics. The Kilted Run launched in 2012 and this untimed fun run encourages runners to get into the spirit by donning a kilt for the 5k. Pipers, a fairly polarizing instrument, will play along the course – either encouraging you to run faster in an effort to escape them or inspiring you, depending on your proclivities. Stay afterwards for the Highland Games opening ceremonies and ceildh to round out a fun Scottish-themed day, then come back to check out the competitions over the weekend.

Kilted Run

The New Brunswick Day Running Weekend
With both vibrant craft brewing and running communities, it’s only natural that Freddy Beach should offer the chance to combine these two passions. And why run for just one day when you can run for three?

Start your running long weekend with the Spirited Dash on July 30, a 1 mile race followed by sampling of cocktails & spirits. This is the inaugural year for this new entry on Fredericton’s quirky road race scene, but in a city that’s home to one of the Great Whisky Bars of the World: the Lunar Rogue, a pub offering over 500 kinds of whiskey... well, we’re expecting great things.

Spirited Dash

Follow that up with a Wine Run on July 31, offering 5km or 5 mile options. The course for the wine run for 2016 has yet to be revealed but last year it took off from the Lighthouse on the Green (incidentally, a great spot for ice cream with a view) and offered an out-and-back across the walking bridge. (When you’ve got a spot that beautiful, you’ve got to include it in your route.)  This more casual race isn’t a timed event, and doesn’t include a race shirt or medal; instead offering a wine tasting (and a custom wine glass!) afterwards at Brewbakers restaurant.  Bonus: the money raised benefits diabetes research.

Wine Run

If you’ve got any get-up-and-go left after your two back-to-back races, sign up for the Fredericton Beer Run, a staple of the running scene. Of course, a quirky beer run needs quirky distances, and so you’ll have your choice of 4, 6, or 12 km races. Taking off on the beautiful downtown trails August 1, runners will follow the river, cross the iconic Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge, and then turn around for another chance to check out the river view on the return leg. Once you’re done, take your custom-designed beer mug and dive in to offerings from over 30 breweries, including local favourites Picaroons and Red Rover Cider.

Fredericton Beer Run

The Running Dead
If you’re one of those people that says “I only run if something’s chasing me!”, this is the race for you. Start out this 5.5km run with three flags and do your best to keep the zombies from stealing them before you cross the finish line. Costumes are encouraged, and if you really don’t like running, you can even register as one of the zombies! Appropriately, the Running Dead race is the day before Halloween, and all proceeds go to the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre. Click here to register!

The Running Dead

Bonus: Fredericton Fall Classic
Quirky isn’t everything. For a, well, classic road race experience, check out the Fredericton Fall Classic. With distances from the 5k to the half marathon, the Fall Classic is a well-organized and long-running (get it?) road race now in its 34th year. This route really showcases Fredericton’s amazing urban trail system, starting downtown and then winding along the trails north of the city. If you’re a runner looking for a PR, the cooler temperatures in September combined with a flat course make this a good bet… but don’t run so fast you forget to check out the scenery!

Fredericton Fall Classic