SAND POINT – It doesn’t take long to figure out how every runner who crosses the finish at the Not Since Moses Walk/Run still feels full of vigour despite just completing a five or 10km journey.
It’s because they’ve just experienced something that can be found nowhere else.
“Only here could you run on the ocean floor while a bluegrass band is bringing you in,” said Lucy Fisher, a 20-year-old Truro native who attends Mount St. Vincent University.
“It’s like tough mudder and a marathon mixed into one,” added her 26-year-old sister Mary James with a laugh. “You’re sliding through mud and someone next to me was picking up crabs. There’s nothing like it.”
It was the overwhelming sentiment echoed Sunday along the beach at Sand Point as the event’s 1,600 runners crossed the start/finish and talked amongst each other about the experience.
Carrie Greene, a Halifax resident and regular competitor on the marathon circuit in the Maritimes, said the Not Since Moses is totally different than anything she’s done before. She ran the 5km event for the first time Sunday with her friend Anita Connors.
“We usually do road races and some trail but this is still completely different,” Greene said. “The amount of muck and water and running through the little rivers sets it apart. And the scenery really makes it.”
Kieran Sharpe, an 11-year-old Dartmouth resident who also ran the 5km event for the first time, agreed.
“I thought it was crazy, all the mud and water, it was insane,” he said.
The event has built a sparkling reputation on its uniqueness since it’s inception in 2008. Word is spreading far and wide with runners as far away as British Columbia taking part in the event.
“For many years I’ve heard good things about it through family and friends,” Greene said. “It was one of those must-do races.”
The popularity of the event hits home even before arriving there. Traffic lines both sides of Wharf Road for more than two kilometres leading into Sand Point. Once inside, the park and beach is a sea of runners, talking, stretching and taking pictures before the starting horn lets entrants loose.
As cool as running on the floor of the Minas Basin, dealing with the muddy terrain and soaking in the scenery is, Nick Hart, a 33-year-old Halifax resident who pocketed $100 for crossing the line first in 26:31 in the 5km, said he enjoys the atmosphere at the event. Not only is there a strong sense of camaraderie on the course, but the live band, food and friendly faces only add to the experience.
“It just has a fun, social feel to it,” he said. “It feels like a big party, and everyone is really happy. Half the people I was racing with were giving me high fives so that’s why I come.”
It all leaves runners with the desire to come back for another taste. The Fisher sisters can be placed in that category.
“Absolutely, 100 per cent,” Lucy said.
“We might do the 10K next year, we’ll see,” Mary James said.
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