KENSINGTON – Mother Nature certainly left its mark on the 51st annual Community Harvest Festival on Saturday.
Heavy rain forced the cancellation of the popular street parade in the afternoon, but the wet conditions were actually welcomed by participants in the 45th running of the Harvest Festival 25K Road Race in the morning.
“It’s almost easier to run in the rain versus when it’s too hot,” said Dr. Helga Reisch-MacNeill, who shared top female honours with Erin Poirier of Halifax after they crossed the finish line together in one hour 57 minutes 53 seconds (1:57:53).
Winsloe native Brandon Higginbotham, who was the overall race winner in 1:31:52, agreed running in rain definitely has its benefits.
“I will take a rainy day over a hot one any day,” added Higginbotham. “Overall, it was a perfect day to be honest. It was a nice break from the heat, and it was nice to get a little bit of cool air.”
Overall, 49 runners registered for the event, and 48 finished. A total of 56 runners took part in 2017.
“We are very pleased with the turnout,” said race chairman Ivan Gallant. “We were expecting to get a few more, but I’m sure there were a few people who rolled over this morning and said it wasn’t their type of running weather.”
Gallant said he has not heard one complaint from a runner about the conditions.
“Every one of them were saying they had no issues with the rain,” added Gallant, who acknowledged the wet conditions were harder on the volunteers than runners. A lot of the volunteers move from water stop to water stop along the course.
“When you put on an event and you run it, you are only as good as the people who help you,” emphasized Gallant. “If it wasn’t for the volunteers you couldn’t do it by yourself. They certainly deserve all the credit for sure.”
The efforts of organizers and volunteers did not go unnoticed by the runners, either.
“It is a great race, well organized and the volunteers were fantastic the whole way,” said Higginbotham. “A big thank you to them for being out here in the weather.”