TRENTON – After running 26.2 miles on Sunday in the Bluenose Marathon many ask why Dave MacLennan chooses to run five miles on Monday at the Joe Earle Road Races.
Dave MacLennan is shown during the 2009 running of the Joe Earle Road Races. He first ran the event 34 years ago when he was 16. He will be taking part again this coming Monday, the 50th anniversary of the races.
He has a few answers.
MacLennan tries to support and run anything that is put on locally, plus the Joe Earle Road Races are one of the events that helped him get his start in running. Now 34 years after he ran the event for the first time as a 16-year-old, he will run it again on Monday, May 19, the 50th anniversary of the races.
“To tell you the truth they used to broadcast the Joe Earle races on the radio,” he said. “When I started running I would hear them broadcasting it and hear the results. It was one of the ways I came into running.”
With the Bluenose Marathon only being 10 years old he hasn’t always had to consider whether or not to run the day after a marathon, but with that now being the case it’s just something he has accepted.
“I try to run anything that is local for sure,” said MacLennan. “It’s definitely something you look forward to every year. I wouldn’t say it’s bad timing, it’s just the way it is now. It’s usually hard starting off (five-mile race on Monday), but once you get going you’re fine. I look forward to it and there are a lot of locals each year.”
Aside from the meaning behind the run for MacLennan personally, he believes the event has experienced the longevity it has because they cater to everyone and haven’t changed the format much since they started the event.
“They’ve kept the same format for years from what I can remember,” he said. There’s also no fee, which, you’re not going to find that anywhere around. That’s one of the things that has kept this going for so long. The biggest change is that Joe (Earle) isn’t there. He always greeted you at the races when you showed up.”
One of the other aspects of the event that he believes has made it the icon it is, is the focus on family.
“There’s no event around like it. It’s for kids under five years old to whatever age you are,” he said. “It’s a family day with kids running and they’re (parents) running. People that don’t run still bring their kids and cheer them on. They put on the meal afterwards and to see the kids get their trophies is always exciting for everyone to see.”
Those interested in participating next week can sign up this week by calling 755-4426 or by mailing their name, address and event(s) to:
Joe Earle Road Races
PO Box 684
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris