Hawboldt/Lays race set for Sept. 1

Published on August 25, 2014

WESTVILLE - The annual Jimmy Hawboldt/Fred Lays, Sr. Memorial Road Race, which honours the two men, will be held on Labour Day in Westville.

Since 1976 Hawboldt’s career as a runner has been celebrated in the Town of Westville on Labour Day. He was known as Nova Scotia’s finest 5-mile runner and until he passed away in 1998, Hawboldt himself attended the celebrations and shared stories about the numerous races he ran. For all the races Hawboldt won, none received more acclaim than his duels with marathoner Johnny Miles.

They raced six times, each winning three, and they remained close friends. Hawboldt was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Heritage Centre’s Hall of Fame in 1980.

For many years, the Jimmy Hawboldt race was organized by a well-known, successful runner Fred Lays, Sr. He was an accomplished runner, having run in the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996, placed 2nd in the Iron Man competition in Montreal in 1999, and ran in countless other races over the years.

He was a source of support and inspiration to many runners, especially in Pictou County. Lays’ leadership abilities, enthusiasm for the sport of running, and love of the community enabled him to successfully organize many local races and become president of the Pictou County Road Runners Club.

To pay tribute to both men for their accomplishments and contribution to the sport of running, the race was re-named in 2005, and is now known as the Jimmy Hawboldt/Fred Lays, Sr. Memorial Road Race. It will be held this year on Monday, Sept. 1 (Labour Day) in Westville.

The 1-mile race will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the 5-mile is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. There will be medals awarded in the male and female divisions in six categories, with trophies awarded to first overall and first place senior master in both the male and female divisions of the 1- and 5-mile races. In addition, a special award will be presented by Cheryl Lays in memory of Fred Lays, Sr.

Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. in the Civic Building auditorium. The cost to register will be $15 per person, which includes race clothing. The children’s events are free.