AMHERST, N.S. – The 10th annual Cross Border Challenge will take place here on Saturday, June 23, and organizers are hoping to build on its success of recent years.
“Last year’s numbers were up over previous years, and they are also trending up this year again,” said Jeff MacNeil, manager of development at the YMCA of Cumberland. “We just need some good weather. Ideally, we will have about 300 runners total, but more would be great.”
Sponsored by Archway Insurance, the event is put on each year by the local Y Service Club, with net proceeds going to support the Cumberland YMCA and community projects.
The only running event with a course that includes both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Cross Border Challenge offers a half marathon, 10K and 5K, with the half marathon and 5K both starting and finishing at the Amherst Stadium on Church Street. The 10K is a point-to-point route starting on the New Brunswick side of the border.
“We get a lot of local runners, but they also come from all over the Maritimes,” said MacNeil. “It’s a good crowd.”
This year’s participants will receive a special glass commemorative “medal,” a special addition for the 10th year.
Also returning will be popular features introduced last year.
“About three or four years ago, our numbers had started to drop, so last year we added an extra feature to try and boost our visibility,” he said. “We added a beer garden in the evening, to kind of make it like a ‘kick-off to summer’ weekend. Then we also have a spaghetti dinner during race kit pick-up at the Y.”
Race kit pickup will take place on Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the YMCA, and from 6-8 a.m. on Saturday at the Amherst Stadium. Bus transportation to the 10K start line will also be provided from the Amherst Stadium.