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Committee calls off annual race as Dorian approaches Cape Breton

Copyright © 2019 Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY, N.S. — The 2019 edition of the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run has been cancelled.

Event vice chair Bernadette MacLellan said after much deliberation, the committee called off Sunday’s races due to safety concerns. Hurricane Dorian, a major storm that’s tracking to reach Cape Breton early Sunday morning, is expected to bring plenty of rain and damaging winds to the island.

MacLellan said they didn’t want to put volunteers and participants in unsafe conditions with possible debris or downed powerlines from the storm.

“I know runners will be disappointed,” she said. “If you’ve trained long and hard, and I’m a runner myself, so I can really appreciate that. That’s why we spent such a long time. It wasn’t a quick decision.

“It’s very sad, but hopefully people understand and next year, we’ll be back and hopefully we’ll be able to build it up again.”

MacLellan said they considered postponing the event to another weekend, but their usual venues would be booked up and they didn’t want to conflict with other races in the region. The decision to cancel was also made early with a number of runners travelling to Cape Breton to take part.

Close to 1,000 runners were registered to compete in the annual road race, which includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K races. About 250 volunteers help put on the event, which includes a committee of around 25 people. Other events, like Saturday’s healthy living expo in Membertou and a kid’s run that night, are also cancelled.

MacLellan said registration fees will be refunded, minus the small transaction fees for those who registered online. For those who paid cash, refunds will be given on Wednesday at the YMCA in Membertou from 5-6:30 p.m.

This is the second time the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run has been cancelled since the event began in 2005. Inclement weather forced organizers to call off the 2006 race as well.

“We really appreciate people’s support of the race and we hope they’re not too disappointed and they come back next year,” said MacLellan. “We hope everyone is on the same page with this, that safety is a priority.”

Copyright © 2019 Cape Breton Post