About Cape Breton Fiddlers Run

big fiddle from twitter

The Cape Breton Fiddlers Run Association was formed in the spring of 2005 by the late Lydia Dickson, with a mandate to promote fitness and health in the community and to offer training for new runners.

The Cape Breton Fiddlers Run is organized completely by volunteers; over 500 come together each year to offer the numerous events offered by the organization.

The Cape Breton Fiddlers Run organizing committee is made up of volunteers who truly represent the community. They include physicians, teachers, nutritionists, accountants, nurses, lawyers, police officers and staff from the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Cape Breton Regional Police, CBRM Recreation, and Doctors’ Nova Scotia.

The Cape Breton Fiddlers Run Association consists of the following Directors:

  • Nick Burke - Chair
  • Bernadette MacLellan - Vice Chair
  • Kaitlyn Deleskie - Treasurer 
  • Danielle MacSween - Secretary 

Today, the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run is responsible for the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run, which takes place every June in Sydney. While enrolment numbers continue to decline in Cape Breton schools, registration numbers for the youth run have been consistent at 1,500. Our biggest and most family focused event, which brings together children and their families from schools across Cape Breton. Participants run either a 2.1 km route (elementary) or a 4.2 km route (middle school). There is also a Preschool Trot for those children not registered in school. Between 50 and 70 preschoolers participate. This is the largest youth run in Nova Scotia per capita; including the Halifax Youth Run. The Youth Run is held each year injunction with YMCA Healthy Kids’ Day. We estimate approximately 4,000 people attend the Youth Run. Also offered throughout the year is a youth running series, which is coordinated by Cape Breton Fiddlers Run volunteers.

The Fiddlers Run also assists the Cape Breton Road Runners (CBRR). CBRR is a running club which presents nearly 40 road races throughout the year. The Cape Breton Fiddlers has provided timing and significant volunteer support. The numbers of runners participating in these races has grown significantly with the introduction of the Learn to Run Program. In addition, more communities in Cape Breton are organizing road races through the year. These events have encouraged families to run together through the year.

Each spring, the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run in conjunction with the Cape Breton YMCA offers a 5k and 10k learn to run program; this is made possible by the dedicated coaches, who offer their expertise and experience to other runners. At the end of the program, a graduate run is held for all learn to run participants.

Our signature event is held on the second weekend of September each year from Victoria Park Armouries. The events kick off on Friday evening with a céilidh featuring local entertainers. Saturday features a healthy living sports expo, race kit pick-up and a pasta dinner, which is donated by Boston Pizza. Saturday evening ends with the Glowing Hearth Kids Run at Open Hearth Park.

Sunday is the highlight of the weekend, which features our Boston qualifying full marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k races along the beautiful Sydney Harbour. Runners are marched to the start line by a Bag Piper and are greeted along the course by local entertainers, ranging from Cape Breton Fiddlers to the Cape Breton Highlanders Pipes and Drums.

It is very important to note that as a not-for-profit, we ensure that any revenue raised goes back into the community to support initiatives that align with our mission of building a healthier Cape Breton. Through this we have been able to support local high schools, inpatient mental health recreation programs and other local running events.

We have also assisted in the development of a small business that provides computerized timing system for road races. The owner and manager of Limitless Timing has developed the company as a result of the need for timing of road races in Cape Breton; due to the increased volume of runners that now participate in road races as result of the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run.

Recognizing many of our residents in CBRM are on a fixed or low income; running is an affordable sport for all ages. Through many partnerships, sponsorships and dedicated volunteers, we are able to introduce people of all ages, including youth to the sport and offer some of our programs at little or no cost for families and individuals.

The Cape Breton Fiddlers Run and the CBRM’s Physical Activity Strategy share similar goals, including: increasing opportunities for citizens to access physical activity in the natural environment; increase the number of children and youth who engage in physical activity; and reduce barriers and constraints from citizens participating in physical activity. By continuing our partnership, we can continue to work toward these shared goals.

We are proud to carry on the legacy that Lydia started and look forward to what the future has in store for the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run.