MARITIME RUNNER
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George Gallant 10K set for Saturday

Annual event a family affair for almost 40 years

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
July 5, 2017

SHEDIAC, N.B. – George Gallant made a name for himself as a runner from the 1940s to the 1980s, and for almost 40 years the race held in his name has been held in equal high regard.
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, July 8, but its origins go way back.
“It was in 1980, and a friend asked me how come there was no race in Shediac,” said Gordon Gallant, son of the late New Brunswick running star. “He said, your father’s from here, he was born here. So, I decided to organize a 12.8K road race.”
If anyone should have had a race named after him, it was Gallant.

The annual George Gallant 10K Race will take place in Shediac on Saturday, July 8. Shown here at a race during the 1960s, Gallant was one of the province’s top marathon runners for decades.

A Maritime marathon champion in 1949, he ran the Boston Marathon five times, finishing as the top Canadian in four of them. He also won the historic Dartmouth Natal Day Road Race seven straight times, from 1956-62.
He was inducted into the Run New Brunswick Hall of Fame in 2010, and passed away just last year, at the age of 87.
The road race began as a 12.8K for the simple reason that it is the distance of the complete loop from the Shediac fire hall to the Trans Canada highway and back. After three years, the course was adjusted into a 10K due to demand from the participants.
Organized by a committee of mostly family members, the event is put on every year as part of the Shediac Lobster Festival. It includes a 10K, a 5K, a 1K for children aged four to 15, and even a 100m race for youngsters five and under.
“It’s become a family affair over the years,” said Gallant. “We focus on having something for everyone, so the whole family can come and have a nice run and get together for lunch, and everything else. A lot of people year after year pencil that race in, just to go out and have fun.”
That’s not to say it’s not a competitive race. The 10K, in particular, is a featured event in the Run New Brunswick Super Series, and is expected to draw some of the province’s fastest.
Starting at Louis-J. Robichaud High School, the course is quite flat until participants reach the Parlee Beach traffic lights, when it becomes an incline for about 2K. It is then downhill and flat for the return to the finish.
The 10K usually attracts about 100 runners, while an additional 100-150 come out for the other races.
“The 100m for tots has really been growing,” said Gallant. “Some of them have just started walking, so it’s fun to see. They’re going to make sure the race will be continued for year to year to year.”
Although the weather forecast calls for showers on Saturday, he’s not letting that get him down.
“I only remember once that it rained in 38 years,” said Gallant. “If it does again, we still have a pretty good average.”
For more on the George Gallant 10K Race, visit here .