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Pictou County Hypo Half lives up to its name

Wind, snow, cold make for challenging conditions

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
March 5, 2017

LITTLE HARBOUR, N.S. – Billy MacEachern knows how to finish a race.
With snow blowing all around him, wearing nothing but his underwear and a smile, MacEachern did a head first slide in the snow across the finish line at today’s Pictou County Hypothermic Half and DQ 10K Blizzard.
Everyone was impressed except for his wife, who just shook her head.
“I’m gonna kill him, I’m gonna kill him, I’m gonna kill him…” she said.

Billy MacEachern (left) and Fred MacDonald finish the Pictou County Hypothermic Half on Sunday, March 5.

Andrew Wagstaff photo

MacEachern was not the only runner having fun at the annual winter event, despite steady snowfall and blustery winds that made for less than ideal running conditions.
About 60 of the 80 registered participants turned out to run the half marathon and the 10K.
It was New Glasgow runner Peter Corbin’s first half marathon.
“It was cold, slippery, windy and not the best one for my first half marathon,” he said. “But I had a lot of fun… a lot of fun.”
Tara Cashen of Truro ran the 10K, although she had planned to run the half.
“For the first couple kilometres, the snow was hitting my face so hard it was like little pellets,” she said. “At one point, my eyelashes were kind of frozen. After 5K, your body temperature is up and it’s not as bad.”
First across the finish line in the half marathon event, which was not timed, was Scotsburn marathon veteran Dave MacLennan.
“It was slippery, and windy in spots… holy smokes, but it is what it is,” he said. “That’s why they call it the hypo half.”
MacLennan said the new course was much better than the old one, which had some challenging hills.
Race director Terri Waldron was pleased with the turnout.
“For the weather we got today, we did pretty good,” she said, looking around at everyone enjoying the post-run potluck meal at the Little Harbour Community Centre. “We had a few people come all the way from Halifax today. They could have looked at the weather and stayed home, but they came.”
Waldron said she and her husband considered making the event a 10K only, due to the conditions, but decided to keep it as planned.
“We left it up to the runners,” she said. “If some of them decided to just do one loop, they could, and some did. Others had only planned to do one but ended up doing a second. That’s the great part about having no rules.”
The event also raised funds for the YMCA Strong Kids program.
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