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Trail running comes to Mactaquac

Inaugural event to be held at park on Sunday, Oct. 15

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 11, 2017

MACTAQUAC, N.B. – Jos Eijkelestam thought he was taking a break from race committees, but then he went for a walk at Mactaquac Provincial Park with his wife and dog.
“I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there would be a trail race in here?’” he recalled. “My wife and I discovered trail running last year and like it much more than road running, and apparently I have the need to organize something, so I thought, ‘I should do that!’”
After receiving an enthusiastic response from park management about the idea, he went ahead with planning a fall run, and the inaugural Mactaquac Trail Race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 15.
He is organizing the event himself, choosing the fall because of the beauty of the surroundings at this time of year.

The inaugural Mactaquac Trail Race will take place at Mactaquac Provincial Park in Mactaquac, N.B. on Sunday, Oct. 15. Shown here is a group of runners race director Jos Eijkelestam took out recently to try the course.

Photo courtesy of Jos Eijkelestam

It is also a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the growing popularity of trail running, according to Eijkelestam.
“There are hardly any trail races in the province, and none in the Fredericton area,” he said. “I wanted to jump on this wagon early, because you will see that the number of trail races is going to increase a lot in the coming years.”
Runners will have the choice of running a 10K loop once, or twice for those wishing to run the 20K distance. Terrain will include dirt road, wood chips, packed crush rock, slippery planks and bridges, and even a trickling stream. The single loop features about 180 metres of elevation gain, but is overall a fairly fast course, with only about 600 metres of technical, single track.
The race will start at the park’s Beaver Pond trail, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“The park’s goal is to promote the park; to have more people find out about this hidden gem so close to Fredericton,” he said. “And it already seems to be working, because I have taken a number of people out on the race course to try it out and a lot of them had never been to this part of the park before.”
Even Eijkelestam was surprised by the popular response to the event.
“I wanted to keep it low key, so a low number of runners and a low entrance fee,” he said. “I had not expected it to be so popular that, in August, I decided I had to cap the race at 105 and it was sold out one day later, two months before the race.”
Among those 105 are some of the province’s fastest runners, according to Eijkelestam, who is expecting a true race on Sunday.
 For more on the Mactaquac Trail Race, visit the Facebook page here .