RIVER JOHN — Everyone appeared to have a different purpose to take part in the 2019 River John fun run last Thursday.
Numbers were down from previous years but the three-kilometre distance appealed to River John native Margaret (Sutherland) Cripps, who was the first female to finish it in 15 minutes, 51 seconds.
Cripps said she is trying to improve her physical condition with more activity.
“I wanted to get my time below 16 minutes so I’m happy with my run,” she said. “I ran a couple of 5-K races to help me get back in shape.”
Race director Mike Topley said he could not figure why registration declined this year. There were 18 entries in the three categories: 3-K, 6-K and 9-K. That compares with 64 registrations in 2017 and 41 last year.
“It was such a great day for the races,” he said.
The odd distances are the result of replacing the 5-K and 10-K events last year for better traffic control.
Three summer students employed by Pictou County Recreation provided traffic control at the finish line: Ainslie Murray from Green Hill, Demetria O’Brien from West Branch and Elizabeth Sharpe from Scotsburn.
Bailey MacKay from Toney River patrolled an intersection.
“We’re here to help with the festival,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe and Murray have also tried to stay active. They completed the Johnny Miles 5-K run in June.
Murray also helped out with the festival’s cardboard boat races.
The small number of runners did not dim the spirits of Leslie Bowman from North Carolina or her sister Robin Rio, who spent the week at the festival.
“I’m here for River John Days,” Rio said. “They’re the best.”
Margaret (Sutherland) Cripps strides toward the finish line. (Goodwin photo)