Note: All photos from Covered Bridge Facebook page unless noted otherwise.
A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend Nicola and travelled to Hartland New Brunswick to run the 3rd annual Covered Bridge Run. If you are not sure what a covered bridge looks like here is a photo:
New Brunswick is home to many of these covered bridges but this one is the biggest in the world so it’s kind of a neat run. We drove to Hartland, which is about 11/2 hours away, following the Saint John river on the Saturday before Sunday’s race. It’s a lovely drive with very little traffic however the roads are a bit rough in places and there aren’t any picnic areas or rest areas along this stretch which would really highlight the beauty of the river. We stopped in Nackawic and tried a few craft beers from Big Axe brewery and also a bit further north than Hartland, in Florenceville Bristol at Railcar Brewery.
We stayed overnight with our friend Stephanie and her wife Kathleen at Stephanie’s grandparents house. They were lovely people who made us feel very welcome and we enjoyed our visit immensely.
Sunday morning we ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and then drove 15 minutes to the race start area. We parked on one side of the bridge then walked to the other to start the race. The bridge itself was closed to vehicle traffic giving us the rare opportunity to run across it on the road. You can still cross the bridge as a pedestrian as there is a walkway on one side. While waiting for the start we met a few friends of ours and then we were off. It was neat running across the bridge as you are totally enclosed and at some points the bridge bounces/shakes due to the weight. Kathleen, who wasn’t running, said that there was a sound that proceeded the runners down the bridge as a form of pressure wave, very cool!
We turned right off of the bridge then proceed a short distance out of town then turned back, we saw another friend of ours, who was running the race as well, ahead of us…what a popular race! Back at the bridge the 5k runners turned left and finished while us lucky 10k runner continued through the town then onto the trail system.
It was a warm morning without a lot of wind but the trails were shaded which was a bit of a break. The trail climbed a bit for a km or two then we turned around and headed back. We saw Stephanie motoring along as she was on the hunt for a PB but Nicola and I were running our own race. We cam back into town and were unfortunately told to turn at a spot which didn’t make a lot of sense and forced us to make an unsupervised road crossing to reach the finish which, didn’t affect our distance but was an error nonetheless. We finished, warm and sweat but happy to be done another!
We cooled down with nice cold water, met Stephanie and a few of the other runners then walked a short distance to get a buffet style breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, egg/veggie kabobs and french toast, very tasty and a nice touch. We wandered back to watch the award presentations and to see if we were door prize lucky but we were not. Happily Stephanie got her PB and was the second fastest female! One of our other friends, Diana, was the first place female, I hope that their speed rubs off on us!
We scooted back to Stephanie’s grandparents then packed up and headed home, another weekend of touring our province and running done. From the race we received a cotton t-shirt, a nice covered bridge magnet and a few other odds and ends.
I would recommend the race but would likely only run the 5k for my next time. It’s a locally held and organized race which wasn’t on the RUN NB site of sanctioned races which may have lowered it’s turnout but those who know, show up and run anyways!
Next Race: Grand Manan 10k/Half Marathon
Thanks for reading
One Foot in Front of the Other