City Guides » Hot Summer Guide

Summer Sports Guide

Whether you're into running, racing or caber tossing, we have your summer sporting life right here.

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[ June | July | August ]

June 19-20
Johnny Miles Marathon
Was there really a Johnny Miles? The name sounds too good to be true for a runner. Well, there was. The Nova Scotian won both the 1926 and 1929 Boston Marathons, so his legacy is honoured by way of the Johnny Miles Marathon. The event is held in New Glasgow and is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Whether you're in it for the full-blown marathon or the Johnny Walk (a leisure walk for people of all ages), the two-day festivity has events for people of all ages and running experience. New Glasgow, $50 for full marathon, johnnymiles.ca

July 4-July 11
Antigonish Highland Games Perhaps more than any other sporting event, the Antigonish Highland Games is the perfect embodiment of male testosterone gone wild. Think about it---most events consist of guys throwing things. If a pissing competition were added, you'd have to call it the XY Olympics. Throw in highland dancing, concerts, ceilidhs and you'll be shouting 'Sociable!' until your voice is hoarse. According to its website, this is the oldest continuous highland games in North America and was first held in 1863. Antigonish, 863-4275, antigonishhighlandgames.ca

to July 11
World Cup
With the World Cup in full swing, many Haligonians are glued to the tube watching the action. Twenty-one-year-old Saint Mary’s commerce major Adam Downie is one of them.

”I forced my old man, almost forced him I guess you could say, to get a new TV,” he says. “We’ve got high definition on it. I’ll spend a lot of time in the basement, sitting back, having a beer or two and watching games.”

But not everyone is watching the games from home. “We watch a lot of the games in the store,” says Soccer-Pro employee Gillian Nickerson. “We’ve got all the soccer channels you could possibly imagine, so I’ll be watching a lot of them while I’m here.” Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and one of the reasons is economics. “You need nothing” to play it, says Downie. Contrast that with a game like hockey where the cost of gear can be in the thousands.

Soccer is increasingly popular in Canada, but our love for it lags well behind the Europeans. Arguably, they love it more than we love hockey. “The amount of passion people have for the sport over there is mind-blowing,” says Nickerson, who went to Europe for a soccer competition a number of years ago. “People here cannot possibly imagine the way that people feel about it over there and in other countries.”

But what makes people so rabid about the World Cup? For one, it’s only held every four years. “It’s the best players [from] every country,” says SMU biology student Drew Rajaraman. “A lot of times in club matches you get the richest teams buying the biggest superstars, but here you have everyone playing. It's not about the money. It's just about winning the World Cup.”

July 10
Dragon Boat Festival
At the Manulife Dragon Boat Festival, there are two competitions going on---one to win the race and the other to raise the most amount of money. “The teams take it pretty seriously in terms of wanting those bragging rights for next year,” says Jeff LeDrew, the chair of the sponsorship committee for the event. Money raised goes to the Nova Scotia Amateur Sport Fund and team entries cost $1,150 plus HST. Now in its 13th year, the Festival has raised $1.27 million to date. Teams consist of at least 20 paddlers and the races usually last between a minute or two. “It doesn't look like much when you’re watching from the shore, but by the time you get to the finish line, you’re pretty exhausted,” says LeDrew. Lake Banook, Dartmouth, 9am-4pm, 425-5450 ext. 344, dragonboat.halifax.ns.ca

August 3
Aileen Meagher International Track Classic
In a world of short attention spans, track and field is a perfect match because a 100m race is over in less than 10 seconds. And at only $10 a ticket, this year's Aileen Meagher International Track Classic is a bargain. The event is two hours long and features top local, Canadian and international talent burning through a host of events, including the 100m, 200m and 800m. This year's event is happening after the Canadian Track and Field Championships, which means it should attract an even more elite field than usual, though “Usain Bolt will not be coming,” says meet director Kevin Heisler. Huskies Stadium, Saint Mary's University, Gorsebrook Avenue at Tower Road, 6:30pm, aileenmeagher.ca

August 6-7
Atlantic Cat 250
For those with sensitive hearing, the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld is not the place to be. It's gonna be loud---think standing by a speaker at a rock concert loud. But for auto racing fans, this is bliss. “I don't think a lot of people understand just what a big deal the Carquest Pro Stock Tour really is,” says spokesperson Tara Foster. Events on the tour bring together the best stock-car drivers in Canada and even NASCAR drivers have participated in past races. “These cars cost about $150,000 each,” says Foster. “They’re 500+ horsepower. Joe Blow just can’t enter this race.” The Friday night qualifying session (includes on-track after- party) is $10 for adults, $2 for youth ages eight to 15 and free for children seven and under. The main race on Saturday is $35 for adults and $6 for youth. A weekend pass is $40. Scotia Speedworld, opposite Halifax Stanfield International Airport, 481-2514, maritimeprostocktour.com

August 7-8
Gorefest
Gorefest? Is this a tribute to Frank Gore, the bruising San Francisco 49ers running back? Nah, it’s a weekend mountain-bike celebration happening in Gore (located about 50 minutes from Halifax). The highlight of the family friendly weekend is an eight-hour endurance race happening on an almost seven-kilometre course. “Anyone can do it,” says Mike Phillips, the lead organizer for Gorefest. “I call it more of an event than a race.” There will also be a trail-building clinic put on by the International Mountain Biking Association. “They will not only be building trails,” says Phillips. “They will be there to show people how to build trails properly so that there’s proper irrigation and they're safe, and that they can be easily maintained and they can last as well.” Advance passes for the two days of events can be purchased for $50 (or $60 the day of). Gore, NS, off highway 202, gorefest.ca

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