Around the Bay Road Race 2020


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Posted with permission from the Hamilton Spectator

Around The Bay moves to Grey Cup Sunday in November
By Scott Radley Spectator Columnist
Tues., March 24, 2020

Nobody who was there that day is still around to talk about it so not many people know the first Around The Bay Road Race back in 1894 was held on Christmas Day.
There are stories of some early editions of the race running on Thanksgiving Day, too. There may have been some other dates on the calendar that folks have forgotten. It did bounce around a bit before eventually locking in to the March or April slot to which we've become accustomed.
So history won't exactly be made when the annual event is held on Nov. 22 this year. Grey Cup Sunday. For the more historically minded, JFK assassination day. For the music fans out there, the anniversary of the day the Beatles' White Album was released.
But it sure will seem weird.
"It's going to be a busy fall for everyone," says race director Anna Lewis.
A little more than a week after she announced the 126th run was being postponed and possibly cancelled due to the coronavirus, Lewis sent a note to registered runners on Monday telling them it was now a winter run. For this year, anyway. It has been saved.
The irony here is that the work to keep this 30-kilometre race going was done in a dead sprint.
First, Lewis had to quickly find a weekend when FirstOntario Centre was available since it's the finish line. October was a no-go. This one November weekend was good.
Then she had to see if the Burlington Lift Bridge would be down that same day which is a trick since shipping season is still open. Yet it's pretty hard to go around the bay without it.
"(The Port Authority) said they would help us communicate with the shipping companies," she says.
Keeping it closed for the two-hours-or-so span that would allow most runners to cross shouldn't be a huge issue, she was told.
Once both those concerns were addressed, she had to check the broader race calendar. It would be poor form to drop her event on the same day some other big competition had booked. The Niagara Marathon and Toronto Waterfront Marathon are in October. The Hamilton Marathon is Nov. 1.

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