Sparks Fly!

The summer months of July and August are squarely behind us, bringing cooler weather for our early runs, balanced by diminished daylight as we sneak in our later runs. It also means a return to school for all the little penguins out there. Some children can find the classroom a tough environment in September, with carefree days still in recent memory, and the sun shining on green grass.

Thanks to your help, kids in East Hants elementary schools will now have a great outlet for their excessive energy on sunny September days… and dark February mornings! We are very excited to announce that SIX additional Sparks Fly stationary bikes are heading to area schools. They will be joining the two bikes we donated year, meaning Enfield, Elmsdale, Lantz and Shubenacadie elementary schools will each have two bikes.

How did we get here? We’d like to thank all of the runners that opted to support the Sparks Fly initiative. Choosing to bypass a well-deserved medal after a hard effort in a 5k can be a difficult decision, so we hope you enjoy the contribution you made to our area youth. We’d like to thank our sponsors, Enfield Pharmachoice and Strides Health and Fitness for supporting this endeavour, as well as several anonymous donors that contributed to the effort. The Municipality of East Hants was a great partner again this year, contributing significant funds to our Sparks Fly campaign – a special thanks to councillor John A. MacDonald for his support with our grant request. All of the above allowed for us to secure three Sparks Fly bikes, and our partners at Sparks Fly confirmed that the Province of Nova Scotia will match – getting us to six, sorry, SIX! bikes!

Thanks to all – we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish with your help in 2017!

That’s a wrap for 2016!

Wow – what a day!  Race day comes once a year, and 2016 was another unforgettable adventure! This post is a shout out to everyone who helped make today happen:

Our Sponsors. Enfield Pharmachoice and Strides Health & Fitness. David Caswell, Leslie Wilbur and their teams are pretty much the best partners you could ask for. They do so much for their communities – the Penguin Run is only a part of the support they lend to the East Hants area. Thank you.

There are many other generous area businesses and organizations that also help us out tremendously. Cup of Soul Cafe puts together some very tasty treats, and allows our limited dollars to stretch way further than they should. Panacea Spring Water donates water to the event ever year. The Enfield & Elmsdale Lion’s Club provides a great venue for us to host a 5K road race and an off road youth run together. C100 and Moya Farrell pumped some tunes and welcomed our runners home. The Enfield Fire Department always lends us a hand. Thank you.

Our volunteers. This whirlwind of a day could not happen without the “Penguin Crew”. Our race is 100% volunteer run – everyone wearing an orange shirt is giving up their Saturday to help out! Many of our volunteers spend many more hours in the lead up to the race: hanging banners, clearing trails, ordering race supplies, putting the finishing touches on bricks, loading pylons, transforming cars into penguins… the list is long, but so too are the hands. It was also great to see so many of our high school students/recent grads helping out today. Thank you.

Our running community. Run Nova Scotia has been great to partner with over the years. A board member of Run Nova Scotia, Mike Bergeron joined us on stilts today to help entertain. Tim and Stacy Chesnutt, area race directors (including EPIC and Sole Sisters), have participated in our event over multiple years. Tim has a great talent with his camera, and generously shares his photos with us.  Thank you.

Our runners. It was great to have so many positive people at the race today. We know parking is a challenge, and the race route could be repaved. However, I have not heard one complaint about any aspect of the race. It was great of you to choose to spend your Saturday at the Penguin Run – we hope to see you in 2017! Thank you.

Lastly, a personal thank you. Coach Lee McCarron is one of the finest distance coaches in Nova Scotia. Many of his athletes raced the Penguin Run this morning, and helped deliver a competitive field to Enfield. The Penguin Run is about community involvement and participation, and it is great to see that a sharp tip of the spear fits in very well. Thank you.

Race Day 2016!

Hello racers, runners, and walkers – the Penguin Run is almost here!  We look forward to seeing you this Saturday morning. Here are some details to help ensure your Penguin Run experience is amazing!

Race kit pick-up: If you registered for the run after 12pm on Tuesday, May 31st, or did not have an opportunity to make it to early kit pick up, bib and t-shirt pick-up will be available at the Lion’s Den on Saturday morning beginning at 7:00 am, ending at 8:15 am for 5K runners. The bib and t-shirt pick-up will continue throughout the morning for youth runners. Please check the approximate youth schedule below, and ensure you arrive in plenty of time to collect these goodies prior to race time.

Parking: The youth run will be held on site on the trails at the Enfield Lion’s Den (162 Old Enfield Road, Enfield), and the 5K will start and finish at the Lion’s Den. Parking is limited at the Lion’s Den; all participants will not be able to park on site.  The parking lot at the Lion’s Den will be open on a first come, first serve basis on Saturday morning. Please note that access to the parking lot will be shut down completely from 8:15 to 9:30, as the 5K race uses the Lion’s Den entrance as race start/finish. Please do not park in the lot if you have to depart prior to 9:30.

There is parking available nearby at the following locations: (a) the wide shoulder of the northbound lane of the Old Enfield Road (the southbound shoulder, the side nearest the Lion’s Den, MUST be kept clear for the safety of our 5K runners). If you park along the Old Enfield Road, please ensure you are completely off the paved road, with all four tires on gravel.  Please do not block access to the water fill station  (b) Approximately 300m north of the Lion’s Den is Mayflower Drive, which has a side street Cranberry Court. Cranberry Court is connected to the Lion’s Den field by a rough path that runs along a drainage ditch on the Court’s cul-de-sac. Parking along Mayflower Drive and Cranberry Court provide an excellent off-road shortcut to the Lion’s Den – but a quick scramble through a gravel ditch is required.

Carpooling is highly recommended!

Start times: The 5K begins at 8:30, from the entrance to the Lion’s Den. The roads are not closed to traffic, so please be aware of vehicles while running. The youth run begins at 9:30am. It will be run in waves, by age group, to allow for smaller groups of similarly aged children to run together.  See more detailed information on waves below.

Medals: The Penguin Run is happy to announce that we will provide choice at the finish line of our 5K Road Race. Runners who want a medal should take one, and be proud of their race! Runners who would prefer to celebrate their achievement without a medal are welcome to take a pass on receiving one, and opt to have the Penguin Run make a donation towards the purchase of a SparksFly stationary bike on their behalf.  If you would like to support the donation of a SparksFly bike, simply do not accept a medal at the finish line.  The bike will be donated to an elementary school in East Hants – in 2015 we were able to donate two bikes thanks to support from the Municipality of East Hants!

All of our Youth Run participants will receive a medal at their finish line.

Awards: Awards for the 5K will be presented at approximately 9:45. The youth run will have awards presented throughout the morning, following the various waves, with the exception of the Tykes wave which is strictly participation based (all Tykes will receive a participation medal, but they are not timed).

Youth Run Information:   The youth run will be run on the trails behind the Lion’s Den by waves based on age category.  For those unfamiliar with the course, there will be a walk through starting at 9:00am.  In addition, there will be course marshals along the course to direct runners during each wave. Each wave will take approximately 30 minutes.  It is highly recommended that runners plan to be on site at least one hour prior to the approximate start time of their wave.

Penguin Run 2016 – Youth Run Waves and Start Times

1 Tykes 2011 and higher  9:30am
2 Mosquito 2009, 2010 10:00am
3 PeeWee 2007, 2008 10:30am
4 Bantam



2005, 2006

2002 – 2004

2001 and lower


Each youth runner will receive a medal at the finish line.  In addition, a small award ceremony will occur at the end of each wave to recognize the top 3 male and top 3 female finishers in each age category within waves 2 – 4.

Mmmm… Food. AND massage! There will be delicious food prepared by Cup of Soul Café available for all runners post run in the building at the Lion’s Den.  There will also be post run massage therapy and reflexology offered on site by the professionals from Strides.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning!!

Last week to register!

Good evening! Our race registration will close at 6pm this Friday, June 3rd. Please note that there is no race registration the morning of the Penguin Run, you must register online before this cut-off time.

If you would like to be eligible for early kit pick-up, you need to register by noon tomorrow – May 31st! Full information regarding early kit pick-up will be distributed tomorrow. The short version is bibs, including your timing chip, and T-Shirts for the 5K race will be available from our platinum sponsor: Strides Health and Fitness Club, while youth run bibs and T-Shirts will be available from our platinum sponsor: Enfield PharmaChoice. Early kit pick up will be available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. More details will be sent tomorrow, the important thing is to click register at:

Choose Your Own Adventure in 2016!

The Penguin Run committee is happy to announce that our 5K runners will once again have a decision to make when they cross our finish line in 2016. Rather than provide every finisher of our 5K Road Race with a finisher’s medal, we will provide you with a choice: any runner who wanted a medal should take one, and be proud of their race! Runners who would prefer to celebrate their achievement without a medal are welcome to take a pass on receiving one, and opt to have the Penguin Run to make a donation towards the purchase of a Sparks Fly stationary bike on your behalf. Bling or benevolence: you choose your own adventure. All of our Youth Run participants will continue to receive a medal.

Sparks Fly bikes are silent, stationary cycles that are placed in classrooms to provide students an outlet for their energy, and allow them to better focus their attention. With this initiative, the Penguin Run will be donating a Sparks Fly bike to an elementary school in East Hants. In 2015, we were fortunate to partner with the Municipality of East Hants, and delivered two bikes to local schools: both Enfield and Elmsdale elementary received one. We will apply for this funding again in 2016, and hopefully again be able to secure two bikes!