It’s with a bittersweet sentiment that we bid farewell to the incredible journey of Sole Sisters Women’s Race. From its humble beginnings in 2012, this women’s-only 5K race set out to celebrate the power and spirit of women, revolutionizing the racing scene with a touch of purple and a whole lot of passion. As we reflect on the numerous milestones and unforgettable moments that defined this remarkable race series, we can’t help but feel immense gratitude for the countless women who made it all possible.
With over 26,000 participants in 17 races, spanning distances from 5K to a half marathon, Sole Sisters Race Series has left an indelible mark on the Maritimes. In 2016, the race sought to create something truly unique and coined the term “Quarter Marathon” for the 10.5K distance, a concept that has since been adopted by races throughout the region. Sole Sisters was always more than just a race; it fostered a vibrant community of women who came together for training SOCIALS from Cape Breton to Yarmouth, even reaching Prince Edward Island. We were united by our shared love for walking, running, and the sheer joy of being in one another’s company.
One of the hallmarks of Sole Sisters was its unwavering commitment to fun and building excitement into the racing experience. We were the first race in the Maritimes to feature a live band during the race warm-up with music on the race course and tunes at the post-race parties. Our 5K race boasted themed water stops, where laughter and hydration flowed freely. Who could forget the hilarity and a touch of risqué fun at the “Risky Business” themed water stop? Or how about that hug station?!
Sole Sisters Race Series was about more than just racing—it was about building a community and spreading positivity. Our prizes were legendary, going beyond the typical running gear to include Coach purses, restaurant gift certificates, and movie passes. We even shared the experience of watching “Steel Magnolias” as a group of Sole Sisters, creating lasting memories that extended beyond the finish line.
Breaking barriers was in our DNA. We were the first race to embrace race ambassadors, empowering women to see themselves reflected in those who represented the race. Our training SOCIALS became nurturing spaces where experienced Sole Sisters supported and guided others. While pace bunnies were not new to the racing world, we introduced the concept of “hill-helpers,” recognizing the need for assistance in conquering challenging terrain. It brings us joy to witness this practice being embraced by other races.
Let’s not forget the chocolate! Sole Sisters was renowned for the delectable treats lining the race course. From local chocolatiers to the irresistible offerings of Newfoundland Chocolate, we spared no effort in making each participant’s journey sweeter.
The swag at Sole Sisters was second to none. We were trailblazers in offering women’s cut shirts when that was a radical notion. From shoe bling and tutus to a stunning Sole Sisters Tartan, we constantly pushed boundaries, ensuring our race swag was as unique and beautiful as the women who wore it.
While Sole Sisters Race Series has left an undeniable impact on the participants who crossed the finish line, its influence extended beyond the races themselves. Through our fundraising efforts, we raised many thousands of dollars for charities like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, Run for the Cure and Chron’s and Colitis.
Additionally, we proudly supported the Girls Gone Gazelle Run Club, a transformative program that empowered young girls through running, female role models, and engaging workouts. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, this free confidence club persevered and expanded to Cape Breton, Dartmouth, and Leader, Saskatchewan, inspiring over 100 girls each year.
Throughout its existence, Sole Sisters Race Series proved time and time again its resilience in the face of adversity. From bomb scares to tropical storms and unexpected race relocations, we weathered it all, emerging stronger and more determined to create extraordinary experiences for women.
However, our final challenge proved to be the most arduous. An online attack resulted in the loss of the Sole Sisters Facebook page, which had served as our primary means of communication with our dedicated participants and supporters. Yet, we rallied together, joining forces with Epic Canadian Run for Canada and will be kicking off their Canada Day weekend of racing with a Sole Sisters 5K Race on Friday, June 30, 2023. This collaboration allowed us to stay connected with a portion of the incredible community we had built.
As we close this chapter of Sole Sisters Race Series, we extend our deepest gratitude to each and every woman and man who made this journey unforgettable. Your determination, camaraderie, and unwavering support are what made this race series shine. We encourage you to carry the spirit of Sole Sisters with you as you embark on new adventures, wherever your path may lead.
Thank you for being a part of our incredible journey. Together, we’ve changed lives, shattered expectations, and created lasting memories. Farewell, Sole Sisters, and may your steps continue to inspire and uplift others on their own remarkable journeys. Remember, You Are the Inspiration!