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Skate the Common in Halifax!

Marathon Skating International, the Dartmouth Speed Skating Club,  and the Halifax Regional Municipality are pleased to announce the “Skate the Common” Marathon, which will take place as a part of the community festival “Skate: A Winter Celebration on Big Ice” January 8-9, 2011 at the Canada Games Oval on the Halifax Common.  

This is a Speed Skate Nova Scotia sanctioned competition.  The 25K and 40K events will be included in the Marathon Skating International Points Series, with points accumulated by skaters counting towards their season standing for purposes of the Pierre Gagné Trophy. Chip timing provided by MSI Sports Timing.

Featured events

5K Big Ice Icebreaker
Never skated in a marathon before?  This event will appeal to skaters of all ages, with any type of skates.  If you’ve been skating at the public skates at your local arena, you can do this distance – 12½ laps of the oval.  But beware; it may awaken your interest in the longer distances!

10K Hockey / Speed Skate Challenge
Are you a hockey or ringette player, figure skater or recreational skater who’s known for their skating skills?  Think you can go the distance?  Take on the speed skaters in this 10 kilometre event – 25 laps of the oval!

25K Big Ice Challenge
10K just a warm up for you?  This one has 62½ laps of the oval, and is a good test of your endurance and skating skills.  And if you’re really serious, you can do the 10K first.

40K Going the Distance
This one is for the true marathoner.  Who can complete 100 laps of the oval?

Age Classes:  Women and Men will each have the following categories

Under 19  19-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+


Friday, January 7, 2011
5:00 – 7:00 PM Skater Check-in and assignment of timing chips
Practice time on the oval

Saturday, January 8, 2011
8:00 – 8:30 AM Late Check-in and assignment of timing chips
Warm up time on the oval
9:00 – 10:00 AM 5K Big Ice Icebreaker
10:00 – 10:30 AM Ice resurfacing
Late Check-in and assignment of timing chips
10:30 – 11:30 AM 10K Hockey / Speed Skate Challenge
1:00 – 2:00 PM Late Check-in and assignment of timing chips
Warm up time on the oval
2:00 – 4:00 PM 25K Big Ice Challenge

Sunday, January 9, 2011
9:00 – 9:30 AM Skater Check-in and assignment of timing chips
Warm up time on the oval
10:00 – 12:30 PM 40K Going the Distance

The Atlantica Hotel Halifax, located within walking distance of the Canada Games Oval, is the official host hotel of the Skate the Common Marathon. 

The hotel offers a standard double room with single or double occupancy, including free parking, for $109/night plus taxes, or an Executive Floor room for an additional $30/night.  Rooms must be booked before December 14, 2010.  Reservations may be made by calling toll free at 1-888-810-7288, or by fax at 902-423-9069, and identifying that you are participating in the Skate the Common Marathon.

Official Airline:

Air Canada is the official Canadian airline of the Skate the Common Marathon.  Contact Sheila McGinn at ai553@chebucto.ns.ca or 902-443-8781 for details regarding discounts offered.

Registration and Contact
You can register online through the RecConnect page on the Halifax Regional Municipality website:
If you need assistance with the online registration, you can call (902) 490-6666. For information, contact For information, contact Sheila McGinn at ai553@chebucto.ns.ca or 902-443-8781.


5K Big Ice Icebreaker


10K Hockey Challenge






25K and 40K combo


Racing Rules:
(to be updated later this month)
Slowest skaters will skate on the inside track of the oval. This will:

- Avoid accidents;
- Let slower skaters improve their times;
- Eliminate the need for faster skaters to call out each time they pass;
- Avoid erratic moves across the width of the oval.

Skater Number:
Place your number on the right thigh so it can be seen by the timers.

Electronic Chips:

Please return your chip immediately after your last event. You must use the same chip for the entire competition; no other chip will be handed out.  You are fully responsible for the electronic chip return. You are also responsible to wear it in the race so that your time can be recorded and included in the results.