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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any qualifications for any of the races?

No…but you better have some serious hill training in the bank, especially for the 86k and 160k!

Is there a time limit? Aid Station Cut-off times?


46km = 14 hours total. Cut-off time on course is 8hrs race time at KM 26 (MacKinnon’s Brook Bridge – 2nd visit).

86km = 22 hours total. Cut-off time at KM 58 (MacKinnon’s Brook Bridge 2) = 13h30m race time.

160km = 36 hours total. CUT-OFF TIME 1 at KM 58 (MacKinnon’s Brook Bridge 2) = 13h30m race time, CUT-OFF TIME 2 at KM 85 (Turn around point for 100 milers) = 19hrs race time, CUT-OFF TIME 3 at KM 109 Cape Mabou Trailhead (Cow Pasture) = 24hrs race time, and CUT-OFF TIME 4 at KM 132 (MacKinnon’s Brook Bridge 5) = 29hrs race time.

Can I have a pacer?

Yes. Only 1 pacer is allowed for each 160k runner.

Only the 160km runners will have a pacer option. Pacers can meet their runner at the Cape Mabou Trailhead (Cow Pasture) at KM 109 only. This is the only spot a pacer can be picked up this year.

Note 1: “muling” is prohibited. This means that your pacer cannot carry any gear for you and your pacer can not give you any of their gear to use. Period.

Note 2: stashing gear on the course is prohibited. If we hear of any rules being broken, the runner will be DQ’d and will be asked to leave the course.

Note 3: pacers are required to carry the same mandatory gear as the runners.

Is there any mandatory gear requirements?


It is MANDATORY that all runners, in every distance/event, have the following items with them at all times:

  • bottles/flasks/reservoirs that can hold up to 1L of fluids
  • a waterproof jacket = seam-sealed/taped/welded jacket. You need to know what this means.
  • a basic 1st Aid kit that includes: 2 metres of duct tape, a tensor bandage, band-aids (3 minimum) and emergency blanket
  • food & drink
  • whistle
  • a charged cell phone (with the RD’s phone number = 902-448-2453)
  • headlamp (86k/160k runners only — can be picked up at your drop bag)
  • toque or buff
  • course map (on your phone or printed)
  • 1 lighter or 6 matches (ideally waterproof)
  • knife (a pocket knife is sufficient)

*Random checks will happen on course. If you don’t have any of the items, you’ll be DQ’d right then and there. No exceptions and no substitutes for items.


  • gloves
  • Garmin InReach device or similar for emergencies
  • water filter (you could run out of fluids before the next aid station)
  • spare headlamp and batteries
  • sunscreen
  • bug repellent
  • warm layer for upper body
  • rain pants
  • compass


  • any music playing device that requires earbuds, headphones, etc.
  • music/podcasts/etc being played on a speakerphone is also not allowed
  • dogs and/or other pets on the course

Please note: stashing gear on the course is prohibited.


Is there a drop bag service?

Yes. We’ll have 1 (one) drop bag location that everyone will hit numerous times (2X for 86k and 3X for 160k).

No drop bags for the 46k runners in 2024. Sorry.

Please note that you are only allowed 1 (one) drop bag. This 1 bag should not exceed 30L (think smaller carry-on luggage)…and the weight needs to be kept to a minimum please and thanks!

Everyone’s drop bags need to be at the start/finish Friday evening by 9pm, clearly labelled with your name, distance and your bib #.

**NEW FOR 2024: The only drop bag location on course will be at the “Broad Cove Banks Road” Aid Station.

You will see your drop bag at the following distances:

86k runners = 35k & 45k

160k runners = 35k, 45k & 118k

Please note: stashing gear on the course is prohibited.

NOTE: We plan to have the drop bags for the 86k runners back at the start/finish by 8pm Saturday. The drop bags for the 160k runners will be back by noon on Sunday.



Crew Info

Registration/Start/Finish: Mabou Gaelic College, 32 MacDonald Road, Mabou, NS

Due to the nature of the 2024 course (same as 2022 & 2023), crew access will be very limited. Most of the roads into the aid stations are very narrow (1 vehicle wide) and have steep drop offs. It’s too dangerous to allow crews in many spots, so please don’t attempt to venture into places you shouldn’t be.

Crew Accessible Aid Stations/areas:

  1. 86k and 160k crews only. Race distance: KM 41. Beach Road No. 1, Inverness – This is not an aid station, it’s just an easy spot for crews to meet/help their runner. This is the parking lot near the end of the road on the right for access the Boardwalk/Beach area.  **The 160k runners don’t do this section on lap 2.
  2.  160k crews. Race distance: KM 85. 100 miler turn-around is just 200 metres in NE Mabou Road in the parking area on the left — please don’t stop or park on Mabou Harbour Road).
  3. 160k crews only. Race distance: KM 109. Cape Mabou Trailhead (Cow Pasture). On lap 2, the 100 mile runners can start running with their pacer here. This is the only spot to meet their pacer.

*There is no crew access for 46k runners.

*Crew for 86k runners (see above): KM 41 at Inverness at the beach/boardwalk.

*Crew for 160k runners (see above): KM 41 at Inverness at the beach/boardwalk + KM 85 at NE Mabou Road + KM 109 at Cape Mabou Trailhead (Cow Pasture)

*Crew access/help anywhere else on the course is prohibited and will result in the runner getting a DQ.

Please note: stashing gear on the course is prohibited.

Refund Policy

Please read “The Fine Print” under the registration tab.

What is the course like?

Very nice!! Numerous vistas in the Mabou Highlands, stunning beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, well maintained and super fun trails, that includes brooks, rivers, fields of cows and more!

The 46k course is made up of 53% gravel/jeep roads, 38% singletrack/doubletrack, 9% pavement…and some hills!

The 86k course is made up of 51% gravel/jeep roads, 36% single track/doubletrack, 12% pavement, 1% sandy beach…and lots of hills!

The 160k course is made up of 53% gravel/jeep roads, 40% singletrack/doubletrack, 6.5% pavement, 0.5% sandy beach…and lots of hills!!

The 100 milers will have to do battle not once, but twice in the Highlands since it’s a 2 loop course!


Swag stuff

Swag and prizing is only for the runners on the start list and the volunteers.

We won’t be mailing or delivering any swag or drop bags. If there’s any leftovers, they will go to the volunteers and/or community members.

Easy peasy? 🙂

Who is organizing the Capes 100?

NS Trail Running has been organizing races since 1995! We’ve organized everything from relay races to orienteering races to 24hr adventure races to our first 100 miler in 2019.

We’re the only group in Atlantic Canada that has been hosting a yearly trail running series…since 2010! Our well known “Nova Scotia Trail Running” series is sponsored by Salomon. Our courses are known to be very well marked and the events are all very well organized!

You’re in good hands 🙂 Hope to see you there!!

Jodi and Karine Isenor