Get to Know Your Running Clubs - Amherst Striders Running Club

In this edition of Get To Know Your Running Clubs we spoke with Ken Mackenzie, a member of the Amherst Striders Running Club based in Amherst, NS. You'll find the Striders running through Industrial Park, Kaitlin Loop, Abbie Loop, Salt Plant, Fort Lawrence, and Fort Beasuejour.

Want to learn more about Amherst Striders Running Club? Read on!

Hi Ken! Tell us a bit about your club history, how long has the club been around?

The Amherst Striders had their humble beginnings in 2010. Alan Theal, upon retiring from a career Canadian Forces member, returned home to Cumberland County to Amherst, not far from his childhood home in Maccan. That winter, he saw an ad for a February Winter Carnival Run. Besides the organizers including Colleen Dowe, no one else showed up. The avid runner asked, does anyone in this town run?

He was pointed to two local junior high teachers who ran after school, Peter Nixon and Ken MacKenzie. He hooked up with them and within months, The Amherst Striders was formed. A Facebook page, weekly run time schedule and meeting location was initiated. 

Tell us a bit about your members! What level of runners do you cater to?

We have runners from all abilities, from beginners to veterans.... 1K to Marathoners, Boston Marathoners, Ultra Marathoner and Trail Runners. No matter what your level of ability...all are welcome and supported. Our motto is from our founder, Alan Theal being exmilitary serving in Afghanistan… No Runner Is Left Behind…hence the continuous looping back for runners on every group run.

Where/when does your club usually meet/run?

The Amherst Striders meet every week: Mondays 6:00PM, Tuesdays 5:30AM, Wednesdays at 6:00PM, Thursdays 5:30AM, and Saturday at 8:00AM at the downtown Tim Hortons parking lot, although there are many other opportunities to run. Just watch our FB page for requests to come and join a run at different times.

Are your group runs mostly casual or more structured workouts?

Mostly casual scheduled runs as well as a lot of casual spontaneous runs posted on FB. However when some runners start training for an event…more specialized runs are organized to meet their needs (i.e. speed, hills , LSD, trail, etc.) 

Any cost to be a member/join?

There is no cost to join - no executive or fees. We are just a bunch of runners who enjoy running and socializing while we are running. Great friendships have come out of this group.

Is your group affiliated with any events?

There is one event we support on a yearly basis, the Amherst Valentine Run, held every year on the long weekend around Valentine's Day, supported by the Running Room and Race Rosters.

Also there is a local event that the Amherst Striders support held in Amherst every June, The Cross Border Challenge, which crosses the Nova Scotia–New Brunswick border.

Any cool routes/ favourite areas to run in your city that you would like to recommend to other runners? 

There are a number of routes we routinely run:

IP - Industrial Park - 10K

In Town - Kaitlin Loop - 6K

In Town - Abbie Loop

Salt Plant - 21K

Tourist Bureau/Fort Lawrence - 10 k - 21k

Fort Beasuejour - 15K

Fox Ranch - 10K

Do you have any favorite local races? Outside of anything that you’re affiliated with of course :)

There are a number of local races we support:

Oxford Strawberry Run - July - 5K, 10K

- VON Kicking Ashphalt - August - 5K, 10K

Age Of Sail Marathon - August (Port Greville, NS) – 5K, 10K, 21.1K and 42.2K 

- Legs For Literacy October (Moncton, NB) – 5K, 10K, 21.1K and 42.2K

Anything else that we should know?

The Amherst Striders Running Club is an all-inclusive group of runners who are supportive of runners of all abilities and levels. We have runners striving to complete 1K - to Boston Marathoner/Ultra Marathoners.

Motto: - No one is left behind....from the philosophy of Alan Theal and his military background (served a tour in Afghanistan) - the Amherst Striders loop regularly on every run and even races to help support those in the rear.

Want to learn more?

Want to connect with Amherst Striders Running Club, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:


Looking for runs around Halifax?

You can find a full list of runs and races happening around Halifax at


Published on May 26, 2017
Chat Icon
Would you like a free, custom training plan?