This was my first full marathon and it was quite an experience. It is one of the larger events in Atlantic Canada and the full and half-marathon races start at the same time. The beginning of the race is quite crowded as from a road start, it quickly moves onto paved trail, which is fairly narrow for the number of competitors.
The course runs through Moncton and Riverview, mostly on trail. When you reach the their community, Dieppe, you transition onto road and will experience the only real hills you have to deal with. As this happens well over half way into the run, it's best to have saved your legs a little for the Dieppe section or you will hit the wall hard.
With the race being in late October, you are never sure of the weather. The temperature this year was a cool 5 degrees, which wouldn't have been bad but a downpour of rain provided a challenge for runners throughout the marathon. Add in some sections with wind and the course can provide challenges in many ways.
There are lots of aid stations, volunteers and even spectators on course throughout as the trail used is all urban. Several local schools send students to cheer runners on at various points, which is really nice. As the event is a huge fundraiser for local literacy initiatives and school, it is a relationship that really seems to work.
There are also 5 km, 10 km and half marathon events, all of which miss out on the roads for the most part and are run almost entirely on groomed gravel trail. Those courses are all very flat and fast, wind permitting. All four events have courses that are quite scenic.
The prerace expo for the Legs for Literacy event was exceptional. There were many vendors, sponsors and charities there with lots of great information, opportunities for charity runs and, of course, fun freebies. This even is a terrific way to end off a racing season and experience one of the regions largest and better organized events.