An­nual 10K changes route, loses spon­sor

Kingston Clas­sic to be held in Ron­d­out area, Port Ewen; HITS no longer in­volved

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble and Eric Hough­tal­ing news@free­manon­line.com

The Kingston Clas­sic race is ex­pected to have a new route in 2017 that will be largely in the city’s Ron­d­out dis­trict and partly in the neigh­bor­ing town of Eso­pus, and HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun) no longer will be a co-spon­sor of the event.

The planned new route — which would take run­ners over the old Ron­d­out Creek bridge into the Port Ewen sec­tion of Eso­pus, and then back into Kingston via the same bridge — picked up the en­dorse­ment of the Eso­pus Town Board at a meet­ing Wed­nes­day evening.

Car­los Perez, a co-di­rec­tor of the race, said Thurs­day that or­ga­niz­ers still are await­ing the ap­proval of per-

mits for the new course.

The other co-di­rec­tor, Ron­ald Swart, told the Eso­pus Town Board that the turn­around point will be where Old Route 9W meets Route 9W in Port Ewen. Route 9W it­self will not be part of the route, he said.

In re­cent years, the Kingston Clas­sic has been run largely in Up­town

Kingston, plus small parts of the towns of Ul­ster and Hur­ley. In HITS’ three years of co-spos­nor­ship, 2014-16, the event in­cluded a marathon (which reached into Mar­ble­town), a half-marathon, a 5K and a fam­ily mile run in ad­di­tion to the main 10-kilo­me­ter race. This year’s Kingston Clas­sic will in­clude only a 10K and 2-mile run.

The Ki­wa­nis Club of Kingston took over the Kingston Clas­sic start­ing in 2011 and re­mained a in­volved

dur­ing HITS’ three years.

Perez, who’s with Ki­wa­nis, con­firmed on Thurs­day that HITS no longer is as­so­ci­ated with the event, and he called it “an am­i­ca­ble de­ci­sion.”

“HITS was a strong part­ner with us at the Ki­wa­nis ... and we mu­tu­ally de­cided to part ways,” he said. “... HITS staff has con­tin­ued to be very help­ful in lay­ing out the new race course with us.”

Swart called the part­ing

“a mu­tual agree­ment” be­cause “it just wasn’t work­ing for ei­ther one of us.”

HITS Pres­i­dent and CEO Thomas Struzzieri said in an email Thurs­day: “This was a mu­tu­ally agreed upon de­ci­sion. HITS is lean­ing to­wards events that ei­ther are larger or we think have the po­ten­tial to be larger events. Ki­wa­nis was a fan­tas­tic part­ner, and we have noth­ing but re­spect for them and will al­ways con­sider the Kingston Clas­sic a friend of the HITS com­pany.”

The 2017 Kingston Clas­sic, which will be the 35th run­ning of the race, is sched­uled for Sun­day, April 23.

Swart said the town of Eso­pus’ sup­port of the planned new route was re­quired by the state Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

“They do have a re­quire­ment that we get ... some­thing in writ­ing from any mu­nic­i­pal­ity that we travel through,” he said. “We need

to have no ob­jec­tion from that mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

The start and end points for the 2017 race have not yet been an­nounced.

“It (the course) is still a work in progress,” Perez said. “We are con­sid­er­ing all kinds of op­tions to avoid road clo­sures, but I am con­fi­dent we will have a course that ap­peals to all types of run­ners.”

Kingston Clas­sic par­tic­i­pa­tion peaked in 1992 with 1,395 en­trants and 1,246 fin­ish­ers.

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREEMAN FILE

Run­ners par­tic­i­pate in the 2015 Kingston Clas­sic.

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