In the run­ning

Rivers Edge rec. com­plex to host marathon se­ries

Woonsocket Call - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSEPH B. NADEAU jnadeau@woonsock­et­call.com

WOONSOCKET — If you like to run marathons, and maybe a bunch of them, the Rivers Edge Re­cre­ation Com­plex off Dav­i­son Street will be the place to be next sum­mer, come July 27.

The city has ap­proved the park’s use for the open­ing set of runs to be staged by The Road to 50 Races race pro­mo­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion as a kick off for the North East Se­ries in the New Eng­land area.

Road to 50 Races will be putting on a 5k race (3.1 miles), a 10k race (6.2 miles) a half marathon (13.1 miles), a full marathon (26.2 miles) and a 50k (30.1 miles) all on the same day.

Ge­orge Rose, race di­rec­tor for The Road to 50 Races, said on Fri­day that his or­ga­ni­za­tion at­tracts a spe­cial kind of run­ner, one look­ing to achieve very de­mand­ing per­sonal goals.

“There are a bunch of very crazy peo­ple out there who try to do a marathon in all 50 states,” Rose said.

The North East Se­ries, start­ing in Woonsocket and end­ing with a sev­enth race day at Casimir Pulaski Me­mo­rial State Park in Glo­ces­ter, will also host events in Maine, New Hamp­shire, Mas­sachusetts, and Con­necti­cut as part of the week-long se­ries.

The ad­van­tage of the New Eng­land se­ries is that a par­tic­i­pant will be able to pick up races in 6 dif­fer­ent states while taking just a sin­gle air­line flight into the area. One run­ner ex­pected to come in for the races from Eng­land, Nick Nick­le­son, is seek­ing to break a world record of run­ning 270 marathons in 52 weeks and even has a web­site track­ing his

progress, ac­cord­ing to Rose.

“There are peo­ple out there who are just nuts about run­ning and run all the time,” Rose ex­plained of crowd who fol­lows his or­ga­ni­za­tion’s se­ries

All of the Road to 50 Races are sanc­tioned and in­sured by the USATF, Rose said.

The course lay­out put to­gether by The Road to 50 Races takes ad­van­tage of a loop for­mat where the run­ners go out a cer­tain dis­tance on the course and then re­turn to com­plete one lap. At Rivers Edge the course will go out 1.1 miles along the city’s sec­tion of the Black­stone Val­ley Bike­way to a turnaround near the city’s ex­ist­ing wa­ter treat­ment plant and then head back up the 1.1 miles to the start­ing area.

For a marathon, run­ners

will com­plete 12 of those loops for the 26.2 mile dis­tance and for a half marathon, six laps.

The course al­lows the run­ners to make use of a sin­gle aid and food sta­tion and wa­ter area more of­ten than they might in a longer lay­out.

Af­ter hold­ing the open­ing Vi­o­let State Marathon at Rivers Edge in recog­ni­tion of the Rhode Is­land state flower, the race op­er­a­tion will pack up its RV and trailer and head off to Ken­neb­unk, Maine, just un­der two hours away, where the sec­ond race event, the Wild Moose Marathon, will be held on day two of the se­ries. Then it’s on to New Hamp­shire, Ver­mont, Mas­sachusetts and Con­necti­cut be­fore re­turn­ing to Rhode Is­land.

Rose, who lives in Wood­lawn, Vir­ginia, had worked as a race or­ga­nizer with Mainly Marathons out of New Mex­ico for a num­ber years be­fore set­ting off and start­ing up his own race com­pany. The Vi­o­let State Marathon will cost run­ners a $70 reg­is­tra­tion fee at the mo­ment and will be go­ing up to a cost of $100 on race day. Rose ex­pects 100 to 150 par­tic­i­pants to come to Woonsocket for the race and noted that over­all a race of that size should bring in $20,000 to $30,000 for a host com­mu­nity given the need for lodg­ing, food and en­ter­tain­ment. The lo­cal races will have an early start op­tion of 4 a.m. for com­peti­tors look­ing to get an ear­lier com­ple­tion time, and a reg­u­lar start at 5 a.m. for the marathons and an 8 a.m. start for the 5k and 10k. About half of the early start run­ners would be fin­ished by 8 a.m. and Rose said most of the run­ners will be done by noon with a small num­ber con­tin­u­ing into early af­ter­noon. Run­ners com­plet­ing the marathons will get a medal for each race and Rose said those com­plet­ing all seven marathons in the se­ries will get an added medal. Lo­cal run­ners will be given a 10 per­cent dis­count on reg­is­tra­tions and Rose will also be con­tact­ing run­ning clubs in the area to of­fer them a 10 per­cent dis­count as well. “We try to get as many lo­cal run­ners as we can,” Rose said. For more in­for­ma­tion on the North East Se­ries visit theroad­to50races.com

Fol­low Joseph Nadeau on Twit­ter @JNad75

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