In the running
Rivers Edge rec. complex to host marathon series
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