SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 17, 2013

Board raises concerns on fun run

DANVERS — While selectmen like the idea that people are getting in shape during the loosely organized Wednesday evening D5K fun run around town, they are concerned about safety when 40 runners head out on some pretty congested streets after dark.

“We don’t want to stop you,” Selectman Dan Bennett said. “We hopefully want you to tell your folks to be cautious.”

The weekly 3.1-mile run, which starts at 7 p.m., is an informal gathering of runners of all abilities.

“It’s just show and go,” D5K organizer Adam Prentiss, 34, of Danvers told selectmen Tuesday night during a meeting in Town Hall.

However, selectmen said they were concerned about some participants running three abreast in the road, some wearing dark or nonreflective clothing, and about a runner who drags a tire strung behind him as he runs.

Selectman Gardner Trask said Prentiss was asked to come before the board because of the complaints that members have received about the unsafe mix of a large number of runners and cars on town streets.

“Forty per week crossing that many intersections is causing problems with drivers,” Trask said.

The D5K is not new. In fact, the run celebrated its five-year anniversary in November. The run used to start at the former Cody’s Brewing Co. alehouse in Danvers Square before the brewery moved to Amesbury. Three years ago, the run switched to its present location on Pine Street.

“We’ve been doing it for five years now, and we haven’t had an incident,” Prentiss said.

While it may be congested at the start, the pack thins out quickly. Prentiss said he always urges runners to be safe, wear reflective clothing or lights in the winter, and run single-file. Those who do not obey are asked not to come back.

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