SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 3, 2013

On The Run: Vote for the best race on the North Shore

On The Run
Jay Kumar

---- — It’s no secret that the North Shore has a thriving road race scene. You can find a race to run every single week of the year if you’re so inclined. But which one is the best?

With more than 150 races held in this area last year, the North Shore Road Race Guide (NSRRG) plans to honor the most exceptional races with poll of local runners. The Best of the North Shore Road Race Guide allows runners to vote in a variety of categories relating to road race excellence.

Visit http://tinyurl.com/bonsrrg to nominate your 2012 favorite races in a variety of different categories. The nomination period runs through January 5, with winners announced on January 11.

Eligible races must have been held in the following cities and towns: Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Burlington, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Revere, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Stoneham, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wakefield, Wenham, West Newbury and Woburn.

The categories include: Race of the Year, Best Race Shirt, Best Holiday Race, Relay of the Year, Best Race Course, Best First Year Race, Best 1-Mile Race, Best 5K, Best 5-Mile Race, Best 10K, Best 10-Mile Race, Best Half Marathon, Best Kids’ Race, Best Trail Race, Best Race Theme, Toughest Race, Best Post Race Party, Best Weekly Race and Best Race Series.

Doug Bollen of the NSRRG said he hopes the event catches on and becomes an annual way to show appreciation for the various road races in the area. A ceremony to present awards to the winners will be announced in the near future.

Meanwhile, this year’s race series roll on. The 2013 Salem Race Series has been scaled back a bit from eight races to five, including this week’s Frosty Four. The remaining four events are: the 5K Cross-Country Run at Olde Salem Greens (March 24); The Derby Street Mile (Aug. 16); The Wicked Half Marathon (Sept. 21); and the Wild Turkey 5-Mile Run (Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28).

The North Shore YMCA’s 12-race series includes the following events: Chase the Gorilla Down Argilla 5K in Ipswich (April 13); Ring Around the Neck 5-Miler in Marblehead (tentatively scheduled for April 21); Backshore 5-Mile Race in Gloucester (May 10); Father’s Day 10K/5K in Rockport (June 16); Fiesta 5K in Gloucester (June 27); Firecracker Four in Swampscott (July 4); David Curley Memorial 5K in Haverhill (July 11); Yankee Homecoming 5K in Beverly (Aug. 1); Run the Goose 7K in Gloucester (Sept. 2); Poker Run 5-Mile Race in Rowley (Sept. 28); Witch City 5K in Salem (Oct. 20); and Reindeer Run 5K in Beverly (Dec. 7). Visit www.northshoreymca.org/programs/healthy-living/road-races/ for more information on how to register for the series.

Starts and stops

If you’re looking for a different kind of race, check out the Olde Salem Greens Snowshoe Classic on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. at Olde Salem Greens golf course, 65 Wilson St., Salem. Hosted by the City of Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services Department, the course will be approximately 5K and include both double and single-track trails. Timing will be provided by 3C Race Productions. In the event of poor snow conditions, the race will be a trail run. A limited number of loaner snowshoes will be available courtesy of Dion Snowshoes on a first-reserved, first-served basis. Visit https://runsignup.com/Race/MA/Salem/4thAnnualOldeSalemGreensSnowshoeClassic to register online.

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We’re exactly a month away from Super Bowl Sunday, which also means it’s time for the 39th annual Great Stew Chase 15K. Scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m., the 9.3-mile race is a great way to do a little preventive maintenance before you dig into all those wings and chips and beverages at a Super Bowl party. The race starts at the Briarcliff Lodge on Lynnfield Street in Lynn and heads into Centennial Park in Peabody before turning around and finishing at the Knights of Columbus parking lot in Lynn. The post-race gathering features plenty of hot stew for runners. Visit www.stewchase.com/stewchaseroadrace/ for more information.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

Upcoming races

Wednesday, Jan. 9: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Jan. 10: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Wednesday, Jan. 16: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.

Thursday, Jan. 17: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com.

Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.