NEWINGTON - Reading and running have one thing in common: They are both at the heart of an event in Mill Pond Park this weekend.
The 2017 Newington Library 5K Road Race Challenge is set for this Sunday, May 21 at 9 a.m.
The 21st annual race is a fundraiser for the Lucy Robbins Welles Library’s Board of Trustees, who plan and pay for library improvements not covered by the town. This could be anything from reupholstering chairs in a sitting area to future development projects and staff training.
Several years ago the library’s Lienhard Room was renovated using race funds.
“We make sure the playrooms, along with the children’s and teens’ areas, are kept updated and fresh for the students who come in to use them,” longtime board member Anna Eddy explained.
She has been involved in the race since it began over 20 years ago. The event has nearly doubled its participation in that time, Eddy pointed out.
This Sunday she’ll be registering runners beforehand, then distributing raffle prizes after everyone has crossed the finish line near Mill Pond Falls.
“We have a wonderful post-race raffle; it doesn’t matter if you come in first or last place,” Eddy said. “You can still win a fabulous prize.”
Everyone will have a chance to win Yard Goats tickets, a massage at Healthy Body Massage Therapy, gym memberships and gift cards for local stores and restaurants.
In addition to these prizes, awards will be presented to top finishers and those who have participated for 10 or more consecutive years.
“It’s just a great community event,” Board President Diane Stamm said this week. “With all of the road races out there, we’re lucky so many people choose to come to ours.”
Fresh fruit and bagels will help renew runners’ energy after they complete the course, to weave through the neighborhoods surrounding Mill Pond Park.
“For first-time runners it’s a fabulous, flat course,” Eddy said. “We get a good number of kids who run. It’s good to see the future runners as well as the future of our library.”
Interested participants can pre-register for the race at the library, 95 Cedar St., or online, at newingtonct.gov/library. The pre-registration fee is $20 per adult and $10 per child under age 12. Adults who register the morning of the race will pay $25, children, $10. The first 250 registrants will receive a free Dri-fit race T-shirt.
This year’s main sponsors are Keeney Manufacturing and Kingston Wealth Management Group, LLC.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org