PEPPERELL -- The second annual Covered Bridge 5k race will be held Sept. 29 to raise money for the Friends of Pepperell Recreation.
Friends of Pepperell Recreation President Sue Boswell said that the race raised $6,000 last year and attracted 270 runners. Combined with the funds from this year's race, Boswell said FOPR is planning to use the money to install a walking track around Pepperell Town Field, a goal that they have been planning for years.
The Friends group is in the process of meeting with various groups to discuss the walking track, but nothing has been approved yet, according to Boswell.
Boswell said the track would help with the FOPR mission of promoting an active lifestyle among Pepperell residents.
"Our ultimate goal is a paved walking track around Town Field. It'll be about one-third of a mile so as parents are waiting for their kids at the playground or the school, they have an opportunity to promote an active community and family fitness," Boswell said.
Race Director Rob Kosman helped start the 5k last year as a way of showcasing the covered bridge and attracting those from surrounding communities to Pepperell.
"It just felt right. There's a lot of great history in town, great local businesses, a great community and the covered bridge is a nice feature to attract people," Kosman said.
Collections come from a race entry fee of $25, before Sept. 1, and $30 after. Those who wish to run as a family receive a family discount of $10 off the total fee.
So far 25 percent of registrants have been families, Kosman said.
Boswell said seeing families run together last year was one of the best parts of the race.
"You see moms pushing strollers, husband and wife teams, intergenerational groups. It's great to see an entire family," she said.
The race will begin at Town Field and will continue down Groton Road over the covered bridge, will loop through Railroad Square and back to Town Field.
Kosman said he is hoping to meet or exceed last year's registration. As of Aug. 27, about 50 people had registered.
Those who register by Sept. 1 are guaranteed a T-shirt. After that they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category, which include adult men, adult women, boys under 13 and girls under 13. Prizes will also be given to the fastest senior and the fastest Pepperell resident. The race will start at 9 a.m., and Pepperell Auxiliary Police will be coordinating the shut-down of roads as needed.
There will be a Kids Fun Run on the Town Field. The Fun Run will not have an entry fee.
"We're hoping that it will be a nice, fun local thing that everyone can participate in," Kosman said.
Kosman also asked for volunteers to help out leading up to, as well as the day of, the race.
"A big part of what makes a race like this successful is the volunteers. We had a great group last year," Kosman said.
"The local business community has been really supportive," he added.
This year's sponsors include Arch Fitness, Donelan's Markets, JA Sports Apparel, Kimball Fruit Farm, KRM Carpentry, L.F. Robbins Insurance Agency, Lowell Five, Shop Pepperell, Bailey's Bar and Grille, Evans on the Common, Pepperell Family Pharmacy, Janet Cramb and Company Real Estate, Family Tree Daycare and Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.
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