AMHERST – The route has changed but the Spring Tune-up ‘5-k’ looks set to run (or walk) this Saturday.
The foot race is one of seven planned for the coming months, among them the Cross-Border Challenge. But when the route needed to be changed – the Eddy Road isn’t in running condition – more volunteers were needed. Without them, the race was in jeopardy.
“We put out some requests…,” said race organizer Paul Giroux.
As of earlier this week, Giroux said the race had, in theory, just the number of volunteers required; commitments have been made, but paperwork still needs to be completed.
The route change added extra intersections, which necessitated two volunteers for each additional intersection.
“We put more than one person at an intersection,” he said.
Giroux is pleased with the number of people registered to participate in the Y Service Club race.
“I have 70 people right now…it’s a really good number.”
He said fewer were registered for last fall’s pumpkin run this far out from the race, and race day saw 182 runners participate. Giroux thinks about 150 runners or walkers will be at the starting line 10 a.m. at the parking lot off of Prince Arthur Street, between the Cumberland YMCA and the Community Credit Union.
The race coordinator said a lot has changed over the past five years (this year marks the fifth annual Cross Border Challenge).
“Running has grown enormously…it’s impressive,” he said.
Race events have an impact on the local economy, according to Giroux.
“We bring in runners from outside the area.”
One-day events mean food and fuel sales. But multi-day events mean more cash, with Giroux predicting an average of $100 a day per visitor. The Cross Border Challenge coincides with other area events, stretching the tourist appeal beyond a day. Steps are in motion to do the same with the Blueberry run and festival.
The Four Fathers Festival has multi-day potential, too.
All seven running events are part of the Cross-Border Points series; six are being organized by the Cumberland YMCA, while the Pugwash event is spearheaded by Sport Pugwash.
Would-be racers can register at the Y, online through the Running Room’s site, or on the day between 8 a.m. and 9:30. The route for the Tune-up is through the residential area between Havelock and Willow streets.