The director of these new races in North Andover, Massachusetts, details what runners can expect this July 15 through 17.
By: Dave McGillivray, for Runner's World
I’ve directed and/or consulted on more than 1,000 events over the past 30+ years. However, I still find it a bit challenging when creating a new event.
During these past two years, I’ve also run in a lot of races. Every time I do, I am impressed with the creative touches each race seems to offer.
There are so many things to consider when creating a brand new event—the vision, the team, the budget, the venue, the course, securing sponsors, getting permission, and the list goes on. The toughest question is: How many runners do you plan for?
I know very well the effort it takes when creating a new event. It is a ton of work. Thanks goodness I love what I do!
Such is the case with creating the first annual Runner’s World Classic, a three-day running festival scheduled for July 15 through 17 at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Runners are always looking for the next challenge, and the Runner’s World Classic offers just that—an opportunity to compete in three races in two days. Run a 5K and 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday to complete The Hat Trick.
Here are some of the other unique features of this weekend festival of events:
- Kids’ Fun Run (Friday, July 15, 6 p.m.) Series of fun, non-competitive races for kids 12 and under.
- Kids’ Activity Zone Arts and crafts, face painting, water/sand sensory area, Legos, and healthy snacks.
- Expo Dozens of exhibitors sampling and displaying their products and services.
- Speaker Series Runner’s World editors talking about various topics of interest to runners.
- Pasta Dinner Break bread with Runner’s World editors like David Willey, Bart Yasso, Budd Coates, and Amby Burfoot.
- Celebrity Mile (Saturday, July 16, 11 a.m.) Watch 25 local celebrities participate in a friendly mile competition. Some of those participants include Boston Marathon winners Geoff Smith and Amby Burfoot; Boston Marathon bombing survivors Jeff Bauman, Heather Abbott and Adrianne Haslet; World Marathon Challenge winner Becca Pizzi; Ironman Triathlon World Champion Karen Smyers; and Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans.
- A Class Reunion Runners from the ‘70s and ‘80s will participate in the 5K and then gather afterward to talk about “the good old days.”
- Food and Entertainment Once the running is done, the festival begins—live band, refreshments, hot dogs, and a beer garden.
- Medals Earn a medal for each event you do, including a medal for the Five and Dime (5K and 10K) and a medal for the Hat Trick (all three events). You can earn up to FIVE MEDALS in two days!
- Charities A dozen local charities will be involved in a Summer Retreat, offering an opportunity for their runners to get to know each other and to strategize their upcoming running programs.
As you can see, the idea is to offer as many unique features as your creative mind can come up with. The race itself—that is, what happens between when the gun fires and the finish line—will always be the most important aspect of an event. However, nowadays, everything that happens surrounding that has now become equally as important.
Hope to see many of you July 15 to 17 at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Visit rwclassic.com for more information and to register. Be there!