Road race to support youth sports in Hampden

March 19, 2012

By Chris Maza

chrism@thereminder.com

HAMPDEN — The Recreation Association of Hampden (RAH) is asking local runners and walkers to step up and step out in support of youth sports and recreation programs.

RAH has announced its third-annual 5K road race, which is set to take place on April 7.

RAH President Debbie Frangie told Reminder Publications that she expected a growing field of approximately 60 runners coming out to support the Hampden Parks and Recreation Department.

"This has been a good event. It has started off small, but it's been growing," Frangie said, admitting that weather put a bit of a damper on last year's race. "This year, we've started organizing things more in advance and have gotten on coolrunning.com in order to draw more people."

Frangie said the 5K course, which starts at Thornton W. Burgess Middle School, located at 85 Wilbraham Road and forms a triangle down Wilbraham Road to Raymond Drive, from Raymond Drive to Allen Street and from Allen Street back to Wilbraham Road and the school, is open to all ability levels. Walkers are also welcome.

"We're open to anyone who wants to participate," Frangie said. "We've even spent time down at the Senior Center getting the word out to people who want to get some exercise."

Frangie added that while information regarding the race has been distributed throughout the school system, people from outside of Hampden are welcome to participate.

RAH is the primary supporter of youth sports programs in Hampden, including baseball, basketball, soccer and softball. The organization also contributes funds to the upkeep of Memorial Park, which includes a spray park and a pavilion. The Hampden Parks and Recreation Department also periodically sponsors movie nights at Town Hall.

"We're a small group and a lot of people don't realize that a lot of the funding for these programs comes through this recreation association," she said. "We have very dedicated people who work very hard."

Registration for the race begins at 8 a.m. with step off slated for 9 a.m. A $20 registration fee/donation is requested.

The first 75 runners to register will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

For more information on race registration or sponsorship information, contact Frangie at 297-9337 or debfrangie@hotmail.com.

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