Road Race Takes A New Turn
by Staff | Aug 2, 2012 3:38 pm
Posted to: Sports
For the first time in 34 years, New Haven’s annual Labor Day road race will change its course to allow neighbors in Westville and West River to cheer on the runners.
John Courtmanche, president of the board of directors for the annual Stratton Faxon 5K/20K Labor Day road race, shared that news Thursday.
He said the board voted two months ago to substantially alter the road race course for the upcoming 35th anniversary race, on Sept. 3. The changes come after complaints that the middle part of the 20k race was spent running on streets largely devoid of humans, on big roads like the Boulevard and along Long Wharf.
Under the new course, 20k racers will make a new right turn at the three-mile mark, after arriving from the north at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood. They’ll head west into Westville and loop around before connecting back with Chapel Street and heading back east towards town. At the 8-mile mark at East Street, the route connects back to the original final 4.4 miles of the course, which remain unchanged.
The new route presents several advantages, Courtmanche said. First, more people in Westville and West River will be able to cheer on runners. Also, the 20k runners will be passing by the Green at around the same time that the 5k runners are finishing up there with their shorter run.
“We think we’re going to get more excitement on the Green for the runners,” Courtmanche said.
As a special part of the race’s 35th anniversary, all runners will receive medals this year, Courtmanche said.
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