It must be a sign of just how fast this summer is zooming along that the 42nd season of Greater Derry Track Club Summer Fun Runs is down to its final night of races at Pinkerton Academy this Thursday evening, Aug. 3.
But week six of action, last Thursday night, July 27 was packed with young runners looking for the fun and competition which every night of the beloved annual series holds. Londonderry kids Meara Horan and Zach Lindholm were among the area standouts who bagged top-three finishes in the different age categories.
The annual series – which is directed by the GDTC along with support from the Derry Recreation Department – draws youngsters from throughout Southern New Hampshire.
Horan collected second place in her nine-year-old girls’ division, and Lindholm managed third place in his boys’ 12-year-old class.
Registration for the weekly races is free, but runners are asked to donate a non-perishable food item which will be forwarded on to a local food pantry. That effort has raised many hundreds of pounds of food during the 2017 summer fun run season thus far.
Registration begins at 6 p.m., with GDTC members leading stretching exercises and offering running tips up to the 6:30 race time.
Kids aged two and three run approximately 50 yards, four to six-year-olds run 200 meters, seven and eights run 300 meters, nines and tens race 600 meters, and those 11 to 13 run the cross-country mile. Runners 14 and older run the open mile, but everyone aged two through 92 from any town is welcome.
Every runner gets a participation ribbon complements of the Derry Recreation Department and a commemorative T-shirt at the end of the program – in this case, this Thursday night – courtesy of the Greater Derry Track Club. Water, Gatorade, and watermelons have been supplied each week and will be again on the last evening of competition this Thursday.