For more than 30 years, former Londonderry High School cross-country and track and field coach Larry Martin worked diligently to make the Londonderry Old Home Day/Lundgren 5K Road Race a special part of the town’s annual festivities. And he certainly succeeded.
Martin has now stepped aside from the sizable job of directing the Londonderry Old Home Day races, handing the reins to his former Londonderry High athlete and present LHS boys’ track and cross-country coach Matt Smith. And Smith has inherited an event which has earned both its impressive status and the excitement that swirls around it.
The 37th annual Londonderry Old Home Day/ Lundgren 5K Road Race will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 8 a.m. regardless of whether it’s bright and sunny or damp and soggy.
The annual event is one of the oldest races in New Hampshire, and its course takes participants through some of the most historic streets and beautiful country found in the town.
The course begins and ends on Mammoth Road in front of the town’s Grange Hall. After receiving the starting signal, the 5K event proceeds south to Peabody Row, onto Buttrick Road, and loops back to the Grange Hall and the finish line. The annual event is USA Track and Field certified.
The 2015 Old Home Day race drew 209 participants, with Westford, Mass. resident Chris Mahoney winning it in 16 minutes and 40 seconds, and Pinkerton Academy teacher and coach Amy Bernard proving to be the female winner for the fourth consecutive year with her time of 19:13, 11th overall out of the large pack of runners.
Folks interested in running in this year’s race – whose proceeds go as usual to the Londonderry Track Club Scholarship Fund – can register in several different ways. They can access the registration form at oldhomedays.com and drop the completed forms off at Embroidery Creations in the Londonderry Professional Park or mail it to the Londonderry Track Club at P.O. Box 1036, Londonderry, 03053.
The pre-registration fee for non-Londonderry residents is $20 and $15 for town residents. Runners can also register the night before the race, Friday, Aug. 19, in the Londonderry High gymnasium from 5 to 7 p.m. at the above rates. Race-day registration will be held from 6:45 a.m. to just before race time at the LHS gym at a cost of $20 for everyone.
Specially-designed shirts will be presented to the first 250 race registrants. Many merchandise prizes will be raffled off at the conclusion of the race and all runners are eligible to win.
As is the case each year, plaques will be awarded to all male and female winners and runners-up in each of the following age groups: 12-and-under, 13-16, 17-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70-and-over.
The existing course records for the race have stood up for many years, with then-Londonderry resident Dave Dunham having established the top overall finishing time of 14 minutes and 44 seconds back in 1991, and Maribel Sanchez having set the top female time of 17:35 back in the first race of the new century in 2000.