The Wild Rover Irish Series
It’s more than a race; it’s a running adventure -- times three. Yes, that's three races on three successive Sundays.
Posted Sunday, 15 February, 2009
Last year, the Wild Rover Irish Series made its debut on the Merrimack Valley racing circuit. It was the first of its kind: three races over three weeks progressing in distance from 3 to 5 miles.
This year, with a few adjustments to the registration process and enough Wild Rover Medallions to go around (they ran out of medals last year due to an unexpected demand), Race Director and runner Jay Karamourtopoulos feels this running event is the best the Valley has to offer. “We have created a racing series that could have an impact on road racing across the country. It was amazing to see where last year’s participants came from. We had runners from every state in New England and beyond and it was only the first year,” said Karamourtopoulas.
This year’s kick off race – The Frozen Shamrock -- will begin at J.P. McBride’s in Haverhill, Massachusetts on Sunday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. This three-mile course, which is basically flat with one challenging hill, runs through neighborhoods in the Bradford section of Haverhill.
One week later, March 1, the second race of the series begins and ends at The Claddagh Pub on Canal Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. An earlier start time of 11:00 a.m. will get runners off on this USTAF-certified and sanctioned four-mile course, running mostly along the last leg of the famous Mill Cities relay. Enjoy the comfort of flat terrain throughout this course, with the exception of one rolling hill along the way. And enjoy the post race celebration and hospitality at the runner-friendly, spacious Claddagh Pub.
The Last, but certainly not the least, race of the tremendous running series is the notorious Hynes 5 Mile Road Race in Lowell Massachusetts – the city that hosts more road races than any other city in the United States. The Hynes Road Race has been run on the same course – gently rolling hills through the historic city – for 28 years and will continue to do so this year, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on March 8.
All three races are conveniently located in the Merrimack Valley and along Interstate 495. All three races will be chip timed courtesy of Yankee Timing Company, with accurate courses and mile splits. Terrific T-shirts will be given to all entrants along with the very popular concept medals. Here’s the fun part: each medal is a puzzle piece that interlocks and creates the original Wild Rover Medallion created by Dan Ashworth of Ashworth Awards. Follow up with tradition at the post race party after each race, with food, hot and cold beverages, and live Irish music.
Kick off your racing season with not one, not two, but three of the best individual road races combined into one series. The organizers of this series are all runners who know what runners want from a race: a nice course, accurate results, and most importantly, a good time!
“I am proud of the thought and creativity that has been put into this race. Our goal is to run a high quality race with less emphasis on quantity (evidence by maxing out at 900). We want all of our runners to have a positive experience, no matter what their level of talent is, during the race and have an absolute blast at the post race parties. We enjoy the sight of runners socializing after each event, with old and new friends. Races were built on that camaraderie years ago and we’re glad to bring it back,” said Karamourtopoulos.
If you believe that good luck comes in threes, you’ll want to check this racing gem out. But remember, they can only accept 900 runners in order to maintain the high quality experience for each participant. At the end of it all, you’ll be donning The Wild Rover Medallion symbolic of terrific memories from a triply great time!