The Fifth Annual Wild Rover Racing Series: Three Exciting Races, and the Best Bling
Good things happen in racing in the Merrimack Valley, and the Wild Rover Racing Series is proof. How often do you get medals from three races that combine for one of the best ever? The Wild Rover includes Haverhill’s largest road race with two historic races in Lawrence and Lowell to create a trifecta of great winter running with parties and live music at the end of each race.
Posted Sunday, 12 February, 2012
Late winter and early spring racing has never been so enjoyable! And they are really memorable, with individual medals by Ashworth Awards that fit together for a large series keepsake. With three races, each increasing in distance (3, 4, 5), personalized bibs, B-chip timing by Yankee Timing, individual race T-shirts, artistically designed interlocking medals and Irish-themed post-race parties at three classic Irish pubs, the Wild Rover Racing Series is sure to get your Irish eyes a-smiling! And the series concludes just before St. Patricks Day! Registration for all races is now open, and all three will sell out; there are only 1,000 bibs for each. Each of the three race medals interlock with each other for a really cool and unique Irish lucky charm. Visit www.runthewildrover.com to sign up today. In three weeks, the three races will provide triple fun in the historic Merrimack Valley! Race venues go east to west up the Merrimack River and increase by one mile each week, so it is also makes a great spring training series.
The Frozen Shamrock 3 Miler
The Wild Rover Racing Series kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 26th, with the 5th annual Frozen Shamrock 3-miler through Haverhill and Bradford, Massachusetts. Sponsored by Archie's Little River Ale House (formerly J.P. McBride’s Irish Pub), the Frozen Shamrock has become wildly popular, and race director and series organizer Dave Camire continues to innovate so the event evolves, insuring that it remains a favorite.
For this first event, there will be plenty of parking in Haverhill's new and modern municipal parking garage located just a short walk from the pub. Packet pick-up and pre-race preparations will take place at St. Joseph’s school, located right around the corner from Archie's Little River Ale House—giving runners a warm place to hang, stretch out and mentally train for the infamous hills of Haverhill (not really bad at all on this course). Runners will also have access to plenty of bathrooms at the school and porto-toilets near the pub. This year’s race will also feature timing mats at each mile marker, so you can really push it or pace it as you see fit. Clocks at each mile will be available for each race.
"We try to bring a big time race experience to our little event," says race director Dave Camire
"We try to bring a big time race experience to our little event," says race director Dave Camire. “Our event offers amenities usually not found at smaller races,” he adds. Besides the timing mats at each mile, finish medals, personalize bibs, technical t-shirts the Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler is one of the few shorter distance events that offers heat sheets, instant email results and this year the new video results screen at the finish.
There’s a traditional Irish blessing that begins with the line, “May the road rise up to meet you.” And much like that blessing, the road actually does rise up to meet you at the Frozen Shamrock 3-miler. The first mile starts off with what many runners refer to as a “monster hill,” then eases up a bit for the second mile with some smaller rolling hills. The last mile brings relief with a fast downhill finish…and you can run right into the Little River Ale House lot and pub to celebrate with food, libations and some live music!
The Claddagh Pub 4 Miler
The second race in the Wild Rover Series—the 19th annual Claddagh Pub 4 Miler—starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 4th on Canal Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Sponsored by and starting at the famous Claddagh Pub, the race heads out of downtown on a flat mile-long stretch before you travel out to the Tower Hill area and hit a challenging, though short “knee-kissing” hill at mile two. The remainder of the race rolls and meanders through the legendary mill city before heading back to the Claddagh Pub.
This year, race organizers have added a timing mat at the halfway point. And with the hill out of the way after mile 2, you can really aim for a negative split on the second half. The race ends--and the festivities begin--at the Claddagh Pub with hot food and cold drinks to toast your efforts. You can also do a little post-race celebratory jig to the music of The Gobshites, a popular local Irish/punk band familiar with taking the main stage at the Claddagh.
The Hynes Tavern 5 Miler
The final race of the series, the Traditional Hynes Tavern 5 Miler, hits the streets of downtown Lowell, Massachusetts, on Sunday, March 11th at 1:00 PM. “The Hynes,” as it’s become known, holds a high place in the Merrimack Valley Road Race history books. Now in its 32nd year, the Hynes has run on the same fairly flat course since it began in 1980. And the 5-mile distance makes it the ideal early spring fitness test after building up your mileage the previous two weekends at the Frozen Shamrock and the Claddagh.
Although this race has been around for ages, the Wild Rover series organizers continue to up the ante on its greatness. Once again, the Hynes Tavern 5 Miler will feature start and finish line mats with clocks at every mile and a traffic-free running lane. All participants are treated like running royalty before, during and after each event in the series.
More than Just a Bunch of Blarney
The Wild Rover Racing Series is packed with gems for all runners from start to finish, and all in between! Each registered runner will receive a personalized bib (if you meet the deadline); creative and fun Irish-themed race shirts and three times the party at famous Irish pubs! Even tunes are provided for you, so leave those headphones at home and enjoy the live music on the course and live band at the finish line celebrations. Registered runners also receive email and Facebook updates leading up to the races and a personalized email after each event detailing your results, finish time and splits.
Every year, Ashworth Awards designs three unique, inter-locking finisher’s medals for the Wild Rover series. Collect all three medals to create one artfully crafted Irish medallion—sure to turn your running partners’ eyes green with envy. Past medals designs included a multi-colored shamrock and a claddagh symbol (have a look on the Website).
Online registration for each event is as easy as 1, 2, and 3! Races are limited to 1,000 runners, so don’t delay. A series as fantastic as this one will definitely fill up fast. Proceeds from each race go to various local charities. Visit www.runthewildrover.com to sign up today.
Again I go back to that traditional Irish blessing, because it seems to sum up the series so well:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May there always be beer at the end of your race!
Okay, I took some liberties with that last line, but it sure has a nice ring to it. Join the parties and run into spring!