Date Change--Now on February 16--The Bradford Valentine Races –Twin Races for Couples (or Individuals) for Valentine’s Day
Due to the blizzard warnings and probability, these races will be run a week later on Saturday, February 16. This unique concept of pairing of simultaneous races, a five mile and a 6K, is just what every runner needs to bridge that chasm between New Years and spring—a fun event for all. Run singly or as a couple, but do run in Bradford, Massachusetts.
Posted Thursday, 7 February, 2013
Valentine's Day. Isn't it about the R's: roses, romance, and running? For the New England running community it is that and more because the 22nd Bradford Valentine Road Race is coming to Bradford, Massachusetts on February 9th. It's a special day for running couples, as the race offers both a five mile and 6K race and, of course, couples’ categories for the fastest times. The couples’ categories are several: mother/son, father/daughter, husband/wife, and the open category (one gender runs one distance, the other gender runs the other distance). In other words, this is a race for anyone: families, couples, friends, training partners, etc. Yes, those that want to run by themselves are also welcome, and encouraged, to join in the fun.
That is right, on Saturday, February 9th, the Bradford Valentine Road Races allow couples to team up and race in tandem at two different distances—6K (3.7 miles) and 5 miles—through the streets of historic Bradford, Massachusetts. Both races set off at 10:00 a.m. from 10 Church Street on the Bradford Commons, and they travel together for three quarters of a mile before splitting, only to have the courses reunite about a mile from the finish. And both routes offer runners a good mix of fast and flat portions, some challenging rolling hills and a downhill finish. To view course maps and elevation, visit http://www.bsrs-timing.com/valentinerace/course_map.html.
When the gun sounds at 10:00 a.m. in the morning everyone takes off together and the fun really begins. You want a couples’ race? For the first part of the race both fields runs together. Just before the first mile the course splits into two but the two race routes do join up again with a dual finish. Yes, if they want to partners can run together to the finish line even though they have different distances. Do you think it was an accident this race was once highlighted by Runner's World Magazine? No it has unique features, and the biggest feature is FUN.
So you can’t commit to running on a couples team? You won’t feel left out this V-Day. Individual sign-up is also available for both distances. And who knows…maybe you’ll even get lucky and find that special someone at this year’s race!
But wait, there's more!
Other races may offer finishers’ medals but this is the Bradford Valentine Race. All finishers get a box of chocolates. Category winners receive custom, commemorative medals. One of the sponsors, Flowers by Steve, makes sure that everyone gets a Valentines flower just for showing up.
The top 3 male and female runners in each race, first overall female/male across the line in 10-year age groups for each race, and first place team in each category will all receive custom, commemorative medals. And this year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary Bradford Valentine, awards will be given to the 20th male and female in each race. For a complete list of the awards breakdown, visit http://www.bsrs-timing.com/valentinerace/information.html. Bay State Races Services will provide professional timing for this event using the Chronotrack B-tag, a single-use timing tag embedded into your bib number.
Yes, this race takes a lot of forethought, planning, and coordination. This creative set of races, unique couples scoring and prize structure are under the excellent direction of John Burke, race director. Burke has been a long time participant on the New England racing scene. Burke and his company, Bay State Race Services, offer professional race management services throughout the southern New England region. Timing services for this race will include the Chrono Track B-Tag system ensuring that individuals and teams will be provided the most accurate of results.
Rest assured, there will be more than results and chocolates at the finish line. With the race taking place in the middle of winter homemade soup and bread, fresh fruit, yogurt, and warm cider will be provided by volunteers, members of the Bradford community who have stood behind this race for over two decades. The race started as a fund raiser for a local church, the First Church of Christ, which organized the race to raise funds to replace the steeple on their historic church. Now, many local businesses and organizations have come to the forefront as sponsors: First Integrity Mortgage, LLC, Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union, Cale Wood Construction, Simply Perfect Catering, New England Building Solutions, Beaton Management Company, Inc., Fantini Baking Company, Pentucket Bank. Pentucket Powerwash, Kelleher Landscaping, Gleason Law Offices, Karl Arakelian, DMD, H. L. Farmer & Sons
Costello Insurance, Whittier Medical Associates, TMI Global, Inc, Haverhill Bank, Caruso Plastering
Cedar's Mediterranean Foods, Wood Electric, Anthony & Malcolm Insurance Agency, Inc., John Gross Fruit Brokerage, Inc, Spring Hill Pure Water, Mann Orchards. The large number of sponsors is a clear indication of the Bradford community's devotion to the event.
The New England running community is just as devoted. It is a race that will draw hundreds of runners and walkers, making it one of the most popular on the region's mid-winter schedule. Top names from the local community like Dan Verrington, Craig Fram, and Kara Molloy, have often appeared at the front of the pack.
As for the look and feel for Bradford, a decades old newspaper article about Bradford described the community as, “ It is beautifully situated on the right bank of the Merrimack River, in the northwesterly part of Essex County. Its bounds are Haverhill on the north (separated by the river), Groveland on the east, Boxford on the south, and Methuen on the east. Its assessed area is 4,546 acres, including 578 acres of woodland. The land is handsomely diversified by hill and valley, much of it rural farmland.” It sounds simply wonderful doesn't it; it is certainly a great place to run and not much has changed.
Looking for that unique Valentine's gift? How about finding someone in your life that loves to run and joining them in Bradford, Massachusetts on February 9th for the Bradford Valentine Race?
For more information please visit: http://www.bsrs-timing.com/valentinerace/information.html.