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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the seventh annual wild rover racing series: three innovative races with tradition

The Seventh Annual Wild Rover Racing Series: Three Innovative Races with Tradition
The Seventh Annual Wild Rover Racing Series is pure fun with an Irish theme. Personalized bibs and medals from three races that combine for one beautiful keepsake medallion from Ashworth Awards add to this popular triad. Wild Rover includes the creative Frozen Shamrock 3-Mile in Haverhill, the famous Claddagh Pub 4-Miler in Lawrence, and the traditional Hynes Tavern 5-Miler in Lowell, Massachusetts.

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Friday, 7 February, 2014

This series has everything multiplied by three: excellent organization, fun courses, outstanding venues, custom shirts, personalized bibs, hot food, and those beautiful combination medals from nationally renowned Ashworth Awards.

There are three races in three weeks with mileage increasing each week—3, 4, and 5 miles. Three medals combine to make one excellent medallion that will be the envy of all other runners. And there will be three parties with live Irish music, a few brews, and hot food. The series is pure FUN and a wonderful way to get your spring racing season underway with about 1,100 like-minded enthusiasts. Sign up for the series now and save $15 on your entry fees, insure a personalized bib and Irish-themed T-shirt for each event. (These medals and T-shirts are real keepers and in huge demand.) These three races will provide triple fun in the historic Merrimack Valley!

All three of these Irish pubs are supportive of road racing in a big way, and happen to be some of the best in the Merrimack Valley. The first race is February 23, 2014. The Little River Ale House in Haverhill is located at 27 Lafayette Square, Haverhill 01834, in a historic building in downtown. It is managed by Tom Archibeault and John Lovett. They host the Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler, starting at 1:00 p.m. and directed by Dave Camire, founder of Cool Running and Yankee Timing Company, and founder/director of many classic events in the Merrimack Valley. The Frozen Shamrock was initiated in 2008 specifically for inclusion in the Wild Rover Series.

The Claddagh Pub in Lawrence hosts the second race in the Wild Rover Series—the 21st annual Claddagh Pub 4 Miler. It starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 2nd. The Claddagh is at 399 Canal Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts 01840 It is owned and managed by Paul Morton and Brian Farrell, who have a great staff and a terrific establishment. And it is a great venue for road races: Mill Cities Relay, TIP Family Run, Vietnam Memorial, and others. The race is directed by Jay Karamourtopoulos, a very experienced race director who also heads the Barry Kara Foundation (named in memory of his brother), which is the beneficiary of the race.

"We try to bring a big time race experience to our little event," says race director Dave Camire


The Hynes Tavern hosts the third and final event, the Hynes Tavern 5-Miler on March 9, starting at 1:00 p.m. Hynes is located at 467 Gorham Street, Lowell, just off the Lowell Connector. Hynes hosted one of the first, and largest, Irish Pub race in the Merrimack Valley in 1980. It was revived specifically for the Wild Rover Series in 2008 after a five-year hiatus; this will be the 30th running of this classic event. Joe Brue is the owner and operator (great name for a pub owner).

The race director is Sean Donnelly of Hustle Up Racing who just finished up co-directing another Lowell tradition, the 1st Run 5K and 10K. The Irish Pub tradition continues at the Hynes. And Lowell is the home of dozens of great events and one of the best running clubs anywhere, the Greater Lowell Road Runners. Other Lowell events include the Baystate Marathon and Half Marathon, the Spring and Summer Good Times Series, the Super 5K, East End Five, the Jack Kerouac 5K and many more.

Hurry and sign up early to secure a shirt and a personalized bib with your first name. The series will sell out and each race (and the series) is limited to 1,000 in each event to insure safety and event quality for all, as well as a comfortable post race celebration.

Late winter and early spring racing has never been so enjoyable! And is race is really memorable with its own unmistakable brand and unique features. And don’t forget, each race presents individual finisher medals by Ashworth Awards. All three medals fit together nicely for a large series medal that is not only unique, but a real classic work of art designed by Dan Ashworth.

Each race will have great course support, start and finish mats for accurate ChronoTrack net time, also each mile of the entire series is timed so runners can track their splits; personalized bibs (with B-chip built in) that is a keepsake, timing by Yankee Timing, individual Irish-themed race T-shirts, and post-race parties with live music. All three events have convenient starting times too, especially when you consider late winter events and those providing the brews: The first and third race each goes off at 1:00 p.m. and the Claddagh 4-Miler at 11:00 a.m. to sign up today.

Race venues go east to west upstream along the Merrimack River and increase by one mile each week, so it is also makes a great early spring training series that is sure to jump start your season.

Who is the Wild Rover of the Merrimack Valley?
We will find out at the conclusion of this year’s Hynes Tavern run when the Winning "Wild Rover" will be awarded an authentic Irish kilt along with a $500 cash prize. The winner will be determined by age and gender grading the cumulative time from all three events. To be eligible you must sign-up for all three events by February 20th.

More on the Frozen Shamrock 3 Miler
This is the largest road race in Haverhill, a small city with an outstanding racing tradition. Haverhill hosts such well known events as the Bradford Valentine Races, Bobby Bell Five Miler, Baldi Five Miler, and many more. You can use the new city parking garage which is near the race venue. Packet and t-shirt pick-up and pre-race preparations (and late registration in the unlikely event it is not sold out) will take place upstairs at Archie's Little River Ale House. This provides runners a warm place to stretch, greet other runners and get ready for their 3-mile tour of Haverhill. Runners will also have access to bathrooms at the pub and porto-lets nearby.

The course crosses the Merrimack River twice on a counter-clockwise loop with a challenging uphill in the middle. This year’s race will again provide timing mats (later split times) at each mile marker, so you can evaluate your performance when you get your personally e-mailed results. Clocks at each mile will be available for all three races, which is very unusual for 3, 4, and 5-mile events.

“Our event offers amenities usually not found at smaller races,” offers Race Director Dave Camire. The Frozen Shamrock 3-Miler is one of the few short races that offers heat sheets, T-shirts with Irish themes, email results and a video results screen at the finish for instant results, feedback based on your B-tag (also for the other two events).

The Claddagh Pub 4 Miler
As noted, the Claddagh is an outstanding race venue. It is large and accommodating and provides plenty of room for post race awards and party, including the live band—and they always have a good one. The food is good too, and they have a great selection of draft brews. The Claddagh has been a Lawrence institution since 1992, and they know runners and races.

The course is a four mile with a fair sized hill right at halfway, but once you crest the hill it makes for a quick two-mile sprint to the Claddagh. Course support is good and again mats will provide good feedback on splits.

More on the Hynes Tavern 5 Miler
The final race of the series, the classic Hynes Tavern 5 Miler blasts off at 1:00 PM. “The Hynes,” as it’s become known, holds a high place in the Merrimack Valley Road Race history, and there are usually party runners there through dinner, it is that much fun. The Hynes has run on the same fairly flat course since it began in 1980, passing the graves of Jack Kerouac and Rose Maguire along the way at mile one. It continues along with a loop through Lowell neighborhoods and has good course support.

Although this race has been around for decades, the Wild Rover series organizers continue to innovate and provide an excellent experience for runners. Once again, the Hynes Tavern 5 Miler will feature start and finish line mats with clocks and chip splits at every mile and a traffic-free running lane with outstanding city support. As with the other two events in the Series, these folks know running. They are runners, and they get it. They present these events with pride and work very hard to please all comers, whether experienced or not, and they invite your suggestions and opinions.

Let’s Do It
This is the series you have wanted to fulfill those 2014 resolutions and begin your spring training with substantive goals. The Wild Rover Racing Series is chock full of incentives and rewards for all runners. Each city has its traditions, and each race is unique character. Each registered runner will receive a personalized email after each event detailing your results, finish time and splits. That way you can target your training to get the most out of each event—the most training, the most encouragement, the most training, and the most enjoyment! Just don’t procrastinate.

Visit and sign up today for the series—save some money.

It begins with the Frozen Shamrock 3-miler headquartered in the Little River Ale House in Haverhill on February 23rd; it’s followed by the classic Claddagh Four Mile the following week, March 2nd, and concludes with the traditional Hynes Tavern Five Miler on March 9, 2014, the site of the first real Irish Pub Race in the region in 1980. In each case they have planned well for you.



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