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home > community > viewpoint > the groton road race — a complete family experience

The Groton Road Race — A Complete Family Experience
You have heard the phrase before — “bring the whole family”, well most of the time that is just a marketing catch phrase to bring more bodies along.

The Groton Road Race — A Complete Family Experience
A charge downhill following the musket discharge

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By Kevin Molloy
Posted Tuesday, 11 March, 2003

Not so with the Groton Road Race. Normally if you bring your kids along to one of your weekend races there might be a kid's K along with the main event. You'll find just the opposite at Groton. There is literally something exciting to participate in for every member of any family who has the desire to compete at any level. All of this in one of the most charming and engaging rural communities in New England at the beginning of spring.


Parents are invited to jump inside the bunting and capture the best Kodak moments imaginable

As good as it gets

If you want to have your youngest family members experience their first "race" against kids their own age, then come to Groton. The day begins with the Groton Tots Trot at 11:00AM, where close to 500 pre-schoolers line up in small groups of about 15 and sprint, hop, charge and laugh around their own course inside the school track. Parents are invited to jump inside the bunting and capture the best Kodak moments imaginable. Just the thought of 15 one year old toddlers wearing their first racing shirt ( a size 6 kids touching their knees) with formal 'race numbers', is enough to make you cheer your lungs out.

As each young athlete crosses the finish line they are presented with an official finisher's ribbon and a bag of munchies.

The 2K erupts with 600+ runners

You hardly have time to reload your camera before the Groton 2K goes off with a large bang and cheer. 600 runners from 6 to 90 years old will race or walk this foundation event. Don't worry about cars as the race is wholly within school grounds on a well designed course across mostly grass. The course has been laid out so that any spectators can watch their family or friends progress throughout the race from the finish area. Again all finishers receive a ribbon, drinks and food.


The 5K was added as a "filler" 6 years ago and has outstripped the 10K event with 1000 competitors

A cross country start for the 5K

The 5K starts at 11:50AM and is the beginning of the serious racing at Groton. The race was added in 1996 as a way to attract new runners to the event and as a possible stepping-stone up to the blue ribbon 10K. That has succeeded beyond the organizers imagination with the 5K outstripping the 10K event 3 years ago with close to 1000 competitors. The 5K is formally "chip" timed and has an age-group award structure and even prize money for the first time in 2003. The 5K begins on the school track but lines up in a cross-county flying wedge formation allowing any of the serious runners to take a pole position. The course takes in part of the historic Main St., but then traverses some of the country side East of the center where you experience some of the beautiful architecture of homes and farmhouses dating back over 200 years. You even experience the rolling hills for which New England is famous. The final section includes a long uphill climb on one of Groton's most beautiful avenues. You return into the school grounds from a rear entrance for a sprint around the track to the finish. Again there is great viewing and cheering opportunities for spectators.

Strong prize money and awards ensures a very competitive field.

Aerial view of the 10K start

The 10K takes off with the Patriot's musket sounding sharply at 1:00PM. This is the most competitive event of the day with 800+ runners of all abilities at full throttle racing out of the school grounds and down the full length of Main Street. The course takes in every aspect of Groton for which it is famous throughout New England. From the wide historic main street to the orchards that are in blossom, to the rolling farmlands and views all the way to Pack Monadnock. The course is a loop design and the terrain varies from flat and wide to rolling hills. This makes it extremely challenging and brings out the best in New England racers. Strong prize money and awards ensures a very competitive field.

Be there, mark your calendar, bring the family, friends, and turn it into a full day. We hope to see you there on Sunday April 27, 2003.

For more details see and remember no race day registration.



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