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Hugh Holt 5-Miler
Hugh Holt 5-Miler in Raymond, New Hampshire is not unlike hundreds of other
road races that occur each weekend across America in the summertime. You know
what I'm talking about.
These races are
usually associated with the local town fair or carnival and are organized by
a small but dedicated race committee. You can bet there's a local starry eyed
high school cross-country star that goes to the starting line with visions of
glory only to have them dashed by the outside gunslinger who wins the race and
leaves town with the hardware. This is the cycle of road racing; the way it
has always been and hopefully the way it will always be. Maybe someday, that
starry eyed kid will become the gunslinger.
Races' like the
Hugh Holt Memorial 5-Miler are what makes road racing a viable sport. They are
the feeder system to larger and more prestigious events. In essence they are
the lifeblood of our sport.
Today's event was
in honor of Hugh Holt. If Holt were alive today he probably would be the Mayor
of Raymond. Back in the sixties and seventies Holt was involved with all aspects
of the town. He was the guidance councilor at the high school and served on
various town committees and boards. Most importantly, however, he was a relentless
advocate for town recreation. Many of the playing fields in town are a result
of his efforts and perseverance. So after he passed away, the Raymond Road Race,
as it was once called, was fittingly renamed in his honor.
This was the 31st
running of the Hugh Holt Memorial 5-Miler and runners were greeted with something
they haven't seen too much of this year - summertime weather! The race started
under sunny skies with temperatures close to eighty degrees. By race end, the
mercury was on the rise and edging over the eight-oh mark. This made a challenging
course a bit more challenging.
was Randy MacNeil of Epping, NH. The 46 year-old MacNeil traversed the course
in a respectable 28:56. Leading the way for the ladies was Raymond's own Sharon
Mitchell in 35:36. The race also had a one-mile fun run in which 32 future Olympians,
well at least we hope so, competed.
After the run everyone
gathered at the gazebo at the town common for refreshments and the awards presentation.
Meanwhile local residents were arriving for the town fair that was set-up around
the common. This is what road racing should be, but you already know what I'm