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> Printer-friendly page Hugh Holt 5-Miler

Everyone Loves Raymond


The 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.

Start of the race.
photo Yankee Timing

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.

Today's gunslinger 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 talking about.


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