Heritage Race to support outdoor fitness park

An artist's rendering of an outdoor fitness park that will be built with proceeds from the next three Napanee Heritage Races.

Adam Prudhomme

Utilizing the town’s historic landmarks as a backdrop, the Napanee Heritage Race is set to return for a fourth year on June 15.

Once again departing from the Lennox and Addington County courthouse, the 5K route will take participants on a course that highlight’s the town’s rich history such as the Macpherson House, train bridge and railway station, finishing at the former county jail turned museum. The kids 1K race for ages three to 12 also returns this year.

Proceeds from this year’s race, as well as the next two years, will be put towards an outdoor adult fitness park on the north side of the Napanee Riverfront trail. The project is being supported in partnership with the Gibbard District.

“This is the first project that originated with the race committee,” said Heather Griffin, one of the race founders and organizers. “We made the proposal to Gibbard and they were onboard so we’re excited to raise funds for the next three years to create something new.”

The project fits in perfectly with the race’s mandate, which is to support physical activity for all ages.

Also new this year will be a ‘farm to table’ race buffet, sponsored by Lennox and Addington County. It will feature local products from Seasons Fine Foods and Opal Rose Farms. Returning this year will be live music and onsite photography as well as free face painting.

Registration for the race can be done online at www.NapaneeHeritageRace.com. The entry fee is $45 for adults and $10 for the kids one miler.

“It’s neat because we can see online it shows a map of Ontario where the registration comes from,” said Griffin. “We have participants signed up from Toronto to the Ottawa area.”

The kids race will get underway at 8 a.m. followed by the 5k at 8:30 a.m.

Last year Carter Free set the course record for males with a time of 15:27 while Allison Alexander set the female mark at 19:33. There will be a $100 prize for anyone who tops those times. There will also be medals and prizes for the top three male and female runners from both races, as well as age categories. Each one miler participant will receive a hand crafted medal made by a local artist.

“It’s fun to see kids getting involved in physical activity and being supported by their families and all of the other race participants,” said Griffin. “All of the race participants are getting an introduction to the running community.”

In its three previous years proceeds from the race have gone to Napanee’s Rotary Park ($15,000) the track revitalization at NDSS ($12,500) and SOS 55 Plus Activity Program ($11,500).

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