On Sunday, the Windham Lions Club 5K Road Race will come to the Windham Hill area for its third installment.

The event will start at noon on Oct. 1. The hilly race course begins at the Windham High School, leads up Windham Center Road, takes a left onto Pope Road, descending to Gray Road and returns to the school grounds, finishing at the athletic track.

The race, which includes running and walking divisions, is a charity event looking to raise $10,000 or more. Whatever is raised will be donated to the Windham Parks and Recreation Department, the DARE program, and the local fire department. Last year’s proceeds of $10,000 were donated to the Make A Wish Foundation.

Registration for the road race is $15 and $12 for the walk. Those not interested in participating as contestants are still encouraged by the Lions Club to attend as spectators.

Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers, as well as various age groups winners. And there will be a secret prize given to any first place finisher who is a member of a fire, rescue or police department.

“Troop 251 is going to grill to raise money for the DARE program,” said Rick Garcia, owner of the Fitness Barn and one of the event’s organizers. “And to honor McKenzie MacVane.” McKenzie MacVane, one of the students’ peers, passed away tragically this summer.

Also present will be Marty the Moose, a children’s song character & mascot.

Unlike the past two years, this year’s edition features a certified 5K course.

“We’re looking to attract more runners,” said Don Swander, one of the event’s organizers for the Lions Club. By certifying the course, the club is looking to increase participation from the running community, he said.

The club is also looking to ensure official results for the more serious runners. Swander does not want to see someone set a new record and have it taken away because it was held on an unofficial course, which once happened in New York City, when a runner broke a world record, only later to have it stripped away when inspection of the course found it slightly short of 5,000 feet. The Windham Lions holds an official certificate from the Roan Running Technical Council of the USA Track and Field Association.

“The process was quite interesting,” Swander said. A man from the proper authorities had to find a 1,000-foot flat stretch of track to calibrate his measurement device, which has to be done each time a course is measured. Afterward, the device has to be rolled around the entire course, measuring the distance from start to finish.


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