Runners enjoy the cool breeze at Bolton Heritage Farm

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Bolton - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
Five-year-old Noah and 4-year-old Shep, both of Bolton, run in the Bolton Summer Cross Country Race Series, held Wednesday nights at the Bolton Heritage Farm. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Five-year-old Noah and 4-year-old Shep, both of Bolton, run in the Bolton Summer Cross Country Race Series, held Wednesday nights at the Bolton Heritage Farm. Photos by Martha Marteney.

Despite the rising temperatures, there was a cool breeze July 20 on the open field at Bolton Heritage Farm, the site of the 2011 Bolton Summer Cross Country Race Series, held Wednesday evenings through Aug. 10. “At night, it’s so cool up here,” said Tracy Roe, Bolton High School senior and captain of the BHS track team.

“Turnout has been very well,” said James Colla, BHS senior and co-captain of the BHS track team. The weekly races are an effort to raise funds to purchase equipment for the school team. “We’re kind of short on equipment, because we’re a somewhat small track team.”

BHS track coach Dani Kennedy is the race director, organizing the team volunteers at the registration tables and the race timers. There are three separate races. At 6 p.m., toddlers ages 4 and under join for the 100-meter race. The kids are up next with a 1-mile race for children 13 and under. At 6:30 p.m., the adults compete in the full 2.6-mile course. There is no cost for the toddlers; the registration for the kids’ race is $2; and the adult registration fee is $3. There is a $10 maximum registration fee for families.

“I’m here for the wonderful atmosphere,” said Dawn Stoeffler, of Tolland. Her husband, Brett Stoeffler, runs in the adult race, and their sons Dillon, 4, and Luke, 7, run in the toddler and kids’ races, respectively.

Bekkie Wright, of East Hartford, is a member of the Manchester-based Silk City Striders. Usually a marathon-runner herself, Wright said the Bolton Heritage Farm course is a different challenge. Each week, a couple dozen Silk City Striders come out to support the event. “A lot of grandparents are bringing their grandkids,” noted Wright, “because the grandparents are the runners.”

“It’s nice to see the kids run,” said Ginny Patsun, of Somers, a member of the Shenpsit Striders.

Fellow Shenpsit Strider Dave Sutherland said he enjoys getting together with the running community. The weekly races bring together more than 100 adult runners, plus some 40 entries in the toddler and kids' races.

“It’s a much bigger turnout than previous years, which is nice,” noted Shelly Mondo, of Marlborough. Mondo brings her three daughters, Isabelle, who is 6 years old, 14-year-old Madeline and Olivia, 16. The family has been coming together for three years.

The idea for the race series came from BHS cross-country coach Paul Smith. “It was my idea,” said Smith, “but Dani ran with it.” Kennedy is also the assistant cross-country coach at Manchester High School.

Registration for the Bolton Summer Cross Country Race Series begins around 5:30 p.m., Wednesday nights at the Bolton Heritage Farm. Race results are posted to the website coolrunning.com by the end of the night. For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/boltonsummerxcseries/


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