In just nine days, the Katonah 5K race, which was called off last year, will be back in action—with a revamped route and runners from all over the area gathering at Katonah Memorial Park for the event.
In July, a group formed to revive that race, with an ambitious goal of raising $5,000 to make it happen.
They’re thrilled to report they have secured enough sponsorship.
“We’re fully covered,” says Hanley, “which is great news.” And she says, “Any extra money will go towards KMPA and their ongoing efforts to improve the park.”
“A lot of people want to see [the race] back in the town,” said Anne Hanley the president of the Katonah Memorial Parks Association (KMPA), who is co-chairing the event, along with Michael Berardino and Frank Greene.
The annual race, which began in 2001, was cancelled last year on account of rising fees and a tough economy. But earlier this summer, Hanley, Berardino and Greene petitioned the town board to reinstate the race, this time with a slightly altered course that would help keep costs down.
“We re-organized the route so it wouldn’t be so labor intensive and we were able to make it work this time,” said Hanley.
In July, the board approved the measure, with the stipulation that all necessary paperwork be secured. Hanley says the committee met the town’s requirements and received the OK from the police department. “They’ll be on the route to make sure it’s safe,” she said, with park personnel and the ambulance core also on hand.
Now a joint effort between the KMPA, the Katonah Village Improvement Society and the Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the event include NASDAQ, Enterprise Rent a Car—which will be shuttling participants from the parking lot to the race start—State Farm, Acadia on Main and many others. Katonah Restaurant will also be providing coffee, bagels and orange slices to help keep runners—and spectators—well fueled.
So far, about 50 people have signed up for the race, which kicks off at 8 a.m., with participants coming from local towns, as well as Connecticut, Brooklyn and area colleges.
The “road and trail” route—which can be seen here in its entirety—starts at the park and takes runners through Edgemont Road and other streets in Katonah and then back into the park, according to Hanley. And though she says all skill levels are welcome, she cautions that it is hilly and participants should be accustomed to that type of terrain.
And with the event falling on the weekend of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a special commemoration will also be held just after 9 a.m. A spruce tree, which was donated by the Westchester County Parks Department, has been planted and a remembrance plaque will be dedicated.
“We had the perfect opportunity to make this more about the date of 9/11 and keep it earlier in September,” said Hanley, explaining that the race used to coincide with the Chamber of Commerce’s sidewalk sales day.
The fee for the race is $25 in advance, with the first 125 participants receiving a free t-shirt designed by Katonah resident and graphic artist Patricia Barry. To sign up, click here.