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Race the Train rolls up the tracks yet again

RIPARIUS - For the eighth year, runners will scramble to beat the scenic railroad train over its 8.4-mile trip from Riverside Station in Riparius to the North Creek Depot during the celebrated Race the Train event set for Aug. 1.

What was intended as a small, local event has become a huge regional draw, attracting runners from all corners of the Northeast.

Each year, this enthusiasm has increased, as runners from all over the state - and in some cases nation - trek to the Adirondacks for the event.

"While we first intended to host a local running race, I learned that some local folks thought it would be cool to do something, such as biking along the train tracks," event co-organizer Ann Arsenault said. "What was originally thought to become a small local event, Race the Train now welcomes runners of all ages and abilities and brings in people from all over New York and neighboring states."

In 2008, nearly 300 participants ran in the event, and more are likely this year.

The current record holders are Megan Holden of Ballston Spa with a time of 52:48, while Devin Corwall of Blacksburg, Va. holds the male record with a time of 45:09.

The race will begin at Riverside Station at 9 a.m. following a "whistle blow." Spectators are welcome to cheer on their favorite participant as they ride the train to North Creek.

Participants and spectators can board the train at 8 a.m. at the North Creek Depot and ride to Riverside Station, allowing for an opportunity to see the course prior to the event.

Numerous prizes will be handed out, with the top-three finishers in both men's and women's divisions receiving tickets for a Hudson River rafting trip.

Following the race, about 75 children take part in the Family Fun Run. North Creek's Main Street is closed down while "future" Race the Train runners dash to the finish line.

The cost of the race this year (including train ride, food, and t-shirt) is $25 for adults and $20 for those 19 and under. Students attending Johnsburg Central School may run for $10. The cost of the Family Fun Run is $5. Runners can register at active.com or call 518-251-2602 for additional information, Arsenault said.

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