NORTH CREEK — After a one-year hiatus, the North Creek chapter of Dollars for Scholars is bringing back its popular Race the Train event on Aug 4. Complications with the new railroad prevented the race from happening last year, and Dollars for Scholars is putting in extra effort to make its tenth anniversary a success.
Runners have been testing themselves against the train since 2002. They ride the train to Riverside Station in Riparius, the race’s starting point. At 8 a.m. the train whistle blows, signaling the start of the competition. The runners make their way down River Road, an 8.2 mile trip, to try and beat the train to the North Creek Depot, where they are met by free food provided by Johnsburg students and Dollars for Scholars volunteers. Over 300 runners competed in the last race. Spectators can ride the train, which stops every so often so they can cheer for their favorite runners.
Race the Train is the North Creek Dollars for Scholars biggest fund raiser. Money comes from participants’ registration fees ($25 adult, $20 19 and under), as well as from a raffle held after the race’s completion. Registration nets runners a shirt (with art designed by JCS graduate Chelsea Gazzaile) as well as a bag filled with goodies and special promotions.
“It transformed our chapter,” says former chapter president Ann Arsenault. “We went from being able to do very little to being able to do a lot”
Dollars for Scholars gave out nearly $16,000 in scholarships this year alone. Some students have received up to $5000. What’s more, some colleges and universities are matching those scholarships, meaning some students can get up to $10,000 towards their education.
There are a few special events going on to commemorate the race’s tenth anniversary. Every year there are water stations set up along the way for runners to grab a drink. This year a special prize will be awarded to the station runners vote did the best job. Local businesses are offering special deals that day to runners, decorating their storefronts for the event, and even donating coupons ad gift certificates to be raffled off. Though the race itself only lasts around an hour, Race the Train is going to be an all-day event.