North Creek readies for Race the Train

Racers line up at the 2012 Race the Train start in Riparius.

Racers line up at the 2012 Race the Train start in Riparius.

— The 11th annual Race the Train event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. As the Johnsburg Dollars for Scholars’ biggest fundraiser, race draws participants from all over the United Sates to North Creek for a competition that is truly one of a kind.

Race the Train starts in Riparius and follows River Road to the Saratoga and North Creek Railway Station, an 8.4-mile trip. Participants try to best the train as it travels the same course. The first 75 people to cross the finish line receive medals to commemorate their achievement.

Last year, the race celebrated its 10th anniversary, and participation was at a record high; 349 people competed, many with families that rode the train and cheered for their loved ones along run. There were also some other special changes to commemorate the event, such as the addition of water stations along the route with costumed attendants — many of them Johnsburg students — to cheer on the runners. This kind of support is part of what sets Race the Train apart from other racing events. The beauty of the track itself is also a huge draw.

“It’s a unique experience,” said participants Peter and Nicki Moran of Waterford. This father-daughter team relished the chance to “run alongside a train in the beautiful Adirondacks.”

Last year, 69 people in total beat the train. Long-time winner Paul Allison of Jericho, Vt. came in first with a time of 46:59. Carly Wynn of Queensbury came in first out of the female racers, with a time of 56:45. There are also first, second, and third place prizes within 5-year age categories.

This year runners can register online both online and in person. Online registration is currently open on Active.com. Simply search “Race the Train” on Active’s homepage to find registration information. Registration forms are also available at www.adirondackrunners.org. Runners can register in person on Aug. 2 between 5 and 7:30 p.m., and on Aug. 3 between 7 and 7:45 a.m. Preregistration costs $28 for adults and $20 for students. On race day, registration costs $35 across the board. Spectators may reserve seating on the train by calling (518) 618-359.

Race the Train has become an essential part of Johnsburg Dollars for Scholars’ funding. All the proceeds from the event go towards scholarships for Johnsburg Central School seniors. Awards have been as much as $5,000 in the past. Money Received from Dollars for Scholars can be used for any aspect of a student’s education, from text books to tuition payments. It’s a huge benefit to graduating seniors, especially if they attend a college that matches Dollars for Scholars awards.

For more information, call Tracy Watson at (518) 251-0107, or email Jill Pederson at pederson6000@roadrunner.com.

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