The Seacoast Seven Road Race is back for a ninth running and the race continues to net a strong following.
With just 20 competitors competing in the inaugural race in 2004, the Seacoast Seven has had nearly 200 racers in each of the last three years, and a similar number is expected Saturday.
The Seacoast Seven is a seven-mile road race that starts and finishes at Stage Fort Park. It will begin Saturday at 9 a.m.
All of the race proceeds will go to the Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In the past the race had helped provide media equipment, concerts and shows for the residents of Seacoast.
“Seacoast and its employees do such a great job and we want to give back to them,” said Karen McCann, a Friends of Seacoast board member whose father Art started the race and whose mother used to reside at Seacoast.
The race’s start and finish line is at Stage Fort Park. The start of the race sends the runners down Hough Avenue towards the tennis courts before taking a lefthand turn on Western Avenue.
From there the runners will head towards Magnolia by way of Magnolia Avenue, looping around Magnolia Avenue and Magnolia’s Back Shore and racing back towards Stage Fort Park by way of Hesperus Avenue and Western Avenue before finishing back up at Stage Fort Park.
The race course is as challenging as it is beautiful. Not only do runners have the luxury of running along several ocean views, they also have to navigate some tough terrain. Western and Hesperus avenues are particularly difficult as competitors will have to navigate several steep uphill climbs and downhill runs.
Jason Dedonato of Nashua, N.H., won the race last year with a time of 38:17, more than a minute over the next fastest finisher. Danvers’ Annie Rose Willis was the top female finisher with a time of 51:26 while Gloucester’s David Cluett was the top local finisher with a time of 46:06, good for fourth place.
The top male and female finisher will receive a $150 prize with the runnerups and third-place finishers receiving $100 and $60 respectively.
Runners can still register for Saturday’s race onsite; race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at the start/finish line. It is $30 to register.
There will also be a 1-mile fun run before the race, starting at 8:30 a.m.; registration for the fun run is $5.
Sports editor Nick Curcuru may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3444 or email@example.com.