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Center Harbor Foot Race celebrates 40 years

Racers take off at the start of the Center Harbor Foot Race. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2018
CENTER HARBOR — For the 40th year, the Center Harbor Foot Race brought out hundreds of runners and walkers through town streets.

The annual Fourth of July race celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, a milestone that was recognized from the race itself to the Fourth of July Parade.

The day started with a kids' race in the field between the municipal building and the library. Kids ran down the field in different age groups leading to the baby crawl at the end of the event.

At 10 a.m. racers took off for the two- and five-mile races.

This year, around 300 ran the two-mile race, and around 150 did the five-mile course.

Parks and Recreation Director Sandy Frost said they were concerned about the high heat that day. She said she added an extra water station on the five-mile course around Center Harbor Neck Road and Route 25B, making a total of four water stations.

The municipal building was also opened up as a cooling station for people who needed to get out of the heat. The awards are typically given out at the bandstand, though this year, they were presented in the fire station.

Bottles of water were available at the fire station and a volunteer was out with a hose to cool people down.

Frost said the race was started by Ron Ulm of Center Harbor in 1979. Ulm also designed the course that went from lake Street to Route 25. The course was later changed to the one that is still used today.

"The course that we use today is at least 20-years-old," Frost said.

Frost said a woman came up to her that day with a t-shirt from the first footrace

Later that afternoon the town's Fourth of July parade had the theme of "40 Years of the Center Harbor Foot Race."

"I feel honored; I know that people have been coming for all of these years and it's one of their favorite things to do for the Fourth," Frost said.

She has been the Parks and Recreation Director for the past 10 years, and said she knows of a lot of people who do this year after year.

"They tell me they look forward to it every year; it's really a great community atmosphere," Frost said.

Lance Herrington of Bow took first place in the two-mile race.

Herrington said it felt great to come in first. He said it was hot, but overall a beautiful day.

"Just grateful to be a part of it, grateful to be with my loved ones on the holiday," Herrington said.

Chris Stadler of Brighton, Mass., won the five-mile race. His family has a house on Lake Kanasatka and members of his family have been taking part in the footrace since the beginning.

Stadler has been doing the race for a number of years and he came in a few top places a few times.

"It was hot and hilly, but I was used to it, so it was okay," Stadler said.

Stadler said it felt good to win.

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