Sports scribe Steve Mazzone talks about the Planting Footprints 5K, set for this coming Sunday in Cumberland.
For the past two years, race director Kerri Stenovitch has had no problem deciding on a rightful beneficiary for the Phantom Farms Planting Footprints 5K road race. Considering that the 3.1-mile event takes place at the popular Cumberland apple orchard, most of the proceeds went to the R.I. Fruit Growers Association.
Stenovitch, a former star runner for St. Raphael Academy in the early 1990s, has decided on a new cause for this Sundayâ€™s race.
And like the previous one, this one truly made sense.
All proceeds for the third annual race, beginning at 11 a.m. will support Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, a more aggressive form of cancer that mostly affects women. Stenovitch decided on that option back in January when she learned that her cousin was diagnosed with the disease.
â€śAs soon as I found out, I researched anything to offer support,â€ť she said. â€śOne of the first things it said was fundraising. Even when you have health insurance, the bills pile up.â€ť
The race follows a challenging course that begins on Diamond Hill Road in front of Phantom Farms. Participants will then travel north for less than a mile, take a right onto Nate Whipple Highway and another right on Arnold Mills Road near the North Cumberland Fire Station. After about a half mile, participants will cross over Abbott Run Valley Road, ascend up Hillside Road and, once at the crest, take a right onto Diamond Hill Road and back to the finish at the Farm.
The inaugural Footprints 5K had its biggest field with 111 finishers. With this yearâ€™s race less than a week away, nearly 150 have already pre-registered.
â€śI would say as long as the weather cooperates, Iâ€™ll get close to 300,â€ť Stenovitch said. â€śI still have a lot of people calling me up and pre-registering.â€ť
Following the race, participants will be rewarded for their effort with a Pink Ribbon Party that will include an Italian Festival, Live Entertainment and refreshments donated by McLaughlin and Moran. There will also be an awards ceremony and T-shirts will be given to all runners and walkers. The cost is $20 for mail-in or online registration (registration.strands.com) before Friday. The post entry fee is $25.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the race will once again have its Kids Orchard Fun Run, a roughly quarter-mile loop around the orchard. The Run has no entry fee, but registration is required.
To help raise money for the raceâ€™s cause, Stenovitch also indicated that a 50-50 raffle will take place at the post-race party. There will also be an appearance by the R.I. Pink Heals, an organization of firefighters, police officers and public safety officials that support cancer for women. The organization, started in Arizona by firefighter Dave Graybill, drives pink fire trucks and police vehicles to different events and helps bring awareness to the disease.
Stenovitch plans to continue supporting breast cancer in future races.
â€śI think as long as we have it,â€ť she said, â€śthis will be a good one.â€ť
Nick Keeling, a two-time state javelin champion for Ponaganset High, got his collegiate career off to a brilliant start over the weekend.
Competing as a freshman for Brown University, Keeling captured the individual title at Saturdayâ€™s Bryant University Invitational, heaving the metal spear a distance of 67.66 meters (222 feet). Joe Teixeira of UMass-Dartmouth was second at 59.35 meters (194 feet).
Keeling, who was also a first-team all-stater in football for Ponaganset, where he led the team to the 2009 Division III Super Bowl title, achieved a personal best for his effort at Bryant.
Pawtucketâ€™s Timothy Rudd had a strong finish at the annual Thomas J. Guinta Memorial 5K road race on Sunday. Rudd finished eighth among 1,140 finishers in the Fall River race with a time of 18:09.
Alan Bernier, a runner-up finisher at the inaugural Irish 5K in Pawtucket last month, claimed the overall title at another first-time event, the Wild for Winsor 5K in Smithfield. The 36-year-old Bernier, who resides in Providence, broke the tape in 17:55.
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The Boston Marathon is quickly approaching with the 115th edition of the historic race taking place on Monday, April 18 at 10 a.m. More than two dozens area runners will answer the starterâ€™s gun in Hopkinton.
If you are one of those braved soles that will make the trek and have a story to tell about your preparation, send an e-mail to yours truly at email@example.com.