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Race organizers hoping to double field

By Joe Centers • Apr 10, 2018 at 12:00 PM

There still is a chill in the air, but plans are warming up for the 2018 Mapletree Road Race in Norwalk.

The four-mile race, now in its second year, will be held prior to the Norwalk Lions Club Fourth of July Parade.

The deadline for the race T-shirt contest application submittals is May 11. Race organizers are hoping to double the submission entries at the very least. Every person can submit up to three ideas for the T-shirt contest. Rules and how to submit are all on the race website mapletreeroadrace.weebly.com.

“We are very excited about adding a ‘rucking’ category to this year’s race — in case someone wants to incorporate this into the artwork,” race organizer Mark Bellamy said. “If you want to know more about ‘rucking’ (walking with a weighted backpack) you can find additional information on our website.”

All proceeds from the race will go to the Michael H. Hay Scholarship — Music and Sciences, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM).

Here is the race’s mission statement:

The Michael H. Hay Scholarship for the Arts & Sciences has been established to honor Mike's engaging and giving spirit along with his love of music, academic excellence and on-going commitment to giving back in the Norwalk community. Mike will always be remembered as someone who always made time to listen, teach and mentor students in the Norwalk Catholic Schools. This scholarship will go to deserving students in grades 7-11 who demonstrate their passions academically and in giving back within their community.

This foundation is currently in its seventh year. In the previous six, over $72,000 has been awarded to deserving students meeting a rigorous set of criteria.

It is the desire of the founders of the Michael H. Hay Scholarship that the students of St. Paul school are inspired by Mike’s life, his passion, his devotion to the liturgy and his mission of service as they pursue their own academic careers and their spiritual growth.

Last year’s event was a huge success, Bellamy said, attracting almost 200 runners. The race started uptown and ended at the Huron County Fairgrounds. This year the race will start and end at the fairgrounds. One of the attractions of the race is runners use much of the same route as the parade, meaning there will be fans to cheer them on.

“We are happy with that (the course change),” Bellamy said. “Because we are starting and ending out there we are not interferring with the parade. We are starting 30 minutes earlier so people should have plenty of time to get back to their families to watch the parade.”

The race begins at 9 a.m., with the parade set for 10:30. Entry fee for the race is $15 for students.

“We had 192 registered last year and we hope to double that this year,” Bellamy said. “We want to exceed $20,000 this year. Last year we were just under $17.000. Those are our two goals. All of the money we make goes right back into the endowment fund.

“I think a lot of the process is built. That is the good news. We are working with a lot of the same team members from the school. It is nice they have the knowledge they can share with the new people. The other part that is a challenge is finding new sponsors. 

“We are pretty busy. We will have our first meeting Wednesday with all of the kids to get our 90-day plan in place.”


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