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SOMERS SUMMER 5K SERIES IS BACK! IN-PERSON RACING BEGINS ON JULY 7, 2021!
The Somers Summer 5k Cross Country Series is back.. in-person... for our 11th season! The Series is a fun, family friendly, weekly 5k race series taking place at Field Road Park in Somers, CT! Race proceeds support the continued improvement of the fitness trail at Field Road Park.
Starting Line Opens at 5:00PM: For those that are uncomfortable with crowds, you can get your race in early. Yes, your finish time will appear in the official results.
Official Start at 6:15PM: Looking for an old-fashioned starting line? You found it... kinda. It will be a customary mass start. However, we need to physically separate ourselves. While in the starting area, please give your neighbors at least 3-feet of separation.
Online Registration Only: This way the race is nearly paperless. It also allows us to abide by the participation cap (see the next line).
Participation is Capped at 100 Runners Per Race: Don't be mad at me if you drive an hour to get to Somers, but cannot race because we already hit the 100-person limit. Sign up online to make sure you have a spot. Feel free to sign up early, but if you sign up... you better be here. Don't "no show" and take a spot away from someone who truly wanted to run.
All Five Series Races Are Open to Anyone: If you can only make any one of the races, that's fine! Come join in the fun!
Fifth Series Race: Runners that participate in the first four races will be eligible to participate in a handicapped race. Runners with the slowest average times will begin first. Subsequent qualified runners will begin according to their handicap. The fastest average runners will begin at 6:15PM with the customary group start. If I do the math right, rather than having a customary mass start... we'll have a mass finish... that completely levels the playing field! Anyone can win the race! It will be one of the most unique race experiences you have ever been part of.
When: Wednesday nights, beginning July 7 to August 4, 2021.
Time: Starting line "opens" at 5:00 P.M - Mass Start is at 6:15 P.M.
Place: Field Road Park – 96 Field Road, Somers, CT 06071
Entry Fee: $5 - Online registration only!
The Connecticut Department of Public Health sets the COVID protocol we must follow. As we have come to learn, these protocols change regularly. Be flexible. Be cool. Be respectful. Follow the simple guidelines I'm going to ask of you:
You will be assigned a bib at the first Series race you attend. (A "bib" is that piece of paper with the numbers on it that you've seen runners wear.) This will be your bib for any other 2021 Series races you run in - so keep it safe and bring it with you each week.
Correct Bib Wear & Care
All bibs must be worn on your front, clear to view, preferably above the waist. We need to be able to see your number at all times.
There are none. But our reward is being able to run and run together!
We have flushing toilets! Hooray! But if it's not race day without a trip to a porta-potty, we've got you covered - we have those too! Either way... wash your damn hands.
General Course Support
As always, we'll provide water in cups at the halfway mark and finish line.
We can take your picture or your social media posts and use them appropriately. So smile. :)
Everyone will time themselves using their personal watch. After your race and you've caught your breath, report to me at the timer table. Make sure your bib is clearly visible... and tell me your finish time (preferably without sweating or spitting all over me). I'll type it into our race management system. Once all of the times are collected, I will publish the results online.
Historically, I've provided customary timing. However, this year, my plan is to run in all of the races with you. While I love doing all of the work to host the Series, I'm jealous of all of you having fun. This year, I want in. With this timing format, it makes things less formal and, frankly, easier for me.
Music & Earbuds
If you would like to listen to your own music, that's fine - but make sure that you can hear my directions at all times. USATF Rules will apply. Please understand that if there is an emergency, we need to be able to communicate with you. While it can be lonely some days, runners are typically super-social. Races are a wonderful opportunity for us runners to communicate with each other and enjoy in the camaraderie. If you regularly run with earbuds, I will challenge you to leave them out - even if it is for a portion of the race. Cheer for the runners you pass or who pass you. Smile. Make a new runner friend.
A large parking lot is right next to the starting line and my timer table. The bathrooms and porta-potties are right there too.
The Series is a cross country style format. Essentially, we're running on grass, over undulating topography, and there are lots of little turns. If you are accustomed to road races, this is a little "different". By "different", I mean "harder". So don't be hard on yourself if your Series finish time is slower than your road time. Enjoy your time on your feet and use it as a fantastic way to build up your strength for the fall road race season.
5k (3.1 miles) is the distance for each Series race. In order to reach the 5k distance, we complete two (2) loops of the course. I've measured the course myself, following USATF guidelines, using a steel wheel. According to my math, its a 5k. I don't care if your fancy GPS watch says the course is long or short. I don't care. Holy moly, I do not care. We're all running the same distance. Just run and have fun.
Keep scrolling for a map of the Series course.
You'll see that most of the course is through open fields. At cross country races, you typically see the start... and runners disappear into some woods, only to reappear a few hundred feet from a finish line. But in Somers, 70% of the race is visible from the starting line area. We intentionally created a course with a massive amount of line-of-sight visibility. In addition to being super spectator friendly... its safer - because odds are someone else in the park can see you - including me, your race director.
I refer to it as an "honest" course - because it will make you work. With all of the little turns, keep your head up to find the tangents. While there is no single significant hill, there are several smaller hills, requiring you to continually focus on leg turnover and body position. Again, it's going to make you stronger. Running on the road will immediately feel easier.
Your regular trainers are fine. If you want to lace up some flats or spikes, let 'er rip tater chip!
There have been several incidents where "bandits" (ie; runners who did not sign up for the race but run anyway) jump into our races. We understand that the Series races can sell out in advance and you might miss your opportunity to run. However, we need to make sure that the people that did appropriately register receive the experience that they paid for. Additionally, bandits create an enormous liability issue for all involved. Therefore, bandits will be immediately removed from the course and banned from the balance of the SNEAA race season.
No Race Day Registration - All Participants Must Register Online, In Advance.
Leave the workday behind. Put on a smile and some running shoes. Come run with friends.
Deep Thoughts, with Scott Sutter
I'm a volunteer. I'm not getting paid. Your entry fees go directly to the Somers Recreation Department. My motivation behind the Series is a bit "over the horizon". By your participation, you help us build metric (and money) that supports the development of a formal fitness trail / cross country course within Field Road Park. My vision is a 1-mile long loop, 4-foot wide, stone dust path - allowing for level and predictable footing. Along the way, there will be chin-up bars and other exercise stations. There will be a half-mile grass extension so the middle and high school cross country teams have a proper home course. In the end, everyone has a safe, vehicle-free, place to run or walk.
Did we miss an important detail? Let us know, so we can share it with the crowd! Email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question or suggestion.
If you haven’t already done so, please “Like” our Facebook page to stay up to speed on future race updates: https://www.facebook.com/TheSouthernNewEnglandAthleticAssociation
Thanks, Everyone! Looking forward to seeing you this summer!
-Scott, Your Race Director
Must Complete 2-Laps of the Course (Marked in Blue)
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.