PRE-REGISTRATIONS TRIPLE NUMBER FROM LAST YEAR
Organizers expect 1,000 to participate in April 15th races
The Kiwanis Kingston Classic weekend promises to be much larger this year. Event organizers are signing up pre-registered runners at nearly triple the rate as last year.
The races – the official Kiwanis Kingston Classic 10K and the 2.1 mile run/walk – have 295 runners registered so far. Last year, the event’s first year back after a one-year hiatus, had 101 people registered with a month to go before the event. Participants will be coming from the Albany area, as well as Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey and as far away as Colorado. Organizers expect a total of 1,000 runners this year, well over last year’s total of 760.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, in a news conference on Thursday, March 15, said the event is part of the county’s Healthy Ulster County approach and an important event to kick off the warmer weather tourism season.
“The Kiwanis Kingston Classic shows us that the warmer weather is here, it’s time to get outdoors and get moving and active, and we at the county shift tourism gears to show everyone all that Ulster County has to offer during the warmer months of the year,” said Hein, who will run in the event for the second straight year. “Every year we have thousands of visitors who come to Ulster County to enjoy a walk, run or bicycle ride in the country. The Kiwanis Kingston Classic is a great way to kick off the season and a great way to promote both the City of Kingston and Ulster County.”
“The Kiwanis Kingston Classic is a tremendous event that annually draws scores of people to the City of Kingston,” said Mayor Shayne R. Gallo, City of Kingston Mayor. “This year’s event promises to bring many visitors to Kingston and we hope they take advantage of our fantastic restaurants, shopping and attractions that we have here.”
The Kingston Classic began in 1982. In its heyday during the early 1990s the race attracted more than 1,000 entrants and finishers, including elite international runners.
A year ago, the race returned after a year off with a new organizer – The Kiwanis Club of Kingston, which made it more of a community event rather than just another weekend road race. Proceeds of the event benefit Kiwanis-funded youth programs in and around the Kingston area, event organizer Greg Riley said.
“I think the success we are having this year with the larger number of participants is because people are enjoying the Kiwanis Kingston Classic as a community event,” Riley said. “The growth of this event certainly helps the children in the Kingston area with expanded programs and opportunities for them.”
“During my presidency of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, club members voted to take on the Kingston Classic as our major project for the community,” said Joe Fay, executive director at Kingston Boys & Girls Club. “I never thought it would be such a great opportunity for Kiwanis and more importantly for the community we serve. The first year we took over this event proved to be a huge success and this year we have added many new features which will just enhance this great event. Kiwanians are actively working to make sure everything is ready and we are pushing for large numbers of runners volunteers and spectators and I hope you all come out.”
“Last year, the Kiwanis club put on a wonderful event and the number of early entrants this year proves that people are attracted to this revitalized event,” Ulster County Tourism Director Richard J. Remsnyder said. “Kingston is the place to be for a competitive spring run and as the weather continues to warm, people locally, regionally and throughout the state and Northeast will again enjoy Ulster County as a premier location for fun and recreation.”
Of the more than $430 million spent by tourists in Ulster each year, $10 million is spent on recreation. Ulster offers a myriad of recreational assets such as hiking, biking, golfing, kayaking, fishing, swimming and more.
The Kids’ Classic starts things off on Saturday, April 14. Sponsored by the YMCA of Kingston, there will be racing categories for children ages pre-school through middle school. Entertainment, activities and awards will be part of the day’s highlights.
Saturday night, runners registered for Sunday’s Classic are invited to carb-load by dining with their competitors. They will join fellow runners for camaraderie, pasta, music, sports expos and more.
On Sunday, April 15, the Kiwanis Kingston Classic starts at 1 p.m. at Historic North Front Street. The event ends in Dietz Stadium. The route is the same as last year’s event, which is certified by the USA Track & Field. Race-day registration is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is $25. Pre-registration can be done online at www.kiwaniskingstonclassic.com and is $20.