By Mac Cerullo
---- — NEWBURYPORT – The 14th annual Trav’s Trail Run will take place this Sunday morning at the Maudslay State Park, and like the 13 runs before it, the organizers hope to put on a race that Trav could be proud of.
“We try and keep it the type of race that Trav would have liked to have been involved in,” said Newburyport cross country coach Don Hennigar. “Simple, no frills, and it’s always a talented field that comes, a lot of his old teammates still come.”
The race was established in honor of Travis Landreth, who was one of the greatest runners to ever come out of Newburyport and who helped set the tone for all the great local runners who have come up since.
During his standout career at Newburyport High School in the early 1990s, Landreth was an All-Scholastic runner on the cross country and track teams, and after graduation, he went on to run collegiately at UConn, where he became the first Big East cross country champion in the school’s history.
Landreth passed away at the age of 24 in January of 2001 after he collapsed during a training run in Palo Alto, Calif., where he was preparing for the World Cross Country Championships. The cause of death turned out to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an excessive thickening of the heart muscle, and news of his death came as a shock to the whole Newburyport running community.
“He was probably the whole foundation of the history of Newburyport High distance running, he set the tone for it,” Hennigar said. “He was the first really great runner that we had, and to this day all the kids aspire to be that way.”
To honor his memory, the Travis Eliot Landreth Memorial Scholarship was set up in his name and the Trav’s Trail Run was established as both a fundraiser and a tribute to the fallen Newburyport track icon. Like every other year, this year’s race will take place at Maudslay State Park, and the top finishers will receive cash prizes, special handmade mugs and other awards.
Participants can register for Trav’s Trail Run online for $25, or for $30 on the day of the race. Students can sign up for $20, and T-shirts will be given out to the first 300 entrants. The race is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., and after the race is over there will be a post-race raffle that all participants may take part in.
If you go
Where: Maudslay State Park
When: Sunday, May 18, 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $25 Pre-Registered, $30 Race Day, $20 Students