NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 17, 2013

Don't just sit there

Plenty of races to go around this weekend

It’s shaping up to be the busiest weekend of the year for road racers, trail runners, half marathoners. However, obstacle-course competitors are out of luck this weekend.

Three races will start in the Greater Newburyport area this weekend over a span of 23 hours. The races include the 13th annual Trav’s Trail Run at Maudslay State Park, the inaugural Newburyport River Run Half Marathon and Relay and the 24th annual Evelyn’s Run for the Roses in Salisbury.

Originally, the fourth annual Hoppin’ Mad Mud Run was also supposed to take place Sunday at Woodsom Farm, although that was recently canceled due to a lack of community support, according to the Heat Event Management webpage.

“Heat Event Management LLC would like to thank all who have supported the last three years of the Hoppin’ Mad Mud Run and the many devoted followers of this event,” the website reads. “Unfortunately, it has become clear in the last week that we do not have the 100 percent support that all events like this need. We do not put on races that are not top-quality events, we feel it is in our best interest to cancel the Hoppin’ Mad Mud Run ... We hope that at some point in the future we can bring back an event that will showcase Woodsom Farm and its beautiful course.”

Trav’s Trail Run, which will start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, historically draws some of the top local cross-country talent on the North Shore. Last year’s champion in the men’s race was UMass Lowell graduate Nate Jenkins, 32, who placed third at the 2008 Olympic Trials in the marathon. This year, the women’s race figures to be a closely contested race among three Newburyport women.

Newburyport High alumna Betsy Suda could be the favorite after spending the last three years training with Florida Track Club out of the University of Florida. Last year, she placed second in the race behind Brett Ely. The path for Suda is now clear as Ely has moved to Oregon to pursue a doctorate degree.

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