“You just bundle up and get done as fast as you can,” Hennigar said of the cold runs. “I’ve actually worked a couple of those as opposed to racing it and that is a whole lot worse because you’re just standing still. At least, when you‘re running, you’re moving.”
A flat, simple, coastal course is one of the Classic’s big draws, as well as that fact that it is one of the only games in town at a slow time of the year.
“A lot of it is the fact this it is New Year’s Day,” Hennigar said of the Classic’s appeal. “There are not a lot of races around and once you get past Thanksgiving and until you get into St. Patrick’s Day, there’s not that many opportunities. It’s kind of a nice way to ring in the new year and it’s a race that has been around for 30 years.”
The Classic raises funds for the Winner’s Circle, which is known for their numerous charitable contributions to the local area, including an annual Santa’s Toy Trot in Merrimac. The club also donated over $14,000 to local charities in the year 2011. This year, the proceeds from the Classic will benefit the club’s charitable activities and youth and adult running programs.
“There’s a lot of runners who seek out races where the entry fee is going to go to a charity of some sort,” said Hennigar. “If people know there is a charity, they are more likely to run a race than if not.”
The two races, which begin at 11:30 a.m., are run simultaneously. For more information, go to www.runthecircle.org.