SALISBURY — The ninth annual Tortoise and the Hare 10K Run and 3-mile Walk will wind its way through town Saturday, all while giving the Parks and Recreation Commission a good financial boost.
The road race kicks off at Lions Park at 11 a.m. and will be preceded by a one-mile fun run for children at 10:30 a.m.
Selectman Ronalee Ray-Parrott has been on the Parks and Recreation Commission for 11 years and has been involved in the race since its inception.
The 10K road race offers “a nice first timers run,” she said.
“It is a very flat course so it is a great opportunity for people who’ve never run a 10K to try a longer distance,” Ray-Parrott said. “Half of the course is on the Ghost Trail, so it is fairly easy to run versus running on the hard asphalt somewhere else.”
The three-mile walk along the rail trail will also be conducted that day and all proceeds go to Parks and Recreation, which oversees all six town parks — Lions Park, Memorial School Park, the Town Common, Beach Road Field, the skateboard park on Beach Road and Partridge Brook Park.
“Any field usage, you have to go before Parks and Recreation to get permission to use the field,” Ray-Parrott said. “We also work very closely with Salisbury softball and baseball leagues.”
Ray-Parrott said Triton Youth Lacrosse and Triton Youth Soccer Association teams will also be using town parks for practices in the near future.
“That is huge,” Ray-Parrott said. “Now, Salisbury kids can have some practices actually in Salisbury. (Seacoast Youth Flag Football) has also used our fields and that is now a huge sport here. They have both a fall and a spring season and they use Salisbury parks.”
The town’s parks have a long, storied history for many local families according to Ray-Parrott
“Lions Park and (Beach Road Field) have been around for over 50 years,” Ray-Parrott said. “So, there have been kids who have been playing on those fields who will now be 50 or 60 years old.”
For the past four years, money raised by the Tortoise and the Hare race have assisted with the development of Partridge Brook Park, which was built using the state’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities grant program.
The money raised by the race — $3,000 to $5,000 annually — is supplemented by the town’s matching funds.
While only the first phase of Partridge Brook Farm — which saw the construction of a dog park, football field and walking trail — has been completed, Ray-Parrott said the town has received a state Housing Choice Community grant for the project’s second phase. A new playground with a concession stand and security cameras will built during the second phase.
“We are also in the process of writing another grant that will create a skateboard park at Partridge Brook,” Ray-Parrott said. “Phase 3 would be the skateboard park.”
Registration for the 10K costs $30 before Friday and $40 on the day of the race. Registration for children under 15 is $20. Registration for the three-mile walk is also $20 and the kids run is $10.
Race day registration and packet pickup takes place at the Hilton Senior Center, 43 Lafayette Road, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.