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April 12, 2013

Haverhill's biggest road race ever

1,000 runners use route over two downtown bridges Sunday

HAVERHILL — When the starter pistol fires at Sunday’s Frozen Shamrock 3-Mile Run, a field of 1,000 runners will be on their way to setting a record.

They’ll be participating in the biggest road race ever held in Haverhill.

This year’s annual Frozen Shamrock starts at 1 p.m. at Archie’s Little River Ale House in Lafayette Square and finishes at the same location.

The city has been working to create a continuous pathway using the Comeau and Basiliere bridges to link both sides of the Merrimack River in and around downtown. The Frozen Shamrock is one of several fitness events that incorporate the use of the two bridges as part of the route.

The Frozen Shamrock is the first of the popular three-race Wild Rover Series that features the Claddagh Pub 4-Miler, held March 3 in Lawrence, and the Hynes Tavern 5-miler, held March 10 in Lowell.

Last year’s Frozen Shamrock saw a field of about 970 runners, organizers said. The event is usually held in February, but a snowstorm this year resulted in postponing the event until Sunday. All three races sold out this year, organizers said.

“Our goal is to provide a superior race experience,” said race director Dave Camire.

David LaBrode, technical adviser for the race, said this year’s event will break participation records.

“Haverhill has a number of road races each year, but none that rival the amount of participants the Frozen Shamrock has,” LaBrode said.

The Shamrock race features amenities not often found at local events, organizers said.

“I think our participants are surprised by the little thing such as our personalized bibs, digital clocks at each mile and space blankets at the finish,” Camire said. “This is also one of the most technologically advanced races around.’’

The race will be chip-timed using the revolutionary Chronotrack B-Tag. The event takes such timing to the extreme, he said.

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