EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 18, 2013

Knights on the Run race kicks off Saturday

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Watch out, the Knights are on the Run.

The third annual Knights on the Run, a 5-kilometer race, is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. at North Andover High School. The mission is to raise money for the North Andover Athletic Association, a group of parent volunteers that supports high school sports teams.

Alexandra Coakley, race director, said the association’s goal is to attract 300 runners. During the last two years, the competition has drawn more than 200 runners, she said.

There will be two opportunities for younger runners to compete. A quarter-mile run will be offered to pre-schoolers through second-graders. Third- through fifth-graders are invited to run a half-mile race.

The 5K race will start and finish near the high school tennis courts. The course will be the same as last year and the year before: Go left on Osgood Street, then right on Stevens Street, left on Great Pond Road, left on Pleasant Street, right on Stevens Street, left on Harkway Road, right onto Osgood Street and finally a left onto the high school grounds and — the finish!

Plenty of water will be available for runners on Great Pond Road, Coakley said. Runners will have hills to endure — as Coakley noted, it would be just about impossible to have a road race in North Andover without inclines — but she said the course will not be excessively excruciating.

Members of the Scarlet Knights cross country team will not be allowed to run in this race. Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules forbid it, Coakley explained.

The Scarlet Knight harriers, however, will be present in volunteer capacities, however, she said. They’ll man the water station on Great Pond Road and cover the mile points, Coakley said.

The team will also help coordinate the kids’ runs, she added.

Members of other teams are permitted to compete in the Knights on the Run, Coakley said.

If you’re not a Bill Rodgers or a Joan Benoit Samuelson, don’t worry. You could still win a raffle prize, even if you don’t outrun the other competitors. The North Andover Merchants Association has helped the cause by providing a variety of raffle prizes, Coakley said.

“All runners are automatically entered in the raffle,” she said. Prizes include overnight stays at Boston hotels and restaurant meals.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the fee for those who have not already signed up is $30.