When discussing historic road races in New England, none tops the Boston Marathon. Yet if you want to talk about road race courses with history, none can best the first Old Sandwich Road Race on June 6—a half marathon taking place on Old Sandwich Road, the oldest road in America.
Originally a trail used by the Wampanoag Native American tribe, Old Sandwich Road later became the nation’s first true public road and a stagecoach route to ferry passengers and mail back and forth between the Massachusetts towns of Plymouth and Sandwich. Today, the road remains pretty much as the Pilgrims left it–a wide, scenic, dirt road bordered by beautiful tall pine trees and towering oaks.
“In creating this race, we wanted to accomplish many things,” said Craig Valentine Brenner, Old Sandwich Road Race organizer and Plymouth resident. “The first was to create an attractive destination race in Plymouth that would draw local runners and folks from outside the region. There’s really no better road to accomplish that than Old Sandwich Road, the same trail America’s original settlers traveled. But we also wanted this race to benefit local causes and businesses.”
To that end, the profits from the first Old Sandwich Road Race will go to the Home for Little Wanderers’ Baird Center, located at 900 Ship Pond Road in Plymouth. The Baird Center works with boys grades 4 through 11 with social and emotional issues. Much like Old Sandwich Road’s claim to being a first, The Home for Little Wanderers, founded in 1799, is the oldest child welfare services agency in the United States.
The appeal of the course and the cause have already drawn interest from local sponsors with their own rich history, like Plimouth Plantation, The Governor Bradford Inn and Martha Stone Soup, a restaurant in an historic carriage house located along Old Sandwich Road. Other sponsors include: Entergy, Retrofit Technologies, Bayside Runner, King Collision Centers and the Village Racquet & Fitness Club at the Pinehills.
In addition to the half marathon, the Old Sandwich Road Race features a 10k, sponsored by Plimouth Plantation and Entergy and starting at Plimouth Plantation, and a Kids Classic. The Kids Classic features four one-mile kids’ races with age groups from 7 to 14 years of age and a children’s fun sprint of 100 meters. The Kids Classic will take place on the track at Plymouth South High School, which is also the end point for both the half marathon and 10k.
“The Old Sandwich Road Race truly does offer something for everybody. And with a June 6 race date, it’s kind of nice kickoff to the summer,” said Brenner. “We’re thrilled with the number of runners, sponsors and volunteers who have signed on to date and there’s still plenty of time for even more people to get involved with what we anticipate being the first of many annual races.”
For information about the race and registration, please visit http://www.oldsandwichroadrace.com. If you would like to be a sponsor, the minimum sponsorship is $250. You can contact Craig Brenner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-419-4207 to inquire about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.