I always look forward to Tim Kennard River Run weekend. On the Saturday, I set up an Eastern Shore Running Club table at the packet pickup, and then on the Sunday — race day — I take part in the 10-mile run.
This year will be my ninth year participating in the race. I’ve run the 10-miler seven times and the 5K once. I’ve also recently joined the Tim Kennard race committee and have attended the last few meetings. I received an entry for the race through the Eastern Shore Running Club’s sponsorship of the event.
The 16th annual Tim Kennard River Run is Sunday, March 24, at 8:30 a.m. The race starts and ends at Salisbury University, going through nearby neighborhoods and downtown Salisbury.
Since I’ve been attending the meetings, I do have some info that not everyone might know about yet. So, here are 10 reasons you should come out for the race this year! The below reasons aren’t in any particular order.
- The community. There is always a great feeling of community at the Tim Kennard River Run each year. It’s one of the first big races of the year, and it’s a chance to connect with running friends and test your speed out on the course.
- The course. I love the Tim Kennard River Run course. Ten-mile runners start and end at Salisbury University — my alma mater — and run through pretty neighborhoods, along the Wicomico River, into downtown Salisbury and back to SU. It’s also a flat course. If you’re from Salisbury, you may notice a few hills, but those are nothing compared to the hilly RRCA Club Challenge in Columbia, Maryland, for example. The 10-mile and 5K courses are both certified courses, which means you don’t have to worry about whether you really logged the full distance. There are also not many 10-milers in this area, so it’s a good opportunity to run a different sort of distance.
- On-course music. There are going to be numerous people playing music from speakers along the course. Hopefully, that will help keep you pumped up!
- The cause. I never got to meet Tim Kennard — I was just 13 when the race started and didn’t live in the Salisbury area before he passed away from cancer — but this race benefits children and animals, as he wanted. Proceeds go to Coastal Hospice to help grieving children, Horizons Salisbury to benefit kids in need of educational support and Coalition of Caring, to help animals.
- The food. If you know me or are a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m a fan of the post-race food. In addition to race staples such as bagels and bananas, the spread will include egg salad sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, various chilis (one of which is vegetarian), chicken and dumplings, soups, and more. This year, runners are also invited to head over to Hopper’s across the street to continue the fun. Beer will be served over there starting at 10 a.m. (not included in race entry, but still sounds fun to me).
- The shirts. This run always gives out a high-quality shirt, but this year, the women’s shirt is pink! I saw the color today, and it’s a neon pink color — a fun color, and also great for being seen. The men’s shirts are black.
- The awards. I always strive to win an award in my age group at the Tim Kennard River Run. I’ve been successful most of the years — it all depends on who comes out, as the year I ran my personal record in the 10-miler, I didn’t win anything. This year, the age group awards are medals. But if you’re really, really fast, you have the chance to win cash. There are cash prizes for the top three men and women in the 10-miler ($200, $150 and $100, respectively), the top three men and women in the 5K ($150, $100 and $50, respectively), the first male and female master (40+; $50) and the first male and female master of masters (60+; $50).
- Bring your dog. I don’t have a dog, and unfortunately for me, I don’t think my cats are itching to join the Eastern Shore Running Club. However, if you have a well-behaved dog, run with him or her on the course. Take your dog to Hopper’s starting at 7:30 a.m. race morning.
- Bring your kids. I also don’t have kids, but I do support kids being involved in running. I help out with Girls on the Run at the YMCA and think it’s awesome to see children engaged in positive activities like running. Rob’s Run for Kids takes place the day before the Tim Kennard River Run — Saturday, March 23 — outside the Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Public House. It’s a free event for kids ages 2-10, with different distances ranging from 50 yards for the youngest kids to a half-mile for 9- and 10-year-olds. It starts at 2 p.m. Donations to the Live Life Like Rob Foundation are accepted. Learn more at the Facebook event.
- The weather. Before we go forward, let’s collectively knock on wood here, but the weather for Sunday is looking beautiful. The weather could change by next weekend, but on the weather app on my phone, Sunday’s weather is currently showing up as partly cloudy with a high of 62 and a low of 46. Hello shorts and a short-sleeve shirt! I actually wore shorts and a short-sleeve shirt last year in the 30s as well, but this will be more pleasant.
As part of the committee, I’ve also revived our Twitter and Instagram accounts, so follow each of those at @tkriverrun. We also have an active Facebook page run by fellow committee member Marie — give that a like here.
Want to register for the race? Visit www.TimKennard.org.
Here are my past recaps of the Tim Kennard River Run: