By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- Members of the Londonderry Rotary Club are hoping the luck of the Irish will be with them next month when they embark on the club’s newest fundraiser: an Irish-themed 5K road race.
The first annual Pot O’Gold Run will take place on Saturday, March 19, starting at 2 p.m.
“Much like our golf tournament, we’ll raise needed funds through sponsorships and the fees charged to runners,” Rotary President Terry McCormick said last week.
McCormick said he’s hoping the new Rotary fundraiser will catch on with local runners, noting that similar local races have had impressive turnouts.
“Just a few years ago, the Derry Turkey Trot had just a few hundred runners,” he said. “But this past Thanksgiving, they had over 1,700. There’s some great potential here.” All proceeds from the race will benefit the club’s charitable giving program. The local Rotary sponsors such organizations as Warm Homes, The Sonshine Soup Kitchen, St. Jude’s Food Pantry, the YMCA and the Fred Ball Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Millennium Running, an events-management company founded by Londonderry native John Mortimer, is organizing the event.
Runners may register online at www.potogoldrun.com. Advance registration is $25 for those aged 11 and older, and $15 for children aged 10 and under.
Fashionably late runners may also register on the day of the race for $35 per adult runner, or $15 per child.
The race’s start and finish is in the Londonderry Home Depot parking lot in front of the Ninety-Nine Restaurant. The course makes a quick 3 ⁄ 4-mileloop back to the start before heading through the neighborhood south of Route 102.
Cash awards to the top three male and female runners, as well as prizes for top runners inseven different age groups, will be awarded during a special ceremony at the Ninety-Nine Restaurant immediately following the race. Runners will also have the opportunity to vie for many different raffle prizes, while those of legal drinking age can savor a complimentary brew.
According to Rotarian Reed Clark, corporate sponsors are still being sought at Silver and Bronze levels.
A $500 Silver sponsorship includes registration for two race participants. At $200, a Bronze sponsorship, like the Silver,means the company’s logo will be included on all race fliers and on the race’s website.
The upcoming race has already gained Platinum sponsorship from Ameriprise Financial, Gold sponsorship from Lombardi & Lombardi Family Dentistry and Parkland Medical Center, Silver sponsorship from the Ninety-Nine Restaurant & Pub, and Bronze sponsorship from Londonderry Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Hampshire First Bank, Enterprise Bank, Dunkin’ Donuts and the New HampshireFisher Cats.