On Sunday, September 15th 260 runners and walkers navigated the private roads surrounding Alexander’s Lake in Dayville, all in the name of raising money for youth wellness programs. The 8th Annual NOW Road Race & Walk, subtitled “Lap the Lake” is an annual event held by Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. (NOW), a non-profit focused creating opportunities for local children to access fitness, nutrition and sports. For 2019 the event grossed over $15,000 with proceeds to support NOW youth scholarships and programs in the region.

Starting at The Lake Tavern on Upper Maple Street in Dayville, the race route included one “lap” around Alexander’s Lake before finishing back at The Lake Tavern. In addition to the 5K race, the event also featured a Kids Fun Run that saw 40 children ages 2 to 10.

The 2019 event saw Salem resident Chris Armstrong securing the top runner spot, with a time of 17 minutes and 30 seconds. Linda Spooner of Strubridge MA earned the top female spot with a time of 20 minutes and 19 seconds. Both runners were each presented with a cash prize of $100. Prizes were also awarded to the top three runners in each five-year age group. For 2019, each top runner received a custom cork coaster with the Lap the Lake logo and date and all youth runners received participation medals.

For several years, the Road Race has been generously sponsored by Putnam Bank, which shows additional support with dozens of employees participating; for 2019, the Putnam Bank team topped off at 40 runners, walkers and Kids Fun Run participants. NOW was also pleased to welcome several other major sponsors to the event including, Starting Line Sponsor Luminant – Lake Road Power Plant, Jewett City Savings Bank as Finish Line Sponsor, Savings Institute Bank & Trust, a division of BerkshireBank as the Kids Fun Run Sponsor, and Danielson Surplus Sales as Bag Sponsor. New for 2019, the event featured live music with The Billy Pilgrim Band, sponsored by The Black Dog Bar & Grille and Gates Automotive Group. The major event sponsors were joined by 15 additional sponsors supporting the official event t-shirt.

Executive Director Sarah Wolfburg commented about the race, “It has been amazing to see the growth of this event over the past several years and we are so grateful for the overwhelming support of the community for the race.” In addition to the many sponsors that showed support for the event, the Road Race was also supported by several local volunteers. Lily Mercier helped mark the beginning of the event with a live rendition of the National Anthem as NOW’s first youth singer in the 8-year history of the race. Just Performance Fitness, the QVCC Foundation, Juice Plus and Back & Body Chiropractic of Dayville featured booths at the event. Local photographer Mikayla Gagnon with Ginger Photography served as the official event photographer, capturing all the action of the race. As well, the four water stations that lined the course were supported by volunteers from Deary’s Gymnastics, Woodstock Academy Gymnastics, and Green Valley Crossing. The Dayville Fire Company offered volunteer support by conducting traffic on Upper Maple Street, ensuring all event participants remained safe. Complimentary refreshments, including water, protein bars and other organic snacks were donated by United Natural Foods, Inc.

All proceeds from the event will support the many youth programs NOW offers to children residing in the 10-town area of Northeast CT, including youth scholarship support, fitness & nutrition outreach, and free wellness clinics. NOW is a non-profit human services organization focused on youth wellness. NOW provides children with the opportunity to participate in area wellness activities and athletics programs, offering scholarships to the youth of the community with up to 95% of the cost being subsidized by NOW. The mission of the organization is to provide ALL children, regardless of financial resources, equal opportunities to achieve & maintain youth wellness, beginning at an early age.