KINGSTON, NY — With two weeks to go, the Kiwanis Kingston Classic has met organizers’ initial goal.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020 and turned it into a virtual event last year, the Classic returns in its true form as runners take to the streets and trails of Kingston’s historic waterfront district on Sunday the 24th. of April.
“We are quite surprised by our numbers,” said race director Amanda Metichecchia. “Our goal was 400.”
Combined entries for the iconic 10K Classic race, plus the 5K run and 1.5-mile walk/run topped 400 on Wednesday, April 6. As of Friday afternoon, April 8, the tally was 418. With two weeks to go plus a good record on race day, the event could match the 521 last recorded in 2019.
Registration opened in mid-February and, according to Kiwanis President Mike Janasiewicz, had about 100 entries in three weeks. He said there would be no limitation on the number of runners.
Registration is still taking place at www.kiwaniskingstonclassic.com.
This would be the 40th anniversary of the Classic’s debut in 1982, but it’s actually the 38th in a row. Along with 2020, the Clásico also did not take place in 2010 when a race director could not be found.
Metichecchia and members of the Classic Committee surveyed the course on April 5 to see what effects winter had on the trails.
“We walked the Trolley trail. There are maybe two or three patches that could be a problem area, but we’re going to try to fill them in,” he said of a gravelly section that the runners would find on their way back. “The plan is to have a volunteer in that section to monitor during the race. So there may be some parts where you have to run a single file in the Trolley trace for a bit. Otherwise, it looks great.”
A bridge that runners will cross at Kingston Point Rotary Park is under repair, but is expected to be completed by April 15.
The start/finish line is in front of the Hudson Valley Maritime Museum on East Strand.
Runners head directly to the end of East Strand, turn left onto Abruyn Street, go two blocks, then turn right onto East Union and onto North Street, cross Delaware Avenue, and continue on Brickyard Trail. The loop will be at the end of the Brickyard Trail and will return to Delaware. Runners will then turn left onto Delaware, past the entrance to Kingston Point Beach, then cross over and turn right onto Rotary Park and onto the Trolley Trail. Runners then turn right onto North Street, then left onto East Strand and back to the finish line.
The course was adjusted last year with the addition of the Hutton Brickyard Trail and the removal of Abeel Street and the Wurts Street Bridge. The race started on Dock Street in 2017-18, but the collapse of concrete from the Wurts Bridge in 2019 forced the start line to be moved to the Wurts/Abeel intersection. The Classic is no longer going in that direction.
Metichecchia became race director two years ago, so she had to deal with the cancellation of last year’s virtual race.
“It eased me slowly,” he admitted. “Slowly we have been getting back to the full Classic this year. In fact, she is in our hands and I think she will turn out great.
“I used to go to the Clásico when I was a child,” she added. “Great shakes. I remember them playing in the Clásico. I just remember being this big, big fun event. We want it to be this big again.”
The races are all in the morning with the 5K and 10K starting at 10 am and the 1.5 mile walk/run starting at 10:15. The post-race party and awards ceremony will immediately follow the race at Ole Savannah. Packet pick up will be April 23rd and 24th.
Prices are $25 for the 5K and 10K and $15 for the 1.5 miles. On race day, it’s $30 for the 5K and 10K and $20 for the 1.5 miles. From their bib, all runners get two free Ole Savannah drinks and a raffle entry.
Registration for the t-shirts has closed.
A 10K Seniors Cup team challenge category is also available for groups and organizations. This year’s teams compete for the Major Cup team challenge category for the most riders who complete the course. A participation trophy will be awarded to the team with the most riders in all races combined.
“We are practically ready,” Metichecchia said. “Basically, at this point, we have to gather the volunteers, prep them, and make sure that the day before the race we’re picking up packages. On the day of the race, we will all meet at 7 am and mark the course”.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on April 8, 2022 at 8:35 pm to correct the start time of the 5K and to correct the course description.