CUMBERLAND – For those harriers who make the running of the annual Arnold Mills Four-Mile Road Race part of their Fourth of July morning, Race Director Tom Kenwood has a simple message.
In response to the concern over the ever-growing list of reports in reference to Tropical Storm Arthur and the potential it has to wreck havoc on the celebrations that are on the docket for Friday, Kenwood says that until otherwise, its still business as usual as far as the 46th running of Arnold Mills is concerned.
“Unless we get a direct hit from the storm, we’re running rain or shine,” Kenwood was saying on Wednesday. “We’ve run in the rain several times … runners would actually prefer to run in the rain. It’s a tradition where people will come out no matter what the weather is.”
When asked if a contingency plan has been taken under advisement in the event the rain proves too severe, Kenwood simply responded no.
“It has to go off no matter what,” said the longtime Cumberland High cross country and track coach.
Pre-registration has closed with Kenwood reporting that over 200 participants signed up ahead of Friday’s race, which begins at 9 a.m. at the North Cumberland Fire Station before proceeding west on Nate Whipple Highway. There will be a number pick-up between 4-6 p.m. on Thursday at the fire station for pre-entries. Kenwood plans to arrive at the race site at 6:30 on Friday morning. It’s become customary to see “day of” signees trickle in at around 8 a.m. The entry fee is a modest $12
“We can take care of the early birds that get there, but by 8:45, we like to try and cut off registration,” he pointed out. “Normally I get 300 to 400 people who register the morning of depending on the weather.”
As usual, a star-studded field will line up at the starting position. No Arnold Mills Road Race would be complete without the inclusion of Chris Magill, the Cumberland native and St. Raphael Academy who has captured six holiday races. Bobby Hartnett, a Cumberland High graduate and 2011 Arnold Mills victor, has also committed as well as Trevor Crawley, a 2013 Cumberland High graduate and sophomore-to-be runner at Providence College.
“Trevor hasn’t run (Arnold Mills) too many times in the past, but he got permission from (PC track coach) Ray Treacy to run two road races this summer. This is one of them and he’s looking to do well,” said Kenwood.
Brian Doyle, the son of former Rhode Island running legend Bobby Doyle, captured last year’s Arnold Mills, has yet to say one way or another where he’s running Friday.
“It’s a great reunion. I see hundreds of people who I’ve known over the years,” Kenwood said.
Also scheduled Friday is the Glocester Fourth of July Road Race, which gets underway at 9 a.m. at the Chepachet Union Church. There are four distances: 5.5 miles, 1.75 miles, one mile for children 12-years-old and under and half-a-mile for children under eight.
The cost is free for Glocester residents under 18, $5 for Glocester adult residents, $5 for non-residents under 18 and $10 for non-resident adults.
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03