WEST POTSDAM – Nearly 600 participants are expected at the 13th annual Hobble Gobble Prediction Run/Walk will be held Saturday, Nov. 20 starting from the West Potsdam Bingo Hall, Blanchard Road at 11:15 a.m.
Registration on race day is from 9:15 to 11 a.m. at the bingo hall. The total number of walkers and runners is capped at 600.
The race benefits several worthy causes, most notably the Potsdam Holiday Fund, which assists hundreds of families and senior citizens each year with food baskets, and hundreds of children with Christmas gifts and warm winter clothing.
As of Monday, more than $10,000 had already been raised, according to Race Director Derry Loucks. A total of 476 people had already pre-registered. In previous years, as many as 100 more have registered on race day.
Each year’s entrants came from regions throughout New York State and Canada, and elsewhere.
The idea behind the annual “prediction” event is that runners or walkers will predict how long it will take them to complete an as-yet unrevealed course. Those 12 who are closest to their actual times, six on the short course of about four miles and six on the long course of about seven miles, will win a turkey.
There are dozens of other prizes, including a grand prize of a $300 gift certificate from Capital Tickets for concerts, hockey games and other events at Ottawa’s Scotia Bank Place. There will be random drawings for over $2,000 more in prizes.
No ordinary race, the Hobble Gobble typically draws several hundred competitors not just for the race, but for the fun of having music and cheerleaders along the routes, along with food, goodie bags, T-shirts and medals.
Loucks says he gets satisfaction from notes and extra donations attached to registrations, like the people from Ottawa who said that they’ve run the race in the past and have been bringing friends to join them in the fun.
Registration is $25, with Canadian funds taken at par. Checks or money orders, along with a registration form, can be mailed to Race Director Derry Loucks, 77 Blanchard Rd., Potsdam, NY, 13676. Registration forms are online at northernrunner.org. You can also register online at eventsonline.ca.
Restrooms and Porta Potties will be available. Competitors’ use of timing devices, iPods or music players is not permitted.
For more info, call Loucks at 265-5510 or 265-5791.