Rising Above Cancer

Next weekend, we are working with Lifespan Cancer Institute to help execute their fundraising 5k.  This is the 2nd annual family fun day with nearly 600 participants across the various distances. The event includes a USATF certified 5k, a 1 mile walk, kids races and loads of vendors and health care professionals providing free screenings, advice and more.

As race directors, we get to hear amazing stories as to why people are running – they have overcome disease, fought obesity, come out of abusive relationships, beat addictions – they are all so inspiring.  But having been personally touched by cancer – losing two of my closest friends and helping my husband fight his battle, this race hits close to home.

We are excited to be a part of this event, knowing the money raised stays locally and helps families that are going through what we went through – to have that support when you need it most, when you aren’t able to think clearly and you are just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, to get through the battle.

We will be there to help those patients, families, friends and supporters raise funds so that the battle can still be waged.  We are excited to watch you put one foot in front of the other again, but in the best way possible.  Maybe you thought you would never be able to run again, maybe you used running to get through your cancer treatment, maybe you are running because you now can – whatever your reason, it is the best reason of all.

We have all been touched by cancer in some form. Please consider joining us on Saturday, July 22nd in City Park, Warwick – and come join the race.  It is sure to be a day filled with some amazing emotions!

Register now

2017 Independence Rhode Race

The 3rd annual Independence Rhode Race kicked off on Saturday, July 1st, from Independence Park in Bristol, RI.  The half marathon started on Thames St.  before winding through the quintessential downtown, past the America’s Cup Museum, followed part of the parade route and then headed out along Poppasquash Rd to the trails at Colt State Park and returning to the waterfront for the finish. 

The year’s event had nearly 600 finishers in its sold out race.  Eric Lonegan of  N. Kingstown easily won the race, with a time of 1:14, beating the second place finishers by nearly 6 mins. The first Bristol resident to finish was Bryce O’Brien, a recent Mt Hope graduate who runs for his college team of Bates, finishing in 1:23 for 3rd place overall. 

On the women’s side, Molly Schultz of Howell, MI was the first place female with a time of 1:29.  Catherine Webb of Bristol was our first local female finisher.

While participants represented 28 states and 4 countries, the race was really a chance for the East Bay community to show off with volunteers from Mt Hope and Portsmouth sports teams and clubs as well as a strong representation from our running community.  Lisa Brown from Walpole, MA commented, “The Bristol Independence Half Marathon was the most beautiful race I have ever done. Most of the course traversed through  Colt State Park on bike trails. Pretty ocean views prevailed and running with this group was a blast!! Nice 6:30 AM start helped beat the heat, although the humidity had us soaked by the end of mile 1! Great support during and after the race. The Rhode Races are awesome. Can’t wait for the next one in September.”

The race benefits the Bristol 4th of July Celebration as well as other local charities, including the Bristol Warren Education Foundation, Mt Hope High School Boosters and the Angie K Dolan Memorial Foundation.

The Bristol Independence Rhode Race is part of the Rhode Race Series; 5 half marathons in the scenic towns of Newport, Providence, Bristol, Jamestown and Narragansett.  Learn more at #RunRI

Who we are:  Rhode Races & Events is a full service, sports events marketing company providing turn key event management.  We are a RI Benefit Corporation and execute over 10 events a year in Rhode Island.  Our most notable events are the , Newport Rhode Race, Providence Marathon and the Ocean State Rhode Race but our portfolio  includes a charity 5ks, a Wine Run and a non-profit family fun race.

A Family Affair

After a long off-season of planning, we have just wrapped up our 1st race of the year and have a short turn around time before the mack-daddy of Rhode Island races – The Providence Rhode Races.

The Newport race was so important to Karen and I – to start off the year on the right foot, for redemption anProposal-4935d just for the love of it.  We ended
up having a beautiful race day, we saw quite a few PRs and BQs and we even had TWO marriage proposals at the finish line.

It was so humbling to us to be a part of someone’s BIG moment like this, even some small part.   And as Proposal-4982is often the case, we get a bit introspective at the end of each race because we get to see so many emotions in our racers: struggle, determination and joy throughout the day. The finish line really is such a happy place.

We often say that for us, hosting a race is like inviting guests over to our home.  We want to throw a great party, have everything go perfectly and provide you a great memory.  We know that it took an awful lot of work for you to get to the starting line and we hope to give you the experience that reflects that work.

A race is a personal journey and it often requires the support of your family with the time and emotional work that it takes.  Our families support us in a different but similar way in helping us all enjoy the same event.  What you may nofunny finisht know is that we are truly a Mom and Pop show, well – more like Mom and Mom.  But we have our husbands, kids, friends and family all working behind the scenes to help us give you that memorable experience.

We would like to thank them – for supporting us, working with us, ENDURING us and allowing us to continue to be a part of this combined journey with you.fist pump finish

And thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your journey to the finish line.  We are all family now.

Ready to Launch

As I have said before – “running” a road race requires the same amount of pre-race prep, as does actually running the race.  We spend our off-season doing the unglamorous work of planning our race strategies, making tweaks to what went wrong last year and learning to improve and grow for this year.

Sound a lot like your running off-season?

Sometimes during your training, you may be struck by injury and incur a set back and have to redefine your plan.  This off-season, I have been struggling with my own inability to run.  Dealing with two different concurrent injuries, I have been sidelined since January – the longest time I have gone without running since High School (I won’t say how long that is)

Like many of you, I define myself by being a runner.  I would plan my whole week around a weather forecast, getting my run in each day was just as rote as brushing my teeth or taking a shower – it was just part of my daily routine.  After experiencing some serious injuries in ramping up for Boston in previous years, I had decided that I would give up LONG distance running so that I could continue to run into my later years.  I was perfectly happy with a 6-8 mi run each day with an occasional half marathon race to keep me feeling like I could still do the “endurance” stuff.

But now I can’t imagine what it will ever feel like to run pain-free. And I know I did this to myself as I didn’t listen to the experts – I sidelined yoga, I have never been much of a pre-run stretcher and it was just easier to go out and run each day – 6 days a week.  When I started to feel pain in my hips, I kept running through it.  And that led to the second injury in my Achilles – which was the run-stopper.

I have listened to Mike Silva from Foundation Performance enough to know I did everything wrong.  Now I am trying a variety of PT, dry needling, laser, Alter G treadmill runs – all in the hopes of getting back on the road.  I am not myself without being able to run outside.  I am sure many of you feel the same and have experienced the same disappointment from an injury.  We can all learn to be better runners, to listen to our bodies and not think we are infallible.

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Alter G Treadmill at Foundation Performance

So – in our efforts to provide a better overall race experience and as part of our mission to promote health and wellness – we are presenting our 2nd Annual RunStrong Clinic.  Mike Silva from Foundation Performance is back, as is Pete Russo from Russo Racing.  They will both cover training tips and strategies to get you to the starting line and have the best race you can plan for. Both Mike and Pete are leaders in Rhode Island for training and racing in their respective fields with years of experience and a top end client list.

And this time – when you are ready to launch, we will have learned from our mistakes and have some amazing tools to prevent a recurrence of injuries and strategies for running that we can use into our later years!

Hope you can join us.

Newport Rhode Races partners with The Heather Abbott Foundation

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Heather Abbott starting the Newport race in 2013.

As a runner in New England, the Boston Marathon is the Super Bowl of races.  It is iconic, it is historic and it is the pinancle race for a runner.  Many people work their whole lives chasing their BQs.  It is a bucket list item for them, the ultimate goal.  So when terrorists destroyed that happy place, that literal and figurative finish line – it was incomprehensible as to why.   They had taken something that was nothing but happiness and turned into something terrifying.

For too many reasons to list here, the bombing affected us deeply and personally.  But professionally, we had to host our own marathon just down the road and a few weeks after the bombing.  We had snipers in the river and in the bushes, armed guards at thscreen-shot-2017-02-14-at-6-16-44-ame start line and dogs sniffing for explosives.  It was a very scary time in our nation and our New England running community.  But the race went off without a hitch, notwithstanding so many tears at the finish – of relief, of accomplishment, of joy. Runners can’t be stopped and won’t be afraid. We had invited runners that did not get a chance to finish Boston to the Providence race so they could finish what they started and show the terrorists that they would not win.  Watching people finish that year was truly awe-inspiring.  It was an incredibly screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-6-19-55-amemotional day and made us feel that we might be able to run without fear again.  It is where our motto can to be – “The happiest place on earth is a finish line.”

NPR – Providence Marathon Runs Undeterred by Terrorism Fears

Later on that same year, we hosted another marathon in Newport.  We were still (and likely still are) feeling the pain and confusion from the April bombings, trying to make sense of it all.  We invited Newport native and bombing survivor, Heather Abbott, to start the race.  Heather was one of the most positive and uplifting people we had ever met.  My encounter with her was inspiring and unforgettable.  At the time, she was so looking forward to being able to wear heels again! 🙂

This year we are hosting Newport again.  On the five year anniversary of the Boston Bombing.  It is highly symbolic for us.  To overcome, to not let fear keep us down, to show that running is inspiring and can change lives and that no one can take that away from us.

To this end, we can think of no better way to honor this than to partner with Heather again and designate her charity as the beneficiary of this race.  Heather’s positivity, her cause and her story are so inspiring.    Please consider making a donation to the Heather Abbott Foundation and show those that attempt to keep us off the starting line that we won’t be kept down.

“Thanks to Rhode Races and all of the runners for supporting HAF in our beautiful home base, Newport, RI.  Good luck and thank you for embodying our motto – #LiveYourLife!!” -Heather Abbott

#Run401 – The RI Running Tour

I used to travel for work quite a bit and my favorite way to explore the new locations was to run.  I felt you never really got to know a city unless you ran through the streets,  expecially before anyone else really was awake.  You smelled the various scents, get a little lost on some side streets, checked out the restaurants you wanted to try and really get the vibe of thrunning-into-npte whole scene.  These intangibles can’t be found from the back seat of a taxi cab or navigating through pedestrian traffic.  You got to explore the city as the locals did – on foot and intimately.  There are some amazing cities to run in (Seattle, Philadelphia and Austin being my all time fav) and some not so great cities (HELLO – Las Vegas, yikes!) – but I wouldn’t trade any of them for the running we have here in RI.

Most people think RI running and then think OCEAN!  Well, yes – we have miles of that, we aren’t called the Ocean State for nuthin’.  But my favorite part of running throweb-sized-promo-120ugh RI is the sheer variety of beauty that can be seen while out for a jog. The awe-inspiring coastal views are certainly selfie-worthy but I love the quiet backroads of the farms, incredible architecture of the colonial homes, the birds in the estuaries and the historic bridges that abound.  Most of this can all be seen in the same run.

Rhode Races is incredibly lucky to be able to produce events in the most iconic locations Rhode Island has to offer.  From the gilted mansions and famous Ocean Dr. in Newport to the funky arts and cultural capital of Providence with the river running through it.  Out to Bristol where it just feels like the town bleeds the red, white and blue of patriliz_3422otism, to Jamestown with its quaint island life, finally to Narragansett – the Happiest Seaside Village as rated by Coastal Living Magazine.  These five locations are the best RI has to offer for running with such a variety of views along the wayrace_1960_photo_45797472

It is our hope to take you on a tour as a local – show off the backroads and paths that can only be reached without a car, provide a course that highlights the best of each location, share the vibe of each different locality and enjoy some of the best running RI (ok, I will say it – the US) has to offer!

Hope you can join us for one – or all 5!  Learn more the RI Running Tour here. happy-in-foliage

Spring in Newport

April in New England conjures up many images – daffodils blooming, the grass turning greener, nature shaking off its winter coat and unfurling out its limbs. But for memorial-drive-uphill-startthose of us that are runners – it means marathon season!  Everyone gets into the marathon spirit in New England in April!    Many are either ramping up marathon training for a fall event or tapering for a Spring race.

It is a beautiful time to run – finally getting to reduce the layers, watching the flowers bloom on your favorite running route each day, seeing the animals come out of hibernation all “twitter-pated.”  The days are getting longer and warmer and everything feels fresh and new. The air feels clean and clear and we can enjoy being outside.

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There is no better place to celebrate running in New England and get into that marathon spirit than at our Newport Rhode Race.   Race weekend hosts 3 different distances for your Spring race goals.  You can use the full marathon to help qualify you for Boston, run the half marathon as part of your training for a later race or toe the line in the 5k as a great way to kick off the outdoor running season.

All 3 races start at beautiful Easton’s Beach and enjoy some of the best sights Newport is famous for – Memorial Blvd., wrought iron gates, historic mansions and sweeping ocean views.   This course was named the Most Scenic in the NorthEast by Competitor Magazine.

So we hope that you can join us in stunning Newport in April – see the daffodils
bloom, witness nature come alive and enjoy the awe inspiring Ocean Dr. as you welcome racing season and launch the start a new running adventure.