|By Courtney Llewellyn|
Reminder Assistant Editor
WILBRAHAM The time is drawing near. Soon Wilbraham will be overflowing with peach pie, peach ice cream, peach everything.
To combat all the consumption of peach treats, the last day of the annual Peach Festival will once again incorporate the third annual Peach Road Race.
A five-mile course that gives runners a truly scenic view of Wilbraham, the race starts at the Soule Road School, then travels along Pleasant View Road, up to Brentwood Drive and finishes in Fountain Park. (For a full map of the course, please visit www.peachfestival.org/roadrace.htm.)
Prizes will be awarded to the top five runners in both the male and female categories. All participants will receive a T-shirt and a free pancake breakfast.
The Peach Road Race was established in 2005 to raise funds for local high school student scholarships. The 158 runners in 2006 helped to raise the money for two $1,000 scholarships to Minnechaug Regional High School students Andrew Spirito and Carolyn Talmadge.
Roger Fontaine, Jr., a member of the town's Race Committee, stated that scholarships applicants must be from local high schools and should participate in athletics, community service and other activities.
"We went from four applicants our first year to 24 last year, so we need to keep the scholarship funds growing," he said.
Once again sponsored by the Knights of Columbus #10195, the race this year also includes a 1.5 mile fun run/walk. Fontaine believes the addition of the shorter course will help the committee reach its objective of 200 participants.
"We want to be able to give more local students a chance to win scholarship money for college," Fontaine said.
This year, the race will take place on Aug. 19, starting at 8:30 a.m. The fun run/walk is to start at 8:15 a.m.
Runners or walkers who plan on participating will be able to sign up online within the next few weeks. The entry fee for registration is $18 in advance or $20 on the day of the race.
The registration form will be available online at www.peachfestival.org/roadrace.htm or at the Knights of Columbus site, www.kofc10195.org.