With the 50th anniversary of the Granby Road Race quickly approaching, we wanted to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some fond memories of races from previous years.
The Granby Road Race has a long history in our community and continues to bring all kinds of people together. The YMCA is proud to represent a race with such a rich communal history and is grateful for the proceeds that sponsor children and families to attend activities at the Y they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. Over the years, money raised from the race has been turned back into the community, either through scholarships or for YMCA financial assistance.
The Granby Road Race was founded by Dave Bale, Dave Hildreth and Dennis Lobo and the first Granby Road Race was held in May of 1972. It was called the “Eco-Fest-Footrace” and was only offered as a 6.5 mile run. According to a Granby Drummer article from 1972, participants had to be current or enrolling Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) members or high school student athletes. There were five categories that offered a prize, four were divided up by age range and one was a women’s category. In the early years of the race, there was even a race for kids at the track.
In the 50 years since that first race, a lot has changed. Now anyone of any age or ability can enter the road race and has the choice of the 5k or 10k course. The 10k course is unique because of the beautiful stretch through McLean Game Refuge. The 5k course remains on the road and flat fields of Salmon Brook Park and attracts lots of walkers and younger runners, and is stroller friendly. Prizes are given to both the top men and women in each of the two races.
The Granby Road Race is now run to honor the late Dave Schupp Jr., a Granby resident, daily runner and active tennis player. His father, Dave Schupp, has been actively engaged in the race and participates in race committee events. It is an honor for the Farmington Valley YMCA to hold the race in Dave Schupp Jr.’s honor.
The Farmington Valley YMCA is excited for the Sept. 18 race. Board Chair Jocelyn Mitchel said it best, “The Farmington Valley Y is honored once again to present the Granby Road Race, now in its 50th year! This community event, which unites participants of all ages, abilities and interests, is one of our favorite events and attracts runners and volunteers from across Connecticut and beyond. The Y is proud to offer an event that is so true to our core values of promoting healthy living and building a strong community. We are looking forward to bringing the community together once again for this special event, especially during these challenging times, when human connection and interaction is more vital than ever.”
Registration is open and the Y hopes to see you and your friends and family there. There are lots of events planned to celebrate 50 years of running with you. Register at ghymca.org/granbyroadrace