15th annual Bunny Hop approaches

One of the warmest winters on record seems to have motivated runners and walkers to start walking outside early this year as the mild winds of February looked surprisingly like spring. Long before the race applications were printed, people started getting in shape for the annual spring ritual that the Beverly Waterford 5K Bunny Hop has become. The Bunny Hop, held annually the Saturday before Easter, April 15, is in its 15th year and is sponsored by the Beverly American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 389. The race benefits various community projects of the auxiliary as well as the Beverly Volunteer Fire Department and the Beverly-Waterford Emergency Squad.

Race day registration begins at 7 a.m. April 15, as well as packet pick-up for those pre-registered. The 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m., starting from the Fort Frye High School; the picturesque route winds through residential sections of Beverly and finishes back at Fort Frye High School. Walkers begin exactly five minutes after the runners start. Registration forms are available from area schools and businesses or can be obtained from the website, www.bunnyhop5k.com, which offers viewers an opportunity to see pictures from past races, print a map, and view a list of our generous sponsors. With the $15 pre-registration fee postmarked by April 7, entrants are guaranteed a Bunny Hop race T-shirt. Currently the T-shirt design is being selected from entrants in a logo contest at Fort Frye High School. Look for the announcement of this year’s winner soon. Race day registration will be $20.

Volunteers are a key part of the Bunny Hop, and local organizations and schools provide many. The Lions Club, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts line the race route while the Fort Frye and Waterford High School National honor societies distribute water at Dodge Park. Students in the art department at both Fort Frye participate in a contest to design a new T-shirt logo for the event. The Beverly Fire Department, Beverly Police and the Beverly/Waterford Rescue Squad offer safety, support and traffic control with their presence for racers at highway crossings and race headquarters. Part of the fun of this event is that all volunteers and race participants are entered into a post race door prize give-away.

The Bunny Hop is part of the River City Runners 2017 running and walking series.