NEWINGTON - As spring tries to get started, local athletes are preparing for racing season. The first local event will be presented by the Lucy Robbins Welles Library’s Board of Trustees.
The 22nd annual Library 5K Challenge is set for Sunday, May 20, at 9 a.m. It will start and finish in Mill Pond Park off Garfield Street, where board members will provide participants with prizes, refreshments, T-shirts and encouragement.
“It’s become a real community event,” library Director Lisa Masten said. “A lot of families run together. We see these younger kids who run the race year after year grow up into adults.”
Runners are eligible for prizes donated by local businesses and the top male and female finishers in each age division will receive medals. In addition, the first 250 people to register will take home race T-shirts.
Volunteers hope to see at least 300 people at the starting line this year.
Preregistration is $10 for children 12 and under and $20 for adults. Same-day registration is $10 for children and $25 for adults.
Registration forms are available at the library, 95 Cedar St., and online at raceentry.com. They can be dropped off at or mailed to the library.
The library board will put funds raised back into the facility, which has limited space for its growing number of visitors.
“One of the things we’re looking at right now is to purchase some mobile book units,” board President Diane Stamm said. “So when we have an event we can push them around to allow for a larger seating area.”
Books and CDs are on shelving in the main area of the library, which significantly limits activity space. The mobile units could be moved out of the way during events such the Friends of the Library’s annual Wine and Cheese Social, author visits and large cultural exhibits.
Girls 6 to 14 have a special opportunity to train for the race. Newington Parks and Recreation’s Girls in Stride program is meeting Tuesday evenings in Mill Pond Park through May 15. Coach Lisa Pillow leads girls through fun games and drills, introducing them to goal-setting, nutrition and mental preparation. Participants record their training in journals. The cost is $79 for residents and $89 for non-residents.
The library will celebrate Willy Wonka this month. It begins with a screening of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” during Family Movie Day Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m. This will be followed by Desserts Ever After on Sunday, May 20, from 2-4 p.m. Visitors are invited to take pictures with the cast from the Newington Children’s Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr.” There will be games and ice cream. Tickets are $5 per person and available at the Adult Information Desk.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
WHAT: The Lucy Robbins Welles Library’s 5K Challenge
WHEN: Sunday, April 20 at 9 a.m.
WHERE: Mill Pond Park, Newington