Vergennes Day races go virtual
VERGENNES — Big parts of the annual Vergennes Day festivities on the final Saturday of every August are the road races (and walk) that kick off the day and the Rotary Club Rubber Ducky Race that closes out much of the daylight action.
City officials had to call off Vergennes Day this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but race enthusiasts are keeping those two traditional races alive online, and raising money for good causes while doing so.
“You might say the Little City has gone virtual,” said Rotary Club President Scott Gaines, who has also helped organize this year’s virtual road races as well as the watery competition.
The road races — 5, 10 or 15 kilometer runs or a 5K walk — will actually be completed, but individually at a time or the participants’ choice, as long as it is during the 31 days of August.
Participants can pay $20 to sign up for any one of the races and run them anywhere, or $30 to participate in what organizers are calling the “Triple Crown,” a chance to run in all three events on the city course and possibly win prizes.
Proceeds will benefit Addison County Home Health, & Hospice.
“We’d love to raise a bunch of money for this very worthwhile nonprofit,” Gaines said.
Gaines told the Vergennes City Council last week while seeking permission to put up publicity signs along city streets that he hoped 100 or more participants would sign up at runsignup.com/Race/VT/Vergennes/VergennesDayRace.
Later in the week he said the Triple Crown was catching runners’ eyes. Organizers will award a custom medal to all every runner who completes the Triple Crown; the fastest male and female finishers will win a customized crystalline award, customized T-shirt, and $100 in Vergennes green money to be spent at city stores.
Runners will be required to supply video evidence of each leg on the city course, and the collective times will determine the winners. Times can be submitted to [email protected]
“That’s the only timed event, the Triple Crown,” Gaines said. “There seems to be quite an interest in that event.”
The Rubber Ducky Race will be truly virtual, with no ducks at risk of breaking up on the rocks in the Otter Creek falls. The race will be animated and broadcast at vergennesrotary.org at 3 p.m. on Aug. 29.
Those interested may learn more at the Rotary website. Proceeds from the sales of duckies — one of $5, six for $25, 12 for $50, 24 for $100 — will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes meals program, a Bixby Library youth book program, the local food shelf, and the Rotary’s scholarship program.
The owner of the first-place duck will receive $250, while the second- and third-place amounts are $100 and $50, respectively.
Tickets may also be purchased at Linda’s Apparel and Gifts and Small City Market.
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