By: Taylor McKenna
For more than 20 years, the Rome Boulevard Road Race, once again, took place at AHS on Sunday, Oct. 6. The race, originally hosted by the grocery store Ro-Jacks for 14 years until they went out of business in 2005, is now sponsored by a number of prominent organizations.
“The road race really unifies the whole community for one giant cause, which is a great thing,” said Chelsey Sabilla (11).
When Ro-Jacks closed, AHS math teacher Mr. Jim Hawkins wanted the race to continue because he knew that people really enjoyed it. Hawkins, along with the Attleboro Education Association was in charge of the race for five years. Today there are additional sponsors such as the Bluefish Swim Club and Houghton Physical Therapy and Sports Conditioning.
All proceeds from the race are donated to the AHS Athletic program, pool improvements and maintenance, and other student programs. Other sponsors for the race include Sodexo, Bristol County Savings Bank, The Clam Shack, and Whitsons, as well as the continued support of the AEA.
Last year, “a donation of $2,300 was given to the AHS athletic department to help defray the costs of students unable to afford user fees,” said AHS Athletics Director Mr. Mark Houle.
The entry fee this year was $26 for those running five miles and $21 for those running two miles. The race began and finished at AHS, including some rolling hills around the area. Walkers were welcomed.
“I love the fact that the whole town comes together to support one another. It really proves how fantastic this community is,” said Brittany Dixon (11).
“The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s (MTA) and the AEA support the race because they understood that students who perform well athletically also perform well academically,” said Hawkins.
AHS’ student council volunteered for the event, directing the race, signing runners in and making gift bags for them.
“The race turned out really well. Everybody who ran tried their best and did great,” said student council member Julia Paine (11).
The winner of the five mile race was Bronson Venable, age 23, from Wyoming, R.I. The winner of the two mile race was Elliot Kelly (12) from AHS.
“The race went wonderfully, considering the weather,” said Hawkins.