Around the Bay Road Race

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Winner Jim Duffy (1912) on the bridge over Burlington Canal.

The Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest long distance road race in North America, held in Hamilton, Ontario since 1894. It is not marathon length, nor has it continuously run (thus the Boston Marathon, founded in April 1897, is the longest running marathon, and the nearby Buffalo Turkey Trot, established November 1896, is the longest continually running footrace). The 30 kilometre race is also known as the Billy Sherring Memorial Road Race.[1] It is also called the 30K Around The Bay.

The more recent addition of a 5 kilometre walk or run now provides everyone with the opportunity to participate.[2]

All races start on York Boulevard, one block west of the Copps Coliseum. All races finish inside Copps Coliseum. On Sunday, March 29, 2007, over 9000 participants crossed the finish line.[3]

In 2005, the Around the Bay Road Race partnered with St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation and, for the first time became a fundraising event. The hospital, on James Street South, has been serving the community since 1890.[2]

History[edit]

The Hamilton Herald Newspaper and cigar store owner "Billy" Carroll, originated and sponsored the first "Around the Bay Road Race", run on Christmas Day, 1894. The race tested the abilities of the finest long distance runners, but was also an avenue to lay down some bets. In the early 20th century, Jack Caffery and William Sherring battled it out and won two "Bay" races each. Caffery went on to stun the Americans at the Boston Marathon in 1900, by being the second Canadian to win Boston and the first to run under two hours and 40 minutes on the course.

To add insult to injury, Hamilton's William Sherring and Fred Hughson placed second and third, behind Caffery, making it a Canadian sweep. Caffery rubbed it in even further by coming back the next year 1901, to win Boston again, this time in under two hours and 30 minutes.[4]

Not to be outdone by Caffery, William Sherring went on to win the 1906 Olympic Marathon in Athens, Greece, making him a Canadian hero.

Scotty Rankine holds the distinguished honour of seven wins, established in the late 1930s and early 1940s, while Peter Maher won his fifth Bay race in 1996, tying the record of local Gord Dickson, who had five wins in the late 1950s.

Top fundraisers[edit]

Top fundraisers of the event since 2005.[2][5]
Year Participant Funds raised
2008 Ted Michaels/ Connie Smith $60,000
2007 Ron Foxcroft $55,000
2006 Brian Mullan (Hamilton Police Chief) $50,000
2005 Dave Andreychuk $30,000

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Around the bay Road Race, (Official Site)". Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  2. ^ a b c "Around the Bay Road Race- Since 1894.". The Hamilton Spectator. 2007-03-22. pp. AB1. 
  3. ^ "Around the Bay Road Race will close streets today.". The Hamilton Spectator. 2007-03-29. 
  4. ^ "List of winners of the Boston Marathon". Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Bay Race registration sets torrid pace". The Hamilton Spectator. 2007-11-27. 

External links[edit]