Colonial Rotary Club Dover Running Festival steps off fundraising

A 50-foot American flag is unfurled during last year’s Dover Running Festival. (Delaware State News file photos/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Runners and walkers, prepare to lace up your running shoes Tuesday for the Dover Running Festival featuring the 31st annual Dover Mile and Colonial 5K.

The Dover Mile, billed as “the fastest one-mile race in Delaware,” has been a regional favorite of runners and walkers since its inception in 1987.

Paul Jones, who will become the Colonial Rotary Club of Dover new president in July, believes people are drawn to the festival because it’s a good way to give back to local and national communities.

“We’re always excited about the event every year,” Mr. Jones said. “The Colonial Rotary Club of Dover is a nonprofit organization and the Dover Running Festival is our primary annual fundraiser.

“It’s always a great feeling giving back to those in need. So far this year we’ve raised $22,000 through our sponsors and we hope to raise more as the date gets closer, as 100 percent of the funds raised go directly back to the community through various Rotary initiatives.”

Some of these organizations include Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, Easter Seals (Camp Fairlee), Dover Fire Department, Capital School District’s Dictionaries for Every 3rd Grader, Polio Plus, Dover High Interact Club and scholarships for local students.

Both The Dover Mile and The Colonial 5K are on USA Track & Field-certified courses that will appeal to both competitive athletes and recreational fitness walkers and runners.

Participant times are recorded using microchip tracking technology to ensure accuracy.\

Rebecca, left, and Sadie Fournier take part in last year’s Dover Mile.

Mr. Jones also credits the festival’s success to different organizations being able to partake in the event each year.

“We’re getting better promotion,” Mr. Jones said. “We’ve opened the run to various organizations and not-for-profit organizations as well. They can register 10 or more participants and will have 80 percent of their total registration fees refunded to their organization.”

Mr. Jones said once the event starts he knows all the hard work put into the event by everyone will be all worth it.

“It’s a little taxing trying to get ready,” Mr. Jones said. “But it’s good. I knew that going into it. We’re trying to improve on things that only need to be improved. We have a great system and we want to stick to that. The former president wrote out a manual on how to run the festival.

“There were some great leaders before me, so I want to continue to carry the tradition. It’s going to be a great time for everyone.”

The rain or shine event begins with registration at 5 p.m. in front of Governor’s Cafe on Kings Highway. After check-in, participants in the Dover Mile will be transported by bus to the starting point on South State Street near South Dover Elementary School. The finish line will be on Kings Highway adjacent to Governors Café.

Dyce Bailey won last year’s Dover Mile.

Overall male/female winners will receive an encased American flag that has been flown over Washington’s Capitol building.

Patriotic opening ceremonies will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the Dover Mile beginning at 6. The Colonial 5K will begin at 6:30. Awards will be presented immediately following the 5K at 7:45 p.m. with a post-race party at Governor’s Cafe.

Event fees for registrations received by mail or online on or before Sunday are: $20 for The Dover Mile; $25 for The Colonial 5K; $40 for The Double Down (both events).

Entry forms are available from any Colonial Rotary member, by email at Ray@TriSportsEvents.Com or at Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting any member of Colonial Rotary.

Registration checks should be payable to Colonial Rotary Club of Dover, P.O. Box 1772, Dover, DE 19903.

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