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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 28, 2008

Altamont gearing up for 11th annual 5K

By Jordan J. Michael

ALTAMONT –– “Being around for 11 years is a big deal in this town,” said Phil Carducci. “You don’t get any credit here unless you’ve been active for at least 10 years.”

Carducci, 59, a resident of Altamont since 1993, is the organizer for the Altamont 5K Run/Walk. He hosted the first run in 1998.

“When I came here, I wondered why there wasn’t an annual race in town,” said Carducci. “I decided to change that, but I didn’t really know who to ask.”

Eventually, Carducci got in touch with the late Reid Northrup, the manager of the Altamont Fair. Together, the two organized the first-ever 5K run in town. Northrup’s legacy is represented at the race.

“I named the award given to the winners after him,” said Carducci. “The Reid F. Northrup Award. He was a great man who did great things for this town.”

In 1998, ninety-nine people signed up for the race. Now, 300 to 400 participants show up every year. “People come from all over, even out of the country,” said Carducci. “Racers hear about it through the Internet, where there are lots of race calendars.”

The run starts on Gun Club Road at Bozenkill Park. It used to be held around the fairgrounds. Carducci says that the new course is a lot better. “You see a vast amount of the area with this new track, instead of a bunch of hay,” he said.

Last year, live music was played along-side the course. The acoustic performers start towards the middle of the race and follow all the way to the finish line. “The people really enjoy the live tunes,” said Carducci. “It adds an extra spice to the race.”

There will be a post-race drawing with over 100 prizes at stake. The gifts include New York Giants, New York Jets, and Albany River Rats tickets.

In 2007, the men’s winner was decided by one second on the clock. Victor George, of Schenectady, grabbed the win and is back to defend the title this year. Many of the same men and women compete every year. “Some people come to win and some people come to run,” said Carducci.

The run/walk starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23. All benefits go to the Altamont Community Food Pantry. Kids races start at 10 a.m. Volunteers are always welcome to help.

Carducci is determined to make this an annual event for decades to come. “Hopefully, this will be around long after I’m gone,” he said. “That way, they can name an award after me.”

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