41st Annual Montague Mug Race returns on Saturday

  • Runners start out from the Town Common during the 40th Montague Mug Race last year in Montague Center. The popular event returns this Saturday. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/18/2022 4:05:16 PM
Modified: 8/18/2022 4:05:20 PM

The 41st annual Montague Mug Race, to be held at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday, continues to honor a legacy left by those who previously ran it.

The 5.5-mile road race, which awards winners with celebratory pewter mugs, began in 1981 as the “Old Home Days Road Race.” Additionally, there will be a two-mile “Mini Mug Race,” beginning at 8:35 a.m., that invites participants to walk. Both races begin at the Montague Center Common.

In addition to the usual mugs, race director Ann Fisk said this year’s race will also award somebody “who runs with a lot of heart, a lot of spirit and a lot of enthusiasm” with the Tracy Turn Spirit Award this year, honoring the former race participant and prize’s namesake. In 2003, Turn “suffered a major medical event that would have kept most people from running” on the particularly “hot and muggy day,” according to Fisk.

“But Tracy was determined to compete,” Fisk explained in an email, recalling Turn’s final Mug Race. “When she took the final turn and sprinted to the finish line, her face lit with sweat, a huge smile and Olympic cheers.”

Following this show of heart, the late David Kaynor, a gifted fiddler and star Mug Race runner who was honored during last year’s event, composed a song called “Tracy’s Turn” in tribute. Fisk said Kaynor’s friends will be playing the tune to honor both Turn and Kaynor, who died in June 2021, at the race’s final turn this year.

Those interested in participating in this year’s Mug Race can register online (runreg.com/montague-mug-race). Last year’s race included over 100 runners, a turnout Fisk had called “phenomenal” and later said would likely be unmatched.

“You never know,” she said of this year’s turnout, maintaining optimism. “Weather’s looking good, so that could be a plus.”

It costs $22 to register for the 5.5-mile event and $12 for the two-mile loop. Proceeds benefit the Montague Center Fire Department.

Additionally, there will be a tag and clothing sale outside the First Congregational Church of Montague from 8 to 11:30 a.m. while the race commences. Falls Farm will also have a vegetable stand and the Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust will have an information table. Finally, after fiddlers perform at the race’s finish line, spectators are invited to enjoy fiddle music on the common beginning at 10 a.m.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.

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