Sawmill River Run 10K going virtual on New Year’s Day due to pandemic

  • Montague Center Library. Staff Photo/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • Montague Center. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Montague Common Hall in Montague Center. Staff Photo/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2020 6:29:45 PM
Modified: 12/15/2020 9:01:04 PM

The Sawmill River Run, a yearly New Year’s Day race in Montague, has been changed to a virtual format this year to accommodate the pandemic.

The race is still a 10K distance, but participants are encouraged to create their own routes, and can run at any time within a window of four days. Race times can be submitted online either manually, or through certain fitness tracker apps, according to Montague Parks and Recreation Director Jon Dobosz.

The race will be open from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3. Registration can be accessed at the URL or through the Montague Parks and Recreation Facebook page. The entry fee is $15. The deadline to register is Dec. 30.

Traditionally, the Sawmill River Run is held in Montague Center on New Year’s Day. This year, as it became clear that the pandemic would not resolve itself before then, Dobosz said, organizers began looking to other local races, many of which were converting to a virtual format.

“It was in the back of our heads over the summer that there was a good chance we would have to go virtual,” he said. “By mid-October, it was pretty clear that that was what we needed to do.”

The virtual format may make the race more accessible, Dobosz said. He noted that it is now open to people who may have participated in the past, but might not live in the area anymore.

The race has no defined route. Participants chart their own 10K run, and submit their race times online.

“In a way, it’s an honor system,” Dobosz said.

The money raised through the entry fees goes to the Montague Parks and Recreation Department’s scholarship, which allows Montague children to participate in town recreation programs if their families can’t afford it.

Registration for the race has been slow so far, Dobosz said, but it usually tends to pick up closer to the deadline.

“I’m sure that as we get closer to the first date of the race, people will start to register,” he said.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-930-4231.

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