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A few weeks ago after the Friends of Kell announced it has received donations for five numbers to next month's Boston Marathon that it received from the Boston Athletic Association, I started thinking about what other races it could get numbers from to raise money for the proposed statue of the late John Kelley.
One jumped out right away: the 52nd Mount Washington Road Race on June 16. It sells out quickly each year and Kelley is the only man to have won the Boston Marathon and the Mount Washington race.
A few weeks ago I mentioned the idea to Kelly fund president Jim Roy, who told fund treasurer Spyros Barres, who then contacted Mount Washington race director Mike Lane.
The Friends of Kell has just learned that Mount Washington will provide them with five numbers to this year's race.
Roy said this week that they will ask people to donate or raise $500 to secure one of the numbers. Those who get a number also have to pay the race entry fee of $80.
The race is a grueling one in which you climb 4,650 feet in just 7.6 miles.
According to the race web site, the course has an average grade of 12 percent with extended sections of 18 percent and the last 50 yards is a 22 percent "wall" to the finish.
Running Mount Washington is not only a great experience but one which is getting harder and harder to have, as many runners are disappointed when they come up short in the lottery.
About 2,000 people entered last week's lottery for a number to this year's race, but just 1,200 received one and that was after the size of the field was increased.
"I'm personally not interested in running up that hill but I know a lot of local runners who want to do it but they've got shut out," Roy said. "Any money we can get for the Kelley fund puts us ahead of the game."
The nonprofit fund will also hold a cocktail party on May 12 from 5-9 p.m. at St. Edmund's Retreat Center on Enders Island in Mystic.
Tickets are $50 each and there will be a cash bar. All proceeds will benefit the statue fund. There will be hors d'oeuvres and music as well as a guest speaker. All proceeds will go to the Kelley statue fund.
"This is a great opportunity for us," Roy said. "It will be a nice gathering."
As for the statue's eventual location, Roy said he met last week with members of the Mystic River Park Committee and they are now considering the idea of having the statue in the downtown Mystic park where it would be seen by tens of thousands of residents and tourists each year.
So far the Friends of Kell has collected $14,000 and has verbal commitments for more donations. The life-sized statue is estimated to cost about $100,000.
Roy can be reached at email@example.com. More information about the statue and donations can be made at www.johnkelley.org.
Donations can also be sent to Roy at John Kelley Memorial Fund, c/o Jim Roy, 58 Cottage Street, Groton, 06340.
While no major donors have yet stepped forward, Roy said there's something satisfying about collecting the money bit by bit from fellow runners and those who knew Kelley.
Sort of like all those miles Kelley had to run before he won the Boston Marathon.
On the schedule
• Here's an interesting event for all you triathletes. The University of Rhode Island will hold an indoor biathlon consisting of a 500-yard pool swim followed by a 5K on its indoor track on Sunday at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $25 and you can find more information at www.uri.edu.recservices
• The 19th Annual St. Joseph's School 3-mile road race will be held at the Baltic School on March 31 at 9:30 a.m. A half-mile kids fun run will start at 9 a.m. The school is located at the intersection of School Hill Road and Route 207.
For more information contact race director Glenn Costello at (860) 886-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also at runningintheusa.com/stjosephschoolrace.
Joe Wojtas is The Day's running columnist.