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Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Announces Expansion of Kiwanis Kingston Classic

Event will keep traditions but will now have five races, a new partner and a new name

 

KINGSTON, N.Y. (Jan. 6, 2014) — Ulster County Executive Mike Hein today announced exciting changes that are coming for the Kiwanis Kingston Classic, including the addition of more races, a new partner and a new name.

The event, now in its 32nd year and organized by the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, is scheduled for April 27, 2014. It will feature the same traditional Classic 10K distance race that has been a favorite of runners in years past, but new races have been added to accommodate runners of all levels. There will also be a Friends & Family Mile, 5K, a 13.1-mile half-marathon and a 2015 Boston Marathon 26.2-mile qualifying marathon. All events will start and end inside Dietz Memorial Stadium in Kingston and will follow routes past some of Ulster County’s most noteworthy features.

 

HITS Endurance of Saugerties will assist the Kiwanis Club of Kingston in managing the expanded event, which is now identified as the Kiwanis Kingston Classic, presented by HITS Endurance. Both organizations will work together to promote the 2014 Kingston Classic locally, regionally and beyond.

 

“The Kiwanis Kingston Classic is a fun, family-oriented springtime tradition that has been part of Ulster County for years,” County Executive Hein said. “None of that will change. Now, however, as the Kiwanis Club of Kingston and HITS Endurance partner to create a greater variety of race distances for this event, it has the potential to be a major tourism draw for Ulster County as more runners come to experience the marathon and the other races.”

 

“The City of Kingston is of course proud to host the Kiwanis Kingston Classic, presented by HITS Endurance,” Shayne Gallo, mayor of the City of Kingston. “Expanding the day to include five races that have runners and onlookers enjoying many sites of the city and the county will be a wonderful way to show off what we have to offer.”

 

Current Kiwanis President Greg Riley said event organizers are projecting that in the first year the event will draw more than double the number of participants when compared to last year’s 1,068 for both the 10K and the 2.1-mile run/walk.

 

In 2010, the Kiwanis Club of Kingston took over the Classic with a goal to grow the event. Riley said the Kiwanis Club expected the event would continue to grow but likely plateau at about 1,500 runners in five years. With the partnership with HITS and adding races, however, there was the opportunity to really grow.

 

“The Kiwanis Club and Classic organizers are very happy to partner with HITS Endurance,” Riley said. “This relationship, the larger event and more runners bring a whole different dynamic to marketing Ulster County. There is nothing like it between New York City and Albany. Within a 140-mile radius there was no true marathon but now we’ll have one.”

 

Much of the profits from the race will continue to influence local youth programs and to fulfill the mission of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston.

 

On the Saturday night before the race, registered runners will again be invited to carb-load by dining with their competitors and enjoying camaraderie, pasta and music, he said. HITS Endurance is expanding and organizing the catering.

 

Maps of the races can be accessed at http://hitsrunning.com/kingston-classic/maps.

 

Under the new partnership, the event will be managed by an event planning committee consisting of three members of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston (Riley, Joe Fay and Carlos Perez) and three HITS staff members. The committee will address all aspects of race logistics. 

 

Fay, a past president of the Kiwanis Club, said he wants all sponsors that have participated in the past three years to participate again this coming year under the expanded format. “My hope is that the sponsors for the past three years will remain as sponsors and see that adding three more races and adding thousands more people will give them much more exposure during the weekend.”

 

HITS, known locally as Horse Shows in the Sun, was founded by Tom Struzzieri and has expanded to manage running and multisport events nationwide as HITS Endurance. The world's leader in hunter/jumper horse shows, HITS ventured into triathlon race production in 2011, attracting nearly 10,000 participants to events across the U.S. Using the same concept of offering multiple races over the course of one weekend, HITS Running Festivals was born in 2013, hosting its first event in Omaha, Neb., and attracting more than 4,000 participants.

 

For HITS Endurance, it is about creating an extraordinary event in its home county. “This area is our home and we have seen the positive effects that these races can have on local communities,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS Endurance president and CEO. “We want to see that happen in Kingston. With our event production experience and the community ties of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, this event will continue to be a community favorite for runners of all levels.”

 

Registration for the Kiwanis Kingston Classic, presented by HITS Endurance is currently open through Active.com and will offer significantly discounted rates through Dec. 31. For more information or to register, visit http://hitsrunning.com/kiwanis-kingston-classic-register-to-race.