Thoroughbred horses won’t be the only ones running on the day of the Kentucky Derby. Ironstone Farm in Andover is launching a new road race, the Ironstone Derby, on May 3, as a fundraiser for its nonprofit organization that helps children with special needs, combat veterans and others.
Create a team of runners or walkers, and receive special rates. sign up at https://raceroster.com/events/2014/2403/ironstone-derby.
The Ironstone Derby will be a 5-mile run and 2-mile walk through Lowell, beginning and ending at LeLacheur Park, the home of the Lowell Spinners baseball team, a Single A Red Sox affiliate. After the races, people will be able to play games and watch the Kentucky Derby on the giant centerfield video screen. People have the opportunity to enjoy an all-you-can eat barbecue feast.
The special prices for teams of people are:
$20 per person – race or walk only
$25 per person – enjoy the barbecue feast only
$45 per person – do both the race or walk, and the all-you-can-eat barbecue feast. Then stay for games and watch the Kentucky Derby live on the centerfield scoreboard.
There will be a fun run inside the park for kids ($15), ending at the Spinners dugout, with other children’s activities, including a chance to make and race your own stick horses. Concessions will be open, and children running the fun run will receive a coupon for free food.
The 5-mile race will be a timed, USATF certified event.
The slogan for the Saturday, May 3 event is “Run for the Roses. Stay for the Party.” People can run the race, come to the party or do both. People can sign up at https://raceroster.com/events/2014/2403/ironstone-derby or by clicking the “Register for the Ironstone Derby” button on the www.ironstonefarm.org website.
Ironstone Farm is home to two nonprofits that use horseback riding and a farm environment to provide therapy helping children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. Additional therapeutic programs improve the lives of others, including veterans returning with post-traumatic stress, survivors of cancer, teens at risk and elders with memory issues.
For the race, Ironstone Farm has partnered with Dave McGillivray’s company DMSE, which also directs the Boston Marathon and, locally, events such as the Feaster Five Road Race in Andover.
“Every time I visit Ironstone Farm, I continue to be touched and in awe of the work they do and the results they generate. Just to see the smiles on the faces of these children receiving therapy on these beautiful horses is priceless. You can’t help but want to be part of this special environment,” says running legend Dave McGillivray. “The Ironstone Derby will give everyone an opportunity to support the wonderful work being done at the Farm while having a lot of fun by being involved in this unique and exciting road racing experience.”
“The ‘Run for the Roses – Stay for the Party’ event is a really important fundraiser for Ironstone Farm. We hope that it will bring new people into our ‘family’ – and we are so grateful to the Lowell Spinners and DMSE Sports for all their help to make it possible!” says Ironstone Farm Executive Director Deedee O’Brien.
The 5-mile and 2-mile events cost $35 for individuals. But people are welcome to join Team Ironstone for the day, or create a company, club, school or family team of their own to get the reduced rate of $20. Clubs, companies, schools, friends and families are encouraged to build teams of 10 or more runners or walkers.
The event is also an opportunity for people to raise money to support the nonprofit programs at Ironstone Farm. Prizes will be awarded to teams showing the most team spirit and raising the most money for Ironstone.
More than 200 people volunteer their time each week to help keep Ironstone Farm’s programs running strong. Clients come from more than 90 communities in Greater Boston, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire.
Top doctors and major medical institutions refer clients to Ironstone Farm because of its successful programs and reputation.
Peter Raffalli, attending physician for child neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital, is a member of the Ironstone Therapy board. He became aware of Ironstone in the 1990s, from patients who lauded the program. He so believes in the program that during one three-year stretch he was at the farm virtually every Saturday, dressed as a clown to entertain the children.
“Therapeutic riding uses the horse to deliver traditional physical, occupational, and speech therapy in a unique way - providing integration of fine motor, gross motor, speech and sensory integration in one experience,” says Dr. Raffalli.
For more information about Ironstone Farm’s nonprofit programs visit www.ironstonefarm.org.