Community Strings Project trades strings for laces in 5k race

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It took months of planning for the Community String Project to hold its first road race, but for Jeremey Lipinski of Pittsfield, Mass., it was over in 17 minutes. For Brooke Merriam, her morning run was over in just over 21 minutes.

Nearly 50 runners and walkers braved chilly weather Saturday morning where they gathered prior to the start of the 9 a.m. race.

Fueled by hot coffee, pastry and bagels, runners fought off the chill. Nearby, Jeremy McVay of McVay Physical Therapy and a therapist from Bristol Chiropractic offered stretching and massages to participants before and after the race.

Stan Renard, executive director for the Community String Project, wore a bib number, but was more focused on the warmth of music than the spirit of competition.

“The money we raise will help pay for students who can’t afford the program,” he said. “We are in the four elementary schools in Bristol and Warren, and we have the KMS middle school orchestra.”

In addition, the Community Strings Project offers adult music education, teaching violin, viola and cello to students from the east bay.

“We hope to make this an annual event,” Mr. Renard said of the road race.

Winners of each age group were awarded medals for their finish, with trophies awarded to the first male and female who crossed the finish line.

For complete results, go to http://www.coolrunning.com/results/12/ri/Nov3_1stAnn_set1.shtml

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.