Running for scholarships in Portsmouth


PORTSMOUTH — John Farley, president of the Portsmouth Business Association (PBA), wasn't sure what kind of turnout he'd have Saturday for the organization's fund-raising 3.75-mile run/walk in Common Fence Point.

"I was sweating it out," he acknowledged before the start of the race.

Luckily, the weather turned out to be perfect for a road race and 92 participants lined up on Common Fence Point Boulevard for the police-escorted start of the race.

All proceeds from the event, held in conjunction with the Portsmouth 375th Celebration (hence the race's designated length), went to the PBA Scholarship Fund.

Each year, the PBA awards scholarships to two exceptional Portsmouth High School students who intend to pursue a career in business. Participates paid $25 each to race, and they all received T-shirts.

Mr. Farley said about $2,000 was raised for scholarships at Saturday's event.

Two 16-year-olds came in first and second overall: Jackson Reaper with a time of 23 minutes and 25 seconds, and Jake Elmslie at 23:29.

The first female finisher was Cherie Charbonneau, at 25:06.

The first pregnant participant to finish was Molly Comerford, who ran with a stroller carrying her sleeping 14-month-old boy, Teddy. Ms. Comerford is due in March. She ran the course in 29:52.

Among the other participants were Fire Chief Michael Cranson, School Committee Chairman David Croston and Doug Smith, chairman of the Portsmouth 375th Steering Committee.

Fellow steering committee member Bob Hamilton greeted finishers with sign-up sheets for another upcoming 375th event.

“If you did that, you can do our polar dive on December 31st,” he said. “The dive only takes 30 seconds.”

For complete race results, click here.

View more photos from the race in the gallery below.


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Thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, and participants for making the race a success. All proceeds from the race will go to the annual Portsmouth High School Scholarship awarded to 2 students by the Portsmouth Business Association.

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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.