Registration Open for 45th Memorial Day Race

Registration is open for the 45th annual Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department’s Memorial Day Road Race, set for May 27 at noon. The scenic 5-mile race starts on Westside Road and finishes at the village green. 

Also known as the William F. Kelley Memorial Road Race, it was named for a 19-year veteran of the NVFD who died in 1996 at the age of 42. The race is the sole fundraiser for the fire department’s scholarship program.

The race predates the fire department’s management of it, however. In the 1970s, a group of Norfolk runners always ran together, going to various regional races. In 1978 they were inspired to create their own race in Norfolk and decided that Memorial Day would be a good day to hold it. 

The event attracted 56 runners the first year and grew rapidly to include hundreds of athletes. It was run informally for more than a decade before being turned over to the fire department as a fundraiser.

There are eight age divisions ranging from Junior (12 and younger) to Exalted (older than 70). A walkers’ division will start at 11:30 a.m. and will not be timed. A total of 58 awards will be presented during the closing ceremonies on the green. 

Registration is $35 until May 23 and increases to $50 from May 24 through May 26. There is no registration on the day of the race. To register online, click here.

Donations are needed to support the scholarship and can be made online or by mailing a check to Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department, Attn: Scholarships, 20 Shepard Rd., Norfolk CT 06058.  

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