Since its inception 38 years ago, Reds Race has grown to become one of Dover's most anticipated, prestigious and historic road races, and a hugely successful annual charity fundraiser that strengthens the community by raising money for six local non-profits who provide important services to many of Strafford County's most vulnerable residents.
Reds Race was conceived in 1981 as Red's Shoe Barn 5 Mile Road Race, organized and sponsored by Red's Shoe Barn. For many serious local runners, Reds Race marks the unofficial start of the Seacoast racing season, long considered one of the best and most competitive local road races and often utilized as a final 'training run' in preparation for the annual Boston Marathon.
Reds Road Race's popularity grew through the 80's, 90's and early 2000's, and participation soared, peaking at over 400 runners. So too did the logistical challenges of organizing and conducting the race. After 25 years of organizing and sponsoring the race, Red's Shoe Barn General Manager Dave Whitehouse reimagined the event as a vehicle to raise money for community organizations, and passed the baton to the Rochester Runners Club. A new vision for the race emerged, its focus and ultimate purpose evolving into a charitable fundraiser that enriches the community by raising money to help local non-profits fund important community support services.
In 2007 the race was rechristened Reds Race for a Better Community and event organizers were expanded to include seven local non-profit beneficiaries. The race start time was changed from 1pm to 10am, and what has become an increasingly popular untimed 2.4 mile walking route was added to the existing timed 5 mile run to make the event more accessible to a broader range of participants.
In 2014, Reds Race became one of the first of 11 races in what is now the very popular Dover Race Series. This year, Reds Race is also one of the eight races that comprise the New Hampshire Grand Prix road running series.
Today, Reds Race participants include serious runners, recreational joggers and walkers, individuals, groups, families and community members of all ages and abilities. Over the past 10 years event participation has increased by more than 100%. Last year's event turned out over 1,000 walkers and runners from all over New Hampshire!
Reds Race for a Better Community offers a challenging and beautiful course that brings the community together for a great cause and a good time. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get outside, shake off winter and celebrate Spring. Don’t miss the fun!
Reds Road Race 2019 benefits these local non-profits who help organize the race and provide volunteers to help conduct the race:
Community Action Partnership of Strafford County
Dover Adult Learning Center
Monarch School of New England
Seymour Osman Community Center
Woodman Park Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)