The Greater Milford Boys & Girls club is currently preparing for the inaugural Arena’s Running of the Goat in downtown Milford. Set for Friday, August 21, the race will span several surfaces as runners will enjoy downtown Milford, the Mispillion Riverwalk and Goat Island Nature Preserve. Finishing at Arena’s Deli & Bar, participants can join in on the summer party being held at the restaurant, which will include live entertainment and local craft beer.
The Running of the Goat name for the event honors the newest addition to the Mispillion Riverwalk, the Goat Island Nature Preserve. A manmade island, Goat Island was created by local shipbuilders in the 1940’s as they needed to straighten out the path of the Mispillion River to make way for the wooden subchasers that were built in Milford shipyards. These subchasers were used in the larger war effort during World War II as many of them saw service around the world including Pearl Harbor, Normandy and Japan. The target area of the Goat Island project consists of a nine acre island located within the city limits containing four adjoining habitat environments: high woodland, tidal flooded woodland, tidal freshwater wetland marsh and open water. Goat Island Nature Park now anchors the eastern most phase of the Mispillion Greenway as the final phase of the Riverwalk project, resulting in a two mile pedestrian and bicycle path.
“We wanted to bring a sense of challenge and excitement that only a downtown race could bring. When we saw that we could incorporate Goat Island, downtown scenery, and the Riverwalk, we knew we had a slam dunk,” stated Event Organizer Joe Gannon.“I want people to remember that the Boys & Girls club of Milford throws a great event. When a community comes together for the betterment of future generations everyone benefits.”
After the race, the Presenting Sponsor Arena’s Deli & Bar will host an after party in their parking lot on NE Front Street with live entertainment and local craft beers from Mispillion River Brewing and Dogfish Head. The outdoor celebration can be enjoyed by non-runners as well by making a donation to the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club through an entrance fee. During that day and during the party, a portion of Arena’s sales will be donated to the local Club to help support programs that are geared toward helping kids develop into productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Ramsey Schrader, partner at Arena’s Deli & Bar and Event Organizer, states that the event will help draw visitors to downtown Milford from around the state to enjoy downtown Milford and learn more about the Milford Boys & Girls Club.
“We are focusing on making this event a bigger draw so we can showcase what downtown Milford has to offer,” said Schrader. “It will be a fun time for all members of the family and be a change of pace from the usual 5K race. We were excited when the Boys & Girls Club approached us about this event, our family enjoys using the Club and the Can-Do Playground [in Milford].”
Celebrating six years in their new location this past January, the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club has increased its efforts to establish the Milford Club as a community center in the Greater Milford Area. In addition to serving school-aged children, the Club has recently expanded its facility and services to include a full size fitness center, adult basketball and pickleball leagues and water aerobic classes. The Richard Y. Johnson Aquatic Center is also home to the Milford High School Buccaneers Swim Team, the Club’s own Milford Marlins Swim Team and is the only Boys & Girls Club in Delaware to offer swimming scholarships through the Michael Phelps Foundation. These community services are made available to Greater Milford Area residents year-round through support from fundraising events including this new 5K event.
A Races2Run Event , the 5K begins at 6:30 pm with races for kids and adults of all ages. Registration for the 5K is $25 in advance, through Wednesday, August 19 at noon, and $30 thereafter. The Billy Goat Kids Race, which is free, will start at 6pm as participants will be chased by a goat mascot as kids adorn red bandanas along the Mispillion River. Those interested in joining as a runner can visit http://www.races2run.com/events/running-of-the-goats-5k/. Proceeds benefit the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club’s One Campaign
Several sponsors have already joined the event and event organizers are encouraging more businesses and families to support the inaugural Arena’s Running of the Goat on Friday, August 21. Those interested in sponsorships for the event are encouraged to contact the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Director Tod VanEyken at 302-422-4453.