The Delaware Senior Olympics bike race is coming back to Smyrna this year for a second ride on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The race was held for the first time last year as a non-qualifying event but will be a qualifying event for next year’s National Senior Games Association National Championships.
DSO cycling coordinator Jo Johnson is back again this year as the race coordinator and is hoping to make the event even bigger.
“I’m very happy with the way it turned out last year and fact there was a good turnout,” Johnson said. “The riders were very happy. They liked being down in Smyrna and liked the course, it was mostly flat but fast.”
Last year’s race started and ended at Municipal Park. However, this year the race will start and end on Main Street close to Lake Como with the awards to be given out at Lake Como.
What do you need to know?
There is a 20K and 40K race. The first race begins at 8:30 a.m.
The race is open to bicyclists 40 years and over. Racers 50 and over in Division One who place first through fourth in their age group qualify for next year’s NSGA senior games in Cleveland.
You can register at BikeReg.com, DelawareSeniorOlympics.org, or the day of the race from 7 to 8 a.m. The cost is $10 per race plus $20 for DSO membership and license. There will be five-year age groups and two divisions based on skill and racing experience.
New this year
Along with the change in venue this year will be a vendor square and a free kids race.
Vendor Square will be in front of town hall where the farmers’ market is held. Councilwoman Joanne Masten is helping to plan the event and said they are looking for food vendors as well as companies who sell bike supplies.
As for the kids’ race, children ages 5 to 10 can sign up. Registration is the day of the event with the race expected to begin around 10:30 a.m. The children will be put in two-year age groups with the age 9-10 bracket going first so the younger kids can see how to do the race.
Johnson said the kids will race a short course — roughly 200 meters — on Main Street.
“Kids like to ride bikes so they’ll get a chance to see what’s it’s like to go quick. Maybe they’ll gain a new interest and maybe even find real talent,” Johnson said.
Page 2 of 2 - When it’s all said and done, Johnson said the children will receive awards for first, second and third place in each age bracket.
Not just Delawareans participating
It’s not just a race for people in the general area like Smyrna, Dover and Middletown. Johnson said there are people calling and emailing about the race from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and even North Carolina — which is just fine with the town of Smyrna as the race will be another chance to get more people talking about Smyrna.
“We hope it’ll bring people into town and to see the town that otherwise may not visit,” Masten said. “We always like the chance to showcase the town.”
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.