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January 26. 2013 7:23PM

Derry hosts Boston Prep race Sunday

Using the hilly Derry terrain as a training ground, hundreds of runners are expected to participate in the 18th annual Boston Prep 16-Miler, which takes the starter's gun Sunday at 10 a.m. on Humphrey Road near race headquarters at West Running Brook Middle School in Derry.

The race is a favorite for runners who are training for April's Boston Marathon, and proceeds benefit the Greater Derry Track Club Kids Summer Fun Run Program.

The event is tabbed as moderately challenging and the field is capped at 900 participants. Race day registration, if not sold out, is at the school from 8:30-9:45 a.m. The entry fee is $55.

The first mile begins with a gentle uphill climb, and 4.5 miles in there is a stretch of rolling hills at Kilrea Road. Along the way is a steep grade at the nine-mile mark on Drew Hill Road followed one mile later by a very long climb on Warner Hill Road, which is one of the toughest stretches of the entire course.

At the 13-mile mark on Lane Road, the course flattens out along a wide open stretch of fields and farms, and the finish line, back at West Running Brook Middle School, is three miles farther. Awards and post-race refreshments will be provided.

Race day weather is expected to be sunny, breezy and cold. The high temperature is forecast at 21 degrees with a "RealFeel'' of 5 degrees.

Runners are asked to park in designated places including the preferred parking lot at Pinkerton Academy. A shuttle bus runs continuously from 8-9:45 a.m.

Scott McGrath of Andover, Mass., is the defending champion. His winning time was 1:31:15. Justin Montgomery was New Hampshire's top finisher in 2012, finishing third in 1:35:42.

Diona Fulton of Watertown, Mass., led the women's field (32nd overall) last January with a time of 1:49:11.

Raelyn Crowell-Coates of Amherst has topped all Granite State women for the past two years. She was the female winner in 2011 in 1:47:25 (31st overall) and finished third (35th overall) last year in 1:49:24.

Information is available from Race Director Dave Breeden at 432-6865 or weluv2run@comcast.net. A course map is available at gdtc.org/bostonprep/.

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