Most people probably didn't know it, but it wasn't long ago that the Fairhaven Road Race was on the ropes.

Right around this time last year, several Fairhaven residents realized that if they didn't do something soon a beloved town tradition might have been lost.

For a number of reasons, it had been years since a Fairhaven Road Race was pulled off. The last race was on Father's Day in 2019. The 2020 contest, naturally, was canceled. Organizers and town officials had uncertainty about whether or not there should have been a race in 2021, so they decided to play it safe.

When it was time to start planning the race for 2022, no one was really sure who was going to take the lead. The founding father of the race, Alan Days, was 85 years old.  It was time for him to hand over the keys to someone else, but no one was jumping at the chance.

That's when Russ Benoit sprang into action.  With the help of Alan Days' daughter Carol-Ann Days-Merrill, Heidi Hacking, Tom Wojcik and others, the group of people went through an endless punch list of hundreds of small tasks that needed to be done in a very short amount of time. What usually takes a whole year to plan was pulled together in about four short months.

Even with the roster of relative rookies, the 2022 race went off without a noticeable hitch. It's sort of like doing laundry. You don't want to do it too well, or it will become your regular job.  That's why it's no surprise that when planning started rolling around for the 2023 Fairhaven Father's Day Road Race, everyone turned their eyes to Russ Benoit and his crew.

To Benoit, however, the Fairhaven race is a family tradition that he just couldn't let go away.

"It's meant a lot to my boys and my daughter," Benoit said. "They've been running it since they were in preschool."

Because of the two years lost to COVID, this year's race will be the 47th. Like last year, it will once again be a 5K race only.

Sign-ups are available here.

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