In 36th annual Prouty, students compete against cancer
Hanover will come alive this weekend with runners, bikers, rowers and golfers participating in the 36th annual Prouty. The signature fundraising event of the Norris Cotton Cancer Care Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will offer four different ways to participate. Despite forecasted thunderstorms, which have forced route changes and cancelation of some cycling events, the 2017 edition of the Prouty includes walking, golfing, rowing and biking.
Walkers can choose routes on local roads or through Storrs Pond and Oak Hill. The Prouty’s 3-kilometer, 6-kilometer, 9-kilometer and 12-kilometer residential walking routes begin and end on Lyme Road near Frances C. Richmond Middle School. The 3K walk, named Audrey’s 3K Walk, will originate and conclude at the Prouty venue. The 6K, 9K and 12K routes each go around Occom Pond, and the longer two walks will then traverse campus on Old Tuck Drive. Five-kilometer and 10-kilometer “wooded” walking routes begin on Lyme Road and pass the north end of Storrs Pond, with the 10K route turning onto the Oak Hill trail system on a path that gains more than 600 feet of elevation. Regan Gore ’19 and Elise Higgins ’19 both plan on participating in the 5K wooded walk.
“I had heard a lot from upperclassmen that it’s a really fun experience and a great way to get out,” Gore said. “It’s exciting to do something different on a Saturday and actually do something with the town.”
Golfing the Prouty is in a four-person scramble format. Foursomes will tee off every nine minutes between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hanover Country Club. Each group of four will compete together, selecting the best of the four players’ shots at each juncture and recording one score per hole. The Hanover Country Club is an 18-hole, par-72 course. As a comparison, during the Dartmouth Invitational in September, the Big Green women’s golf team averaged a little more than four over par.
The Prouty rowing course spans the 10-mile stretch of the Connecticut River between the Ledyard Bridge and the Lyme Bridge. Rowers must bring their own shells and will begin at the Dartmouth boathouse and row north for a distance of five, 10, 15 or 20 miles. They will choose to launch at any time between 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jackson Witherspoon ’19, a member of the lightweight rowing team, plans to row the 20-mile distance with teammate Henry Cawthorne ’19.
“It’s a big part of the culture on campus and on the team, and we love rowing so it’s no big deal for us to do an extra workout,” Witherspoon said. “We do a lot of steady-state long-distance rowing and erging, so doing something like this is just an easy day of training for us.”
The Prouty began in 1982 with four nurses cycling 100 miles through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was inspired by Audrey Prouty’s nine-year battle with ovarian cancer. To fundraise and bring awareness for cancer research, the Prouty still regards cycling as its signature event. For the most adventurous, the Prouty Ultimate comprises two 77-mile rides on Friday and Saturday that were modified from 100-mile rides due to recent hazardous weather conditions. Friday’s route loops through eastern Vermont, heading east to Woodstock and turning as far north as Chelsea before passing through Thetford and returning to Hanover. On Saturday, Ultimate riders follow the Connecticut north to Wells River, Vermont before turning back for Hanover. Shorter 77-mile, 50-mile and 20-mile routes will follow similar routes along the river. Stormy weather has forced cancelation of the 35-mile route and the 64-mile metric century, which would have taken place on back roads.
“I’m doing the 77-mile ride on Saturday because I was originally planning on biking the 100-mile,” said Afnan Enayet ’19. “I love riding and this is an excuse to ride some more. I’m glad the roads will be blocked off and that they have modified the routes so cycling will be smooth.”