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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Just ahead of the rain on Saturday, Dover held its annual Dover Days celebration, during which various local businesses, churches and town departments set up booths to sell their goods, advertise their services and goods, and partake in the town’s community spirit.
Many of the booths had activities for both kids and adults. A local gym sported a rowing machine, and the various Dover-Sherborn athletes present flocked to it immediately. The gym had made a competition out of the rowing and documented the winners. As a result, many people tried to one-up the current champion; the machine was never without a crowd around it.
The Dover Church, meanwhile, spent its time constructing wheelchair ramps and looking for the help of any of the kids walking by. At one point, a little girl helped screw in one of the crossbeams, which prompted her mother to joke: “I won’t let her crack the eggs when we’re cooking, and now she’s using power tools.”
A live animal presentation, complete with snakes and frogs, got plenty of kids excited, while a “touch-a-truck” event with an ambulance had people lined up to take a look inside while healthy.
Beyond that, there was cornhole, bouncy castles, and an inflatable rock-climbing wall.
On top of the various booths, the community relished this year’s iteration of the annual Dover Dash 5K and Fun Run. The children’s race was a quick loop, though the kids did wear bib numbers, making it look very official. There were even commentators, Dover-Sherborn cross country runners Toby Sagar and Bradley Peterson, broadcasting a podcast that both encouraged people to register for the race and cheered runners on as they ran.
“We were kind of just having a podcast for fun and kind of commenting on the race,” they explained. “[We’re] trying to bring more people in, get more people to sign up for the fun run, and raise more money for the team.”
The 5K started with a DS jacket-adorned resident playing “First Call,” the melody that heralds the beginning of horse races, on trumpet. When the runners took off, the giant digital clock that had been counting down the time until the 5K began turned into the official race clock.
The winner of the Dover Dash 5K was George Doherty, a 56-year-old resident of Dover who has run twenty marathons, including fifteen Boston Marathons, all of which he ran as a qualifier. Doherty barely beat out one of his competitors; while it was not a photo finish, the second-place runner was just a couple strides away, coming down the final stretch.
“I just spent the race trying to avoid having the young guys catch me,” said Doherty. “Actually, [my time] was a little slower than I would have liked, but it got the job done.”