18th Annual Westford Road Race

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Registration is now open for the 18th Annual Westford Road Race which will be held in the afternoon of Sunday, May 7th. The Westford Road Race features something for everyone with a Family Run taking place at 2PM followed by a 5K at 2:20 and the 10K start at 2:25.

Sponsored by Sullivan and Cogliano, Waste Management and Emerson Hospital – Westford Health Center, the Westford Road Race benefits the Westford Charitable Foundation which supports several charitable endeavors. To see some of the organizations and individuals that have benefited from the Westford Charitable Foundation, please click here.

All races start at the Abbot School on Depot Street in Westford, Massachusetts and feature professional timing and prizes for the top finishers. Tee-shirts are guaranteed to those runners who pre-register for the race. The race course is described as being the perfect mixture of challenging and serene as runners make their way through the idyllic, New England town of Westford.

To register for the 18th Annual Westford Road Race please click here.

 

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Kittery Fire Association 5K Run and Walk

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Registration is now open for the Kittery Fire Association 5K Run and Walk which will be held in Kittery, Maine on May 21st at 9AM.

This is a great, family friendly race in support of the Kittery Fire Association. Children under 12 years of age may walk free of charge and participants over age 60 years will receive a $5 discount for the race. Pets and strollers are welcome at the race and the stroller category features a fastest stroller award.

In addition to a great course that is a fun, mildly challenging 5K (3.1 mile course) with some hills, the Race Director has done a remarkable job ensuring the morning is a complete event focused on raising funds for Kittery’s bravest. There will be gift certificate awards for age categories by gender and the fastest firefighter will also receive an award. Each runner will receive a raffle ticket at registration which will be for the numerous prizes to be awarded after the event.

After the 5K race, a kids run will take place at 10am!

A pancake breakfast is held the morning before the race on Saturday, May 20th from 7 AM to 10 AM and runners can register at the breakfast for the race the next morning.

To register for the Kittery Fire Association 5K Run and Walk, please click here. Be sure to also “Like” the race on Facebook by clicking here to keep up to date with information about the race.

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Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race

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Last weekend it was back to my hometown of Holyoke, Massachusetts to celebrate the high holiday of St. Patrick’s Day in a city once known as Ireland Parish. Needless to say, the Irish heritage of Holyoke runs deep in a city that prides itself on a St. Patrick’s day weekend complete with a 10k road race and a parade that brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city to partake.

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day 10k is one of the finest 10k races you will find that takes runners along a course that features some challenging up and down hill stretches and through streets lined with revelers cheering runners along the way. Groups will break out with Irish tunes playing, a bagpiper plays just shy of mile 4 and supporters hand out water and Gatorade along the way. (Just past the Mile 5 marker is an unofficial quick beer stop where a shot of beer can help refuel for the final mile, as well.)

As I am training for a marathon, I had to add on a couple miles so ran three miles down to the starting line of the race. I arrived in plenty of time to see the pre-race performance by the Mummers who had a great crowd cheering them on as they played their Irish tunes to fire up the crowd.

Though some significant snow hit the area the week before the race, the course was in relatively good condition. There were some spots where running became a bit narrow and some spots seemed thinner than normal with crowds due to snowbanks but overall the course was in decent condition.

I finished the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Road Race with a time of 55:10, good for 8:52/miles. Adding on some miles before the race, I was happy with the pace and look forward to returning for next year’s run.

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Ireland 5K

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The season of Irish-themed road races is upon us and on March 5th it was off to New Bedford, Massachusetts for the Ireland 5K. This race is a flat course in the seaport district of New Bedford and starts a few yards away from Slainte Irish Pub which puts on a great post-race party for runners.

Race day weather had a rather typical March chill in the air but the wind was definitely a force to contend with. For this out and back 5K course, the wind wasn’t noticeably at your back on the first half of the race but was intense in the last mile of the run as you made your way into the whipping winds coming off the ocean. In the final stretch of the race running between two buildings it felt as though you were running in quicksand so the legs had to kick even harder to ensure a strong finish.

The race is very well organized and is hosted by former two-time Boston Marathon winner Geoff Smith who with his fellow race director ensure the race goes off without a hitch. With some water on the course, police and volunteers patrolling the turns and Irish music playing at the start helping to keep runners warm and moving, the Ireland 5K is a great race for runners to tackle annually.

I finished the Ireland 5K with a time of 24:59, good for 8:03/miles.

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Register Today for Duxbury Half-Marathon!

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Registration is now open for the Duxbury Half-Marathon which will be held in Duxbury, Massachusetts on April 1st! (This isn’t an April Fools joke, we really think you should go register for this race today!)

Runners will run through the historic South Shore village of Duxbury. The course starts at the Duxbury Senior Center on the edge of the town forest along Mayflower Street, originally a Native American trail. The gentle hills prepare you for Bay Road, 2 miles of “heartbreak” hills, and water vistas. You’ll enter “downtown” Duxbury and circle around Standish Shore running along paths the Pilgrims walked on Captains Hill. Captain Myles Standish (the monument) will point the way to the Shipbuilders District and scenic Washington Street. Catch your breath, you have only 4 miles to finish! This route gives you a bit of everything from scenic vistas, beautiful flats and challenging hills. This community fully supports the runners offering you orange slices, jelly beans, water stations and good cheers.

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As someone who has been impacted by the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s, I love that this race’s registration fee benefits the Duxbury Senior Center Alzheimer’s Programs. The Duxbury Half-Marathon is sponsored by the Duxbury Friends of the Council on Aging. It would be great to see some faithful readers at the starting line to help raise funds for an amazing program.

Runners will receive a race shirt along with their registration fee and as an added bonus Duxbury bay oysters will be available at the finish line, as well!

To register for the Duxbury Half-Marathon, please click here to register online. For more information about the Duxbury Half-Marathon, please “Like” their page on Facebook here and follow the race on Twitter!

 

36th Annual Paddy Kelly 5 Miler

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Last Sunday a wintry blast hit Massachusetts and with snow and freezing rain in the forecast all eyes were on email to see if race cancellations would be taking place. Fortunately, the weather gods sort of timed some of the messier conditions around the 36th Annual Paddy Kelly 5 Miler and the Colonial Road Runners were able to kick off their race perfectly on time. The course was shortened to a 4.5 mile loop through the scenic D.W. Field Park in Brockton, Massachusetts as the Avon stretch of the race could not be run due to icier conditions in that section of the park.

The race is a February treat each year with runners tackling the road within D.W. Field Park. The course is a nice stretch through a park and takes runners through the woods, along water and up a moderately challenging stretch known as Tower Hill.

This year, the course was snow covered in a some spots and had a couple of icy spots but other parts of the course were down to the pavement. The terrain was not perfect but sort of added to the allure of running a race in February. The race was a Grand Prix race for my running club and the decision was made all of the team would get the 15 points for the race and not have to worry about pace to ensure the safety of the runners.

Some flurries fell during the run and thankfully the freezing rain that was anticipated stayed away during the race making for an all-around nice winter run!

I finished the Paddy Kelly race with a time of 39:26, good for 8:46/mile. Be sure to keep an eye out for this race next year particularly if you have never run the race; it’s a perfect winter run that everyone should check out!

The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery 5K and 10K

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The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery is having a 5K and 10K race event in Devens, MA on April 8, 2017. Brittany Loring was attending Boston College MBA and Law Schools when on April 15, 2013, on her 29th Birthday, she was critically injured at the Boston Marathon bombings. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Brittany Fund which seeks to help trauma survivors with financial support so they can focus on their physical recovery.

While she was hospitalized, Brittany knew that she wanted to give back to others, as she was being helped during that time. As part of her recovery, Brittany had to learn how to walk again. The first few times that she walked without crutches, was at her graduation ceremonies at Boston College, accompanied by standing ovations at each ceremony. Since then, she has worked tirelessly for her foundation and has donated money to many individuals, that have experienced traumatic injuries. Brittany is dedicated to helping others receive the care that they need through her foundation.

To register for the Brittany Fund 5K or 10K, please click here to register online. Our friends from Thirsty Irish Runners are offering a discount code of THIRSTYIRISH you can use to register online to save 10% off your registration fee. The course this year is a fun, flat course and will start at 27 Jackson Road in Devens, Massachusetts and will go throughout the town.

For more information about The Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery, please click here to “Like” the fund on Facebook.

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