St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry 5K

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Last weekend in Middleborough, Massachusetts the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry 5K took place on another pristine fall weekend. The weather was clear and was a touch warm for the latter part of September but given the fact the shovels will be out before we know it, no complaints here!

The Food Pantry 5K is a very well-organized race that does a great job raising funds and food for the local food pantry in Middleborough. In addition to the registration fee, runners are encouraged to bring cans of food to the race to help stock the shelves of the food pantry and it was nice to see the boxes at registration filling up quickly!

The race course is a loop 5k course and there were two water stops on the course which came in handy given the warmer temperatures. After a downhill start, runners head into a rolling residential route as they make their way back to the school grounds where the race started. The race finishes on a Heartbreak Hill-esque uphill into the finish line and the calves were working double duty as they headed up the hill and battled against the heat. A young lad tossing his cookies on the hill made for a quick mental hurdle to get past but I finished the race one foot in front of the other and did alright battling up the hill.

I finished the Food Pantry 5K with a time of 25:23 or 8:10/miles.

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New Personal Course Record

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Gotta love when there is a 5K right in the town you call home! With the hectic season of school, soccer, yoga classes and more now consuming the weekdays and weekends thanks to the kids, it can sometimes be a challenge to find time to get to a race. However, when there is a race just down the road that fits into your calendar it is a beautiful thing!

This year was the 10th Anniversary of the Frances F. Morast 5K Walk and Run to Beat Ovarian Cancer. I have participated in this 5K twice previously and each time have been impressed with the passion put into organizing a race in memory of an educator who lived within the local community and passed away from ovarian cancer. The race is organized by Morast’s family and they do a nice job raising funds for Ovations, which is working to find a cure for ovarian cancer.

The course for the race is rather pancake flat which makes for some nice running. Saturday was a bit of an off, September morning with temperatures somewhat mild but the humidity off the charts. Thankfully there was a bit of a cloud cover at the start of the race which helped as if the sun was out with the humidity as bad as it was it would have been a real rough morning of running.

About half-way into the race in front of St. Thomas Aquinas Church there were bottles of water runners could help themselves to and police patrolled the one major road crossing of the run. The course takes place on an open course that loops runners around the general downtown area of Bridgewater and finishes back in front of the Williams School where the race kicks off from.

This year, I knew I ran the course pretty well and only had one fast runner ahead of me on the route. We stuck together for the first mile or so but then his speed was just too much to keep up with. I still maintained a strong pace and finished the race with a time of 22:10, good for 7:08/miles. This is the fastest I have run this race and is one of my better paces for the year! It certainly pays to know the course and to have no real pressure when you are running in second place for the duration of the race!

5th Annual Irish Cultural Center 5k

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Sunday afternoon brought absolutely perfect running conditions to the Greater Boston area and a final blast of late summer graced runners as they toed the starting line at the 5th Annual Irish Cultural Center 5K. This event is held at the Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton, Massachusetts and supports the Irish heritage work that the ICC does.

The race starts and finishes on the grounds of the Irish Cultural Center which features a building including a pub, fields where hurling, rugby and soccer matches and circles the grounds on the way out onto the course. Bagpipers played in the first mile and added a nice touch to the race. Fiddlers also were around the two mile mark and infused some nice Irish tunes into the course. The course runs through an industrial park that the ICC also calls home and for the most part is a relatively flat course. Volunteers were aplenty out on the race course and two water stops were present on the course for runners to hydrate.

An absolutely stunning rendition of both the American and Irish national anthems took place prior to the race which was a true highlight of the day. Perhaps another musical act on the course could have helped infuse a bit more Irish into the course.

Upon finishing the race, runners could enjoy two free pints with each race entry and food was available, as well. The Gobshites rocked the post-race tent and performed some great tunes for the runners to enjoy.

I finished the Irish Cultural Center 5K with a respectable time of 23:48, good for 7:41/miles. It was a great day for the Irish and a great day for runners!

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4th Annual Run for Jess

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This morning it was off to East Bridgewater, Massachusetts for the 4th Annual Run for Jess. This great event features a rolling 5K course through the road of East Bridgewater and has a great post-race BBQ complete with food, raffles and games for the kids. Next season if you are looking for a race to add to the running docket be sure to mark this one down to complement your Labor Day weekend activities!

The Run for Jess 5K  is held in memory of Jessica Thurston who passed away from breast cancer at the young age of just 29. To honor her memory the Jessica C. Thurston Memorial Fund was established by her family and friends. By holding events throughout the year, and raising funds for breast cancer research The Fund’s sincerest hope is to one day put an end to this dreaded disease. Additionally, the Memorial Fund also supports graduating students at the East Bridgewater High School with a scholarship in Jess’s name.

It’s heard to fathom a 29 year old young woman passing away from breast cancer coupled with the toll such a loss must have had on her family and friends. However, seeing the remarkable good coming out of such a loss is truly inspiring and the race organizers should be proud of their efforts to help fund a cure for breast cancer.

The course is an open-road race with a nice mix of rolling, residential hills mixed into the race. There is a water stop about half-way through the race and a fast finish into the finish line. Today’s running conditions were absolutely perfect weather-wise and it was a great experience to once again run this race. I didn’t have my best run today but finished with a decent 26:01 finish time good for 8:22/miles.

For more information about the Jessica C. Thurston Memorial Fund, please be sure to “Like” the page on Facebook by clicking here.

 

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First Annual Edgewood 5K

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Sunday morning it was just a quick jump away over to Raynham, Massachusetts for the First Annual Edgewood 5K. Hosted at Edgewood Pool & Tennis Club, the Edgewood 5K was organized by members of the club and featured a great 5K course through the streets abutting the club.

The race featured a nice layout with four left turns making it impossible to get lost on the course and to keep runners honest there were a few, rolling hills mixed into the route.

For the first mile and a half making my way to North Main Street in Raynham I was in first place but noticed a young runner closing in on me. I continued to maintain a rather solid pace but could not maintain the increasing pace my challenger not presented and slipped to second place which is where I finished overall in the race. Even though the field of runners was small, I was quite pleased with how well I ran and felt no sense of disappointment coming in second place overall.

I finished the Edgewood 5K with a time of 23:28, good for 7:33/miles. A great morning of running at a very well organized race that will be sure to continue to grow each year! I look forward to next year’s race already!

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Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse

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Registration is now open for Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse. The proceeds of the 5K will be split evenly between Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Gavin Foundation located at 675 East 4th Street in South Boston. The race takes place in beautiful downtown Milton, Massachusetts.

The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was founded in 2014 to address substance abuse challenges in the town of Milton. The Coalition has a special emphasis on prevention programs for youth in the town and counts many teens among its membership. The Coalition is sponsored by the Milton Public Health Department.

The Gavin Foundation is a multi-service nonprofit agency providing comprehensive, community-based substance abuse treatment, education, and prevention programs. They serve more than 5,000 individuals each year through their adult, youth and community programs. The Gavin Foundation works from a deep commitment to the community, including the widespread community of individuals and families in recovery. It is considered the gold standard of halfway houses for recovering addicts. Mike was a resident at the Gavin Foundation and was at peace while living there with the education, support and love that he received.

Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy on a beautiful October Saturday morning. The first 100 people to register for Mike’s 5K will receive a free, long sleeve race t-shirt.

To register for Mike’s 5K to Crush Substance Abuse, please click here.

Edgewood 5K

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Edgewood Pool & Tennis Club invites runners and walkers of all ages to join them on Sunday morning, August 27th, for a 3.1 mile race that will begin at Edgewood, wind through the streets of Raynham, Massachusetts and finish back on site.

Bib and t-shirt pick up will occur at Edgewood that day before the race, Saturday August 26th, from 4:00 – 7:00 PM and again the next morning beginning at 7:30 AM. The race will step off at promptly 9:00 AM.

Registration is $25 per person and the first 50 registrants will receive a free t-shirt, so act quickly… sizes are limited!

This race is open to the public and is a great way to meet fellow runners who are members of Edgewood and see what a great club Edgewood is!

You can register for the Edgewood 5K by clicking here.

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