Friday 5Ks kick off to benefit Special Olympics
By Bill Shaner, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – On June 27, Special Olympics Massachusetts will kick off the summer with their first Friday 5K of the season.
“It’s an easygoing event, an easy way to get involved in the local community and make a difference at the same time,” Director of Communications Chris Richie said.
The Special Olympics put on the first Friday 5k last June, and did another in September, the idea being to open and close the summer with some light exercise and community participation.
“We serve people with intellectual disabilities, but the main thing we’re doing with that service is sports,” Richie said. “Sports is a catalyst for so many things for people, whether it’s health and fitness or wellbeing, whether it’s inclusivity, community engagement, breaking down certain barriers.”
Richie said that after having noticed so many people working in the community that surrounds the Special Olympics headquarters at Yawkey Sports Training Center in Marlborough, it would only be natural to get a race together.
“Just imagine you’re on your own street and you talk to your neighbors, reach out to them,” Richie said. “We invite anyone in the area to come out on their lunch hour.”
Reflecting the casual nature of the race, most participants sign on the day of. Last year, the June race had roughly 80 participants, most of them worked in the area. A few teachers at Marlborough High School ran down after finishing their finals and hopped right in, Richie said. All that’s required is a donation of $25 and running shoes.
The June 27 race will start around 11:30 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. First place for both male and female runners will receive a prize, and T-shirts will be printed for all runners.
Though Richie spearheads the event’s organization, he admitted to taking the back seat when it comes to the actual race.
“I try to keep my time around 20 minutes,” he said. “But that’s just because I’m making sure everyone’s feeling good on the course.”
To register, visit www.specialolympicsma.org/5K.
Special Olympics Massachusetts just finished their annual summer games in Boston and this month will be sending a delegation of 90 athletes, volunteers and family to the Special Olympics U.S. Games, a national competition held bi-annually.
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