By Zenya Molnar? and Alexandra Molnar, Contributing Writers
Marlborough – On a sunny almost-summer evening June 18, runners took their mark at the Wayside Racquet and Swim Club for the 20th annual 5K Run for Fun road race. The 3.1-mile race in Marlborough, held as a fundraiser for the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC) scholarship fund, drew 330 men and women of all ages and abilities.
The Run for Fun is unique because it is the only race in the area that takes place on a weeknight. Traffic is stopped for the start of the race, and then the course takes runners along Routes 9 and 20 where they run alongside traffic.
Wayside's general manager Darren McLaughlin has been working at the club for almost 30 years and has organized the run since its initiation. This year's run had its second largest turnout, compared to a record 362 participants in one of the race's earlier years.
For the first 10 years of the race, the proceeds, totaling $20,000, were distributed to the Marlborough Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. After that program was cut from the city budget, McLaughlin chose to allocate the funds to the MRCC scholarship fund, for which he was the chair at the time.
Over the past nine years, the race has contributed $76,000 to the fund which benefits students at area schools, including Marlborough High School, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School and Hudson High School.
McLaughlin thanked “all the community supporters who run and sponsor the race because it's a real community event. Without them we wouldn's be able to do what we do with the scholarship fund.”
McLaughlin also thanked Fiske Independent Race Management who has managed the race operations for the past 20 years.