By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The second annual Lisa Kaplan 5K race is scheduled for Saturday, May 20. The race honors the memory of a 12-year veteran Spanish teacher at Robert E. Melican Middle School who passed away in November 2015 after only a six-week battle with a rare cancer.
The certified and chip-timed race will kick off at 10 a.m. at Melican Middle School, 145 Lincoln St., Northborough, following a kids’ fun run at 9:30 a.m. Participants are welcome to walk the route.
Last year’s race had 350 registered runners and proceeds of $15,000 helped to establish a college fund for Kaplan’s baby son Kris, who was 6 months old when she passed away.
Following the success of last year’s race, there will once again be local bands and former student bands along the race course to celebrate Kaplan’s love of music. Participants at the finish line will be greeted with food and more music and have the opportunity to win raffle prizes generously donated by local business sponsors.
Race co-director Laura Frem is excited that Kaplan’s parents from Phoenix will be attending the race this year.
“Our main goal is to keep Lisa’s beautiful spirit alive, to recognize and honor what a wonderful person she was,” Frem said. “We’d also like to use her memory as a launching point to do some good in the community, and to bring people together to enjoy a morning of music, running, food and good vibes.”
This year the race will benefit the Westborough-based organization 15-40 Connection. The organization educates and empowers cancer patients in the 15 to 40 age bracket (www.15-40.org).
“We were looking for a local organization since so many of our sponsors are from this community,” said Frem. “Given their generosity, we’d also like to give back and spread their message of education, awareness and the importance of early detection and screening.”
“We were thrilled with the results from last year,” said Frem. “Given the wonderful turnout from last year, and the funds we were able to raise, I’d love to see this become a destination race and an annual event for the community.”
Information on registration, race course, and race sponsorship can be found at www.lk5k.racewire.com. Deadline for online registration is Saturday, May 13.