By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The Highland City Striders filled the Assabet River Rail Trail to capacity July 18 with the largest field of runners in the 10 year history of their hallmark race — The Running with the Wolves 10k.
Runners registered for either the 10k or the brand new White Fang 5k run that attracted a more diverse field of runners than the longer race. Selling out on July 17, long before the starting gun, the event included 500 athletes from the Hudson-Marlborough area.
“We wanted to celebrate by trying to make it bigger and better than ever before,” said Highland City Striders member Sarah Day. “We wanted to make it open to families, people who wanted to bring their kids, or people who wanted to walk so we added the White Fang 5k this year.”
Runners spent almost the entire race on the Assabet River Rail Trail, the effective home turf for the Striders and a treasured place for local runners of all sorts.
“It’s a wonderful safe place for our runners to be and not be on the roads and just come together and enjoy our sport,” Day said.
Though it has always taken place on the rail trail, attendance of the event has historically been dependent on weather. Last year, Day explained, a severe thunderstorm warning on race day damped turnout, with just 300 runners finishing.
Running under sunny skies in 2018, however, athletes packed Marlborough’s Kelleher field, which housed the start and finish lines, while organizers celebrated the success of their event.
As it is their largest of an estimated eight races the Hudson-Marlborough based Striders group organizes throughout the year, the proceeds from the June 18 event will go to the Marlborough and Hudson food pantries.
For race results and more information on the club visit www.highlandcitystriders.org.
(Photos by/Dakota Antelman)