Running a marathon isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, there are plenty of shorter races in Hopkinton if that suits you better. Most are for the benefit of local charities and offer fun activities to keep the entire family entertained after the running (or walking) is finished. Take your pick from the listed events in town, presented in chronological order.
If you are new to running and are looking for some instruction and/or encouragement, the Hopkinton Running Club offers a “Couch to 5K” program that starts in April and culminates with the Timlin 5K on June 15, with coaching and motivation provided by Laura McKenzie and other HRC members. For more information, visit the Hopkinton Running Club website at runhopkinton.org or register at http://tinyurl.com/hopkinton-couch-to-5k.
Global 6K for Water
Saturday, May 4, Faith Community Church of Hopkinton
The third annual Global 6K for Water is a series of races around the world, and the Metrowest representative is held in Hopkinton. Proceeds are used to get clean water to children and communities in need. The race is 6K (3.7 miles) because that’s the average distance a person in the developing world has to walk to find water, according to the humanitarian organization World Vision, which organizes the event.
See Me 5K
Saturday, May 4, Hopkinton State Park
The See Me 5K is organized by Advocates, a Framingham-based organization that works to end the stigma associated with mental health. The race website reads, “Help spread the message that a person experiencing mental health challenges is a person, not a diagnosis. See the person! See the individual! See me!” There’s a fun run for the kids, face painting and more family-oriented activities.
Metrowest K9 5K
Sunday, June 9, Metrowest YMCA
The K9 5K brings together runners/walkers and their furry friends for a jaunt through the trails on the YMCA grounds in Hopkinton. It benefits the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association charities. There are vendors from the human and animal fields, doggy demonstrations, music, entertainment and refreshments.
Sharon Timlin 5K
Saturday, June 15, Hopkinton High School
The Timlin event, which includes the 5K, a color run, family activities and appearances by former and current Red Sox players (David Ortiz once made an appearance) has been a big hit since its inception. Now preparing for the 16th edition, the event has raised more than $2 million to help find a cure for ALS. The 5K is limited to 1,800 participants and has sold out in past years, so don’t hesitate if you want to take part.
Against the Tide
Saturday, June 15, Hopkinton State Park
The Against the Tide event, hosted by the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, features various events, including standup paddle boarding, swimming and kayaking as well as a 5K and 10K road race/walk. Participants can choose one, two or three events.
Evan Girardi Memorial 5K
Saturday, Oct. 5, EMC Park
The Live4Evan charityat EMC Park. It includes a 5K that starts behind Hopkinton High School and finishes at EMC Park. There is live music, prerace yoga, a postrace cornhole tournament, an animal show, food trucks and a beer garden.
Saturday, Oct. 19, Town Common
This popular 5K is held in memory of Michael Lisnow, for whom the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center is named. It starts on the Town Common, goes down Ash Street, loops around Blueberry Lane, and comes back up Ash Street (which includes a tough hill). Festivities include live music, pumpkin decoration, face painting, lawn games and more.
Paws & Claws 5K
Sunday, Oct. 20, Hopkinton State Park
Baypath Humane Society holds this annual event a short distance from its Hopkinton facility. Runners, walkers and dogs enjoy the scenic course through Hopkinton State Park. It starts and finishes in the parking area just past the boathouse.
Sunday, Oct. 27, Hopkinton Center for the Arts
The Enter Stage Left Theater group holds an annual Halloween-themed 5K filled with “spooky goblins, fairy princesses and goofy characters.” If you don’t win an award for finishing in the top three, you still could take home a prize for best costume. All finishers receive a mini-pumpkin. The postface party includes fun family events and raffles.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors 5K
Saturday, Nov. 23, Hopkinton Country Club
The RE/MAX Executive Charitable Foundation sponsors this race/walk, which starts and finishes right outside the doors of the Hopkinton Country Club. Included in the registration fee is a breakfast and the opportunity to participate in a silent auction.
Hiller Lacrosse Turkey Trot
Thursday, Nov. 28, Hopkins School
The town’s youth and high school lacrosse programs joined together to start this 2.5-mile run/walk, held early enough (7:30 a.m.) so that you can still get to the Hopkinton-Ashland Thanksgiving Day football game on time. Participants are encouraged to wear Hopkinton High School colors (green, orange and white).
Saturday, Dec. 7, Victory Field (off Fruit Street)
The Hopkinton Running Club started the Hopkin10K to fill the void during the post-Thanksgiving, pre-holiday season. It’s held in memory of former HRC member Andy Welzel. The course features scenic views of Lake Whitehall, rolling hills and picturesque neighborhoods.