Hopkinton, MA
Hopkinton, US
11:05 am, Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Timlin Event returns June 17 for 20th edition

by | Jun 14, 2023 | Featured

Timlin Race

Members of Team Andy pose for a photo at last year’s Timlin Event with former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield (in black hat) and former race director Abbie Rosenberg (far right). PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

In 2004, the newly formed Hopkinton Running Club was looking to organize a race. Members were asked if they had a cause important to them, and Abbie Rosenberg did.

Her friend George Mazareas recently had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS takes away an individual’s ability to control muscles, ultimately impacting speech, mobility and basic daily functions.

There is no cure for the disease, and Rosenberg wanted to contribute in some way. Through The Angel Fund, a local charity that funds ALS research, Rosenberg connected with then-Red Sox relief pitcher Mike Timlin. Timlin’s mother, Sharon, was diagnosed with ALS in 2002 and died less than a year later. The annual Sharon Timlin Memorial Event was started.

The first year there were around 400 runners, but it quickly grew to well over 1,000 participants.

This June 17 marks the 20th year of the race. Through the event, more than $2 million has been raised for The Angel Fund, which benefits ALS research at UMass Chan Medical School, led by Dr. Robert Brown. The money goes toward researching causes of the disease, developing treatments and ultimately finding a cure.

Although the event has evolved over the years, it continues to have three main parts: a 5K for runners and walkers (which starts at 8:30 a.m.), a kids color run (10 a.m.) and a Family Fun Day (9 a.m.-noon).

“We really make an effort to make it a family event, so it is not just a 5K race,” race director Stephanie Whelan said.

Family Fun Day festivities include food, a silent auction, a bouncy house and a dunk tank. There will be live music by Hot Acoustics. Four other former Red Sox players — Tim Wakefield, Mike Myers, Manny Delcarmen and Lenny DiNardo — are slated to be in attendance and sign autographs.

The Family Fun Day events take place behind Hopkinton Middle School. Part of the field is sectioned off and filled with signs acknowledging individuals affected by ALS. The dedicated space is known as the face of ALS.

“It is really moving just to be able to associate this horrific disease with people that have been impacted by it,” Whelan said. “A lot of people will spend time just walking through that area reading about these people.”

Although the Family Fun Day is free, the event welcomes donations, and all proceeds benefit ALS research, Whelan said. Many participants in the 5K also have their own fundraiser for ALS research.

“Anybody can sign up to be a fundraiser, and we have many of the same people that come back year after year,” Whelan said.

One of the biggest fundraising teams is Team Andy, named for an ALS patient who is a childhood friend of some runners. He attends the event, and friends wear team T-shirts and raise money for ALS research to support him.

Added Whelan: “As you get to know more about the disease, you meet people who have been affected by it, whether they have been diagnosed with it, or have had family members or friends diagnosed with it. It is hard not to want to support it. It is just a really devastating disease.”

Individuals can register for the Sharon Timlin Memorial 5K in-person and virtual races online at sharontimlinrace.org or in person on the morning of the race. Anyone interested in volunteering also can sign up online.

For participants, there is plenty of parking at the high school and middle school complex, and there will be overflow parking at EMC Park. Attendees are encouraged to carpool and arrive early.

Residents should be aware that the section of Hayden Rowe Street from Grove Street to Chestnut Street will be closed for about 30 minutes beginning at 8:25 a.m. for the 5K.