Like the Boston Marathon, the Sharon Timlin Memorial Event had to scale things down during the pandemic, switching to a virtual road race.
The popular local event is back in person this year for its 19th edition, set to be held June 18 at Hopkinton High School.
The event, also called A Race to Cure ALS, will retain a virtual component this year for those looking to participate on their own.
The 5K road race and family fun day is a fundraiser for The Angel Fund for ALS Research and the work led by Dr. Robert H. Brown at the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at UMass Chan Medical School. More than $2 million has been raised for ALS research since the event’s inception.
The event now is under the direction of Jessie Cox, former longtime director of the Harpoon 5-miler in Boston.
“I love putting on road races, this is kind of my thing,” said Cox, who serves on the board of The Angel Fund. “It was sort of serendipitous timing. I was looking for ways to help The Angel Fund, and the Timlin was looking for someone to run it.”
Cox said she will lean on founder and longtime event director Abbie Rosenberg and the other regular volunteers to help continue the event’s proud tradition.
“I’m picking up where everybody left off,” Cox said. “My goal this year is to make sure we can give everybody the event they know and love. And hopefully we can keep polishing it up in ways I see fit. I hope we can provide the day of community that everybody in Hopkinton knows and loves.”
The event is named for Sharon Timlin, mother of former Red Sox relief pitcher Mike Timlin. Sharon Timlin was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in May 2001. She died less than a year later. The event also recognizes and honors the Timlin family’s commitment to ALS research and The Angel Fund for ALS Research. Mike Timlin and his wife, Dawn, will be guests of honor at the event.
“We are excited that the Sharon Timlin Memorial Event will return to an in-person event again this year after being a virtual race for the past two years,” the Timlins said in a statement. “We’ve missed seeing everyone in person for the past two years, so this year is going to feel extra special as we come together again for our 19th annual event.”
The 5K race begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by the family fun day activities with live music, food, games, raffles, a silent auction and other activities from 8:30 to noon.
Also returning this year is the Hopkinton Running Club’s Couch to 5K program (runhopkinton.org/c25k/), a 10-week training regimen that began April 3 and culminates with the Timlin 5K.
Early registrations — around 400 as of early April, Cox shared — show a renewed enthusiasm for the Timlin 5K, which often sells out. Assuming the trend continues, it would provide a nice boost to The Angel Fund.
“The pandemic has been hard on everybody, but especially the nonprofit world,” Cox said. “It has suffered, so it’s really exciting to return in person and support the work that Dr. Brown is doing.”
For information about the event, visit sharontimlinrace.org.