Stadium ramps, staggered race starts added to popular July 3 event; Gillette Stadium field finish
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Organizers of the popular Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 - 5K & 10K at Patriot Place will stagger the starts of the two races this year and also add stadium ramps to the 10K course.
Both races will continue to end in a thrilling way on Wednesday, July 3 with participants running onto the Gillette Stadium field to the cheers of thousands of fans as they watch themselves on the stadium's giant HDTV screens and charge to the finish at the 50-yard line.
In 2012, 2,901 runners finished the 10K race while 3,404 runners and walkers took part in the inaugural 5K event.
Online registration for the 5K, 10K and Kid's Fun Run on July 3, 2013 is now underway at www.harvardpilgrimfinishatthe50.com. The family-fun event at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Mass., now in its fourth year, includes a Fitness Fair/Expo on July 1-3 and a post-race celebration highlighted by live music and a fireworks display.
Race organizers decided to stagger the start times of the two road races on July 3 to relieve runner congestion at the finish. They also have modified the 10K course to include the Gillette Stadium ramps in the final segment to enhance the experience for those runners. Details of both those changes will be posted on the race website soon. In 2012, both races started at 6 p.m.
"We're constantly looking for ways to improve the experience, whether it be adding live music to this year's post-race celebration to starting the races at different times," said Mike St. Laurent of PRE, who organizes the race with B.A.A. Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports.
He added, "By incorporating the stadium ramps into the last half of the 10K course, those runners will still enjoy rural scenery from ground level, but now also be able to overlook the scenery of the surrounding communities from the 300-level concourse in Gillette Stadium."
A Kid's Fun Run on the Gillette Stadium field will also take place on Wednesday, July 3, in the afternoon prior to the other races. Parents and families will have the opportunity to cheer on the children from the stands.
Families are again encouraged to run as teams for the 5K and 10K. They can join together as close family members or extended quasi-family members. St. Laurent said, "The key is to have fun and invite as many people to be part of your team to make it a great family event."
Three team prizes will be awarded: Fastest Five Male Runners in a Team and Fastest Five Female Runners in a Team (determined by aggregate times) as well as Most Family Team Members.
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care fitness expo on July 1-3 at Patriot Place will include a wide-range of free family activities, vendors and products. Bib pickup will occur during this time. Parking for the event at Patriot Place is plentiful.
Both the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 5K and 10K events begin outside Gillette Stadium. The 5K route is traffic-free with the 3.1-mile course completely inside the Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium grounds, including stadium ramps and the 50-yard-line finish. The 10K begins with 3.1 miles of beautiful tree-lined streets in Foxborough before utilizing the same 5K course for the second half of the race.
Runners and their families are encouraged to stay after the race to enjoy food, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display above Patriot Place. Patriot Place is home to exciting attractions like The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, CBS Scene Restaurant & Bar and Bass Pro Shops. Visit www.patriot-place.com to learn about all the shopping, dining and entertainment options.
Registration and additional information is available by visiting the event's newly revamped website at HarvardPikgrimFinishAtThe50.com. Find race updates and information on Facebook.
The race is owned and managed by Professional Race Events, LLC, a collaboration between Mike St. Laurent of Loco Running (LocoRunning.com), and Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports (DMSESports.com), who also directs the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine and the New Balance Falmouth Road Race.