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In Massachusetts, running is more like a language than a pastime. In our special corner of the world, runners find incredible variety when it comes to the roads they run and their running partners. Just recently, we celebrated the 121st running of Massachusetts world-renowned Boston Marathon – what some might call the official kick-off to outdoor running season.
One of the most markedly unique characteristics of the Boston Marathon is the overwhelming wave of support – an entire city comes out to applaud nearly 30,000 runners from over 90 countries. Volunteers hand out water alongside cheerleader sections and medical tents, all with one objective – to champion the athletes. This event is the culmination of months of preparation and training, lined with an unwavering dedication to teamwork and togetherness.
The running terrain in Massachusetts is spread across coastal roadways and flower covered bridges… in short, there’s nowhere like here to train and run a road race.
Lone Gull 10k Road Race, photo credit: Jim Rhoades
What makes the Massachusetts running culture so special is community – the bond that can be found in this oftentimes individualized sport. Across cities and college campuses, you’ll find clubs, couples, or pairs of friends running in tandem along either the iconic Charles River or quintessential New England institutions. In the Bay State, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you’ve trained, or how much experience you have – you will find community, and even family, in your search for a new personal best.
In Boston, being a runner is like knowing the secret handshake to the Commonwealth’s spirit of athleticism. Whether you are visiting, new to town, or planning your next trip, if running is your passion, join the nation of the Boston Strong taking great strides toward personal growth, mindfulness, and community health on each beloved course.
Below are some favorite road races from the RUN BOS community for your next challenge (and we promise you’ve never run a prettier path!):
- Every year Plympton serves up a sweet country run with its Annual Strawberry Shortcake 10K and 1.25 Mile Fun Run. This all-ages run/ walk is open to runners, joggers, and avid walkers alike.
- Switch up your wintertime Wachusett getaway with the Annual Wachusett Mountain Race 10K! This Memorial Day weekend run will wipe away any ski slope perceptions you may have of this beloved Central Massachusetts mountain.
- Spring season ushers in Boston’s Run to Remember. This Boston-based race memorializes fallen first-responders who have gave their lives in the line of duty. Interested runners can participate in either a half marathon or 5 mile run through historic, downtown Boston.
- During the late summer months, Western Massachusetts is in full bloom…just in time for the Annual Bridge of Flowers 10K Classic & 3K Charity Race! This race begins on an iron bridge built in the 18th century in Shelburne Falls, and is followed by a figure-eight loop for a double pass over this historic landmark. This is an incredible race to run and watch in sunny and vibrant Shelburne Falls.
- Kick up your summer fitness and fun with the New Balance Falmouth Road Race! This race course will take you along the Cape Cod shoreline through wooded terrain before circling around the Nobska Lighthouse along Vineyard Sound. Between the elevation and change of scenery you’ll forget this was even a competition by the time you hit the finish line.
- The Lone Gull 10K Road Race in Gloucester is one of the most beautiful Massachusetts race courses. With flat roads that cut along rocky cliffs and harbor views, this race will feel like a breeze on a beautiful fall day!
- And because Massachusetts runs all year long, don’t forget about our famously festive, holiday season road races:
- Somerville’s Gobble Gobble Gobble Race is a Thanksgiving Day race that celebrates the holiday and harvest season in New England. This family-friendly race is open to all, and ends with a festivities in David Square’s Burren Pub.
- Boston’s Speedo Santa Run has been a citywide tradition for over 16 years, with runners donning their holiday season festive wear for a race that starts and ends on Boylston Street. The course is a loop of Boston’s Back Bay and boasts at least 700 men and women each year.
Feature photo, 30th Bridge of Flowers Road Race