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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Green Galore for the St. Patrick’s Day 5k

Green+Galore+for+the+St.+Patricks+Day+5k
Green Galore for the St. Patrick’s Day 5k

For the past few decades The Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester has put on an annual 5k race to raise money for the organization and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
People young and old gathered together on Sunday morning for the run. The majority of runners came decked out in all green, from tutus to green ribbons, from wigs to glitter mustaches. Even more had a combination of everything.
Filling the Boys & Girls Club gymnasium, runners signed in and were able to get their numbers before the 11 a.m. start in front of the building. With 1,401 registered to participate in the 5k, the majority of the participants had experience in track or cross country. One participant, Meghan Gannon, had on a green tutu, socks, a headband, and Irish themed face stick-on tattoos. Though not a formal runner, she enjoys doing 5ks to help give to “good causes.” The New Jersey native said, “I’m not quite there [running speed] but I am definitely excited to participate.” In the background were traditional Irish music and people meeting and talking together.
Line-up began at 10:45 a.m. The one wheelchair racer was able to start a little before everyone else so, as they raced up the hill, a member of the Boys & Girls, Mark Walsh, sang God Bless America. A number of photographers and sign-holders stood a little while before the starting line. One Boston Police Department (BPD) photographer was trying to get photos of BPD officers racing. After the runners went off, they set up the finish-line banner and someone to sit and take notes of when each runner crossed it. Runners were able to check their time at the end of the race online.
Doreen Heath, Boys & Girls Club advisory board member, said they raised around $20,000 this year. She’s been helping run the fundraiser for the past 10 years. They have a lot of volunteers to help with the masses running: there are volunteers for registration, handing out t-shirts, water stands throughout the length of the race, along with many other positions. She definitely sees this year as a success though it isn’t as popular as it had been in past years.
Though the fastest time was 15.5 minutes, most of the runners clocked in around the late 20 to early 30 minutes. The organization handed out bananas, granola bars, and waters while the runners sprinted in. Runner Emily Van Laarhoven had a green shirt and a pot of gold on her cheek; this was her third year running this St. Patrick’s Day 5k. Van Laarhoven commented on the weather this year vs previous years, “Last year was so cold my lungs were burning so I’m glad we had 40 degrees this year.” She normally runs holiday 5ks with friends and co-workers but this is at the top of her list, “I’m Irish so this is definitely my favorite one.” This year her time came in at 25.11, a three-minute decrease from last year’s 28.5.
After the annual St. Patrick’s Day 5k ending around noon, everyone picked up their bags and personal items and headed to the parade at the Broadway T station for the 1 p.m. start.