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New England Marathons Fall 2023

Looking for a great fall marathon in New England? This extensive listing of marathons all over New England has been updated for 2023.

Updated May 24th

The 2023 New England Marathons Fall season will be here before we know it. As the summer progresses, I will be updating this post for Fall of 2023 New England Marathons.

Looking for a winter run? There aren’t many marathons in New England over the winter but I have a New England Winter Marathons 2022/2023 listing available HERE.

GREEN RACE – I am designating any race that makes a serious effort to reduce waste and keep recyclable materials out of a landfill.

Let your friends know about these great fall marathons! Click To Tweet

New England Marathons Fall 2023

45th Clarence DeMar Marathon and Half-Marathon

Keene, NH | 24 September | Sunday 2023

Start times: 7:00 AM FULL, 8:00 AM HALF

new england fall marathons, Clarence demar, New Hampshire Marathon

2023 registration is open!

This point to point marathon is almost as legendary as the man. A seven-time B.A.A. Boston Marathon champion, an Olympic medalist, and an international running icon. No one has ever broken his record number of Boston wins.

Clarence Demar Memorial, Melrose, new Hampshire marathon, New England Fall marathonsClarence DeMar lived in Melrose Massachusetts and our club runs by his monument on many of our club runs. Many runners make it a point to touch the monument as they run by.

This race encompasses an entire weekend if you want it to. You can drive up to Keene Friday night and pick up your bib at Ted’s Shoe & Sport on Main Street. Drive the course or go for a short run on Saturday. Saturday night there is a pasta dinner at the Courtyard Marriott.

On Sunday buses take runners to the starting line at Gilsum Elementary School. The first Marathon bus leaves Keene State College at 5:15 AM and the last Marathon bus leave at 5:45 AM.

For the Half-Marathon, buses start leaving Keene State College at 6:30 AM. The last bus is 6:00 AM. Drop off point is Surry Mtn. Beach.

If you have never heard of Clarence DeMar here is a brief bio.

The Clarence DeMar Marathon is USATF Certified, a Boston Qualifier and was selected a Runner’s Choice Top New Hampshire Marathon from the readers of

The weekend can be a family event with a Kid’s Marathon for children from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

For 2022 there were 229 marathon finishers and 307 half-marathon finishers.

Event Results 2019

Event Results 2021

Event Results 2022

29th New Hampshire Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10K

Bristol, NH | 30 September | Saturday | 9:00 AM 2023

New Hampshire Marathon, Fall New England Marathons

This event features a 1-mile kids race and registration is FREE.

2023 registration is open at: $80 for the marathon, $60 for the half and $40 for the 10K through August 27th.

Prices increase $10 on August 28th and an additional $10 on September 25th.

These are great prices for a marathon or a half. If you register now you have a goal to keep you motivated all summer.

In 2022, this race had a strong turn out with 156 marathon finishers, 253 half, and 93 for the 10K finishers. Total registrations were 606, up from 475 in 2021.

You may want to drive up Friday and enjoy the pasta dinner at 5:00pm at the Union Lodge, and get a good night’s sleep. Pre-register for $10, walk ins for $12.

This race takes place around Newfound Lake, and lodging options are listed on the race website.

The New Hampshire Marathon was selected as a Runner’s Choice Top New Hampshire Marathon by readers.

All three races are USATF Certified and the New Hampshire Marathon is a Boston Qualifier!

Cash prizes for the top finishers of all three races! NH Marathon course video

Event Results and Photos – 2022 and previous years

Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, Half and 10K

Coventry, VT | 7 October | Saturday | 9:00 AM 2023

Fall New England Marathons, Vermont races, Vermont marathonRun it – Bike it – Hike it – But do it!
Doin’ the dirt through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom – 26.2 miles, 17 miles, 13.5 miles and 6 Miles courses.

Registration is open for 2023 : $75 for the Marathon and 17 Mile Iconoclast, Half Marathon is $60 and the 10K is $25.

On-site registration IS NOT available.

20% of all registration fees are donated directly to Halo Foundation which provides support for local individuals and families battling cancer to help fund un-covered expenses related to travel and treatment.

Registration is limited to 100 per distance race and 200 for the 10K run/walk.

If you want to run this race you should read their disclaimers are register today!

The full address for your GPS: 2628 Airport Rd, Coventry, VT 05825

There are four great routes, offering four very different options to all types of athletes, runners, bikers, and hikers of all ages and all abilities.

A tough, “vista riddled,” and spectacularly beautiful full marathon that will challenge the best marathon runner.

The 13.5 distance is also the course for the family bike challenge is perfect for kids and parents of all ages.

The 17 mile Iconoclast for something just a little different. (It’s a great training run for the NYC Marathon) And, new in 2016, a 6 mile walk, run, or bike from Irasburg Common to Parker Pie.

For one day in September, we fill these dirt roads through “the gut” of The Northeast Kingdom. Everybody but the 6 milers start at Lakeview Aviation at the Newport Airport in Coventry and heads one way or another to Parker Pie in West Glover, with a great pizza party, great beer, and great music. 6 milers start at Irasburg Common. Shuttle service back to the start is provided by our friends at Jay Peak.

Event Results for 2019

Event Results, write up and Photos for 2021

Event Results and write up for 2022

40th Annual NipMuck Trail Marathon and Relay

Ashford, CT | 1 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM – 2023

The race is a double out-and-back covering a distance of 26.4 miles. The course is simply a 13-mi-long, northern section of the Nipmuck Trail, which is one of the Blue-Blazed trails managed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.

This race is part of the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series in Connecticut.

2023 registration is open

Marathon registration is $35 and the marathon relay is $60 through July 31st, then $40 and $70 respectively.

To celebrate their 40th year, there will also be a 40 miler for $40.

Registration was limited to 180 runners in total and there is no race-day registration.

The start line, and middle point, is located at Perry Hill Rd in Ashford. The course runs south for 6.2 mi until reaching Rt 44, then back to the start, then north for 7 mi until reaching Boston Hollow Rd, and finally back to the finish/start line at Perry Hill Rd.

The NipMuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race taking place along a northern section of the Nipmuck Trail. The race aims to preserve many of the qualities from the early days of the New England trail racing scene.

The race site warns of rough terrain and that in some areas an injured runner may wait an hour or more for medical assistance. This is not for the casual runner!

Event Results 1984 – 2022

Maine Marathon, Half-Marathon and Relay

Portland, ME | 1 October | Sunday | 7:45 AM – 2023

Maine Marathon, New England Fall MarathonThis New England fall marathon went virtual in 2020 but was back to in-person event for 2021 and 2022. As in 2022, this race will feature both in-person and virtual running options.

Virtual runners can run a marathon, half, relay, 10K or 5K either on the course or anywhere.

2023 registration is open!

Through July 1st, 2023 registration fees are:

$85 – Marathon – $95 after July 1st
$60 – Half Marathon – $70 after July 1st
$160 – Marathon Relay – $180 after July 1st

This is a Maine Track Club event and approximately 40% of gross revenue is donated to charities each year. Since 1997 this has amounted to $5.8 million going back into the local community.

Featuring an out-and-back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Back Cove, Casco Bay, and peak fall foliage.

The Marathon is USATF certified and a Boston Marathon qualifier. The Half Marathon is also USATF certified and the Marathon Relay is a unique 2 to 4-person marathon-length event. Maine Marathon course video

Event Results 2019

Event Results 2021

Event Results 2022

Joe English Twilight Challenge

Amherst, NH | 30 September | Saturday |5:00 PM – 2023

The Joe English Twilight Challenge is an evening/night trail run hosted by Freestyle Farm in Amherst, NH. The event consists of a marathon, a half-marathon and a 6-hour ultra-marathon. The marathon and half-marathon may be run individually or by relay teams. The relay teams (half or full marathon) consist of 2 or 5 runners completing either 5 or 10 laps on a 2.62-mile loop beginning at 7:00 p.m. The 6-hour ultra-marathon begins at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Ultra participants run the 2.62-mile loop continuously for 6 hours.

Most of the race will be run at night on the groomed equestrian trails at Freestyle Farm.

The event is expected to draw 350 runners ranging from casual athletes to experienced ultra-runners. The event is set within a unique venue with high quality trails around a 50-acre pond. The course will be marked with fluorescent light sticks, ground flags and signal fires.

New Hampshire trail race, ultra marathon, new England marathons fall

Medals will be awarded to the first and last place finishers.

All proceeds benefit the Amherst Land Trust. The trust protects rural, scenic, and open-space lands for future generations. Founded in 1975, the trust has worked to educate the public about conservation and protect thousands of acres of land similar to the lands across which most of the challenge runs.

Registration is open at: $45 for adults and $25 for youth 2-lap and 6-hour relay.

This race is USATF Sanctioned.

Event Results 2022

Hartford Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K

Hartford, CT | 14 October | Saturday – 2023

Registration is open at: $111 for the Marathon, $86 for the Half Marathon,$36 for the 5K, and $20 for the Youth Charity 5K. HMF FitKids (ages 2-11) is only $12.00

All virtual races are $46.00


hartford marathon, new england fall marathons2023 marks the 30th running of the Hartford Marathon.

I ran this marathon in 2012 and can verify that it is very well-organized with lots of community and spectator support.

You can read my race recap HERE.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation takes sustainability seriously. Click HERE to see how they make their races eco-friendly.

When you run the virtual events this year, be sure to keep the spirit alive and be responsible with your trash.

Event Results 2019

Virtual Results 2020

Event Results 2021

2022 Event Results and PHOTOS

Amica Newport Marathon & Half

Newport, RI | 8 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM – 2023

Amica Newport Marathon 2022

Race along the ocean and help support six local charities.

The Amica Newport Marathon was recently voted as having the “Best Half Marathon” and “Best Race Swag” in the Northeast by Competitor Magazine.

In 2018 they were voted as the “Best Marathon in Rhode Island” and a “Top 20 Half Marathon in the USA”.

2023 registration is open! at $112 for the Marathon, $82 for the Half Marathon through July 31st. Add Mobile Locker for your race gear starting at $10.

Both races are USATF Certified and the marathon is a Boston Qualifier.

Shuttle service to the start begins at 5AM. FREE PHOTOS and bag check will be available.

This is something that I wish more races did. I have bags of race shirts already.

Donate Your Shirt to Charity
You are now able to opt out of receiving your event t-shirt when registering. We will then in turn donate the cost of producing that shirt to our partner charities, and announce the donation amount from this initiative following the event.

The race’s charitable partners are the Aquidneck Land Trust, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Boys Town New England, The YMCA Newport, and Clean Ocean Access and other local non-profits.


Event Results 2021

52nd GMAA Green Mountain Marathon & Half

South Hero, VT | 22 October | Sunday | 8:30 AM

The marathon and half-marathon begin and end near the house where Clarence H. Demar, 7 time Boston Marathon Winner, once lived.

vermont marathon, fall new england marathonIt is out and back on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle; a land of farms, apple orchards and summer cottages. The terrain is flat to rolling and about half dirt road (hard packed and well maintained).

The half marathon course is an out and back that finishes at the Folsom School (same as the full marathon).

Both races are USATF Certified: VT15301JK

2023 registration is open

This is a race for runners by runners and has a reasonable registration fee of $70 for the marathon and $50 for the Half. Day of registration is $80 and $60, respectively.

Field is limited to 500 runners. All runners must be 16 years or older.

2019 Event Results

2021 Event Results

2022 Event Results

CircumBurke Trail Challenge

East Burke, VT | ? October | Sunday | 8:02 AM – CANCELLED

Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge, East Burke, VT

This race was last run in 2018. I’ll keep it on the list and will make updates as new information becomes available.

Circumbruke Trail Challenge, fall new england marathons, vermont marathon

The Ride With GPS app will be used to map and track progress. Participants must have access to a device to run the app during the event.

The Marathon Trail Run is one 27 mile lap and starts at 8 AM. The CircumBerzerk Bikers MTB Challenge starts at 10 AM.

This 27 mile circuit brings athletes through single track and logging trails on Burke Mountain, the Victory Hill Sector and Kingdom Trails.

The one lap event is for runners or bikers. The two lap “CircumBerzerk 50+ miler is for bikers only.

Elevation gain on the course is more than 3,000 feet.

Registration is closed

Late (onsite) registration was $160. Number pickup & late (onsite) registration is at Sherburne Lodge from 5:00 to 7:30 PM and on race day from 6:45 until 9 AM.

All proceeds go towards building and maintaining trails along the route!

Start/Finish Venue: Burke Mountain, Sherburne Lodge, East Burke, VT 05832

Event Results 2018

Mohawk Mountain Races

Cornwall, CT | 15 October | Saturday | 8:00 AM – 2023

In cooperation with Mohawk Mountain, the Mohawk Mountain Race is sponsored by Steep Endurance at Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall, CT.

Normally a ski mountain in the winter, the mountain will be transformed into a super fun course! With its challenging ascents and descents on the ski mountain, it is sure to be a race to remember with sweeping viewpoints of the popping Fall foliage at every turn. With several distances to choose from (5K/10K) and NEW this year, Half Marathon/Marathon options, there’s something for every member of the family!

Registration is open at : $70 for the marathon, $60 for the half, $40 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K. Prices increase on June 30th.

Trapp Lodge Mountain Marathon

Stowe, VT | 15 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM 2023

This race will challenge you! Although Trapp lodge has some of the smoothest, most runnable trail around, they also boast some incredible single track. Steep climbs and descents and a newly updated climb to the highest point on the Trapp Lodge Property; Round Top Mountain!

The 13.1 mile loop course is approximately 2/3 double track wide trails and dirt roads, and 1/3 serpentine, rugged single track. Full marathon racers will traverse this loop twice. This is a challenging trail race with significant elevation gain and loss and some steep scrambling segments.

2023 registration is open at:$105 for the Full Marathon and $95 for the Half. Prices increase by $15 after July 30th.

2019 Event Results

2021 Event Results

2022 Event Results

Mount Desert Marathon, Half and Relay

Bar Harbor, ME | 15 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM – Marathon and Marathon Relay,
Half begins at 8:30 in Northeast Harbor – 2023

MDI Marathon, Maine Marathon, fall new england marathons

Named ‘Most Scenic & runner-up Best Overall Marathon’ by Runner’s World

New England Runner Magazine’s Race of the Year! And many other accolades, too many to list here.

The Marathon and Marathon Relay begin in Bar Harbor, hits the half-way mark near Northeast Harbor and ends in Southwest Harbor.

Miles 12 through 19 are run along the eastern shore of Somes Sound, the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast. While the entire island is beautiful, Somes Sound has always been one of my favorite areas on MDI.

The Half Marathon begins at 8:30AM in Northeast Harbor and runs north along Somes Sound for five miles.

The marathon had 737 finishers in 2018, and the half had 632 finishers. The Marathon is USATF Sanctioned & Certified: ME12018JK.

2023 registration is open at: $110 for the Marathon, $95 for the Half, Three-person relay is $80. Prices increase June 1st.

PAST RESULTS – All races

Baystate Marathon & Half Marathon

Lowell, MA | 15 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM – 2023

2023 registration is open at: $95 for the Marathon, $80 for the Half and $95 for the half-marathon relay. $80 for the Half-Marathon Wheelchair and Wheelchair Assist.

baystate, bay state marathonThis marathon always sells out. There are very few flat marathons in New England, but Baystate is one of them.

If you are looking to qualify for Boston, this is a good choice. The race is mostly flat with the bridges over the Merrimack having the most elevation gain. Part of the course is a double loop, so it can be challenging to see the “Mile 22” sign when you are at Mile 12 and starting to feel it.

This is a well supported race with local high schools competing to have the best water stop! There is plenty of parking at the Tsongas Arena garage.

This is a favorite race for many GBA runners and had about 1,300 finishers in 2018. I’ve run Baystate four times. Baystate Recap – 2014 Baystate Marathon course video

EVENT RESULTS 2022 back to the 90s!

8th Annual Ocean State Rhode Races

Narragansett, RI | 29 October | Sunday | 7:30 AM


rhode island marathon, fall marathons

The Marathon starts at 7:30AM, Half at 8AM and the 5K at 8:15AM.

2023 registration is open at:

Marathon – $95, Half Marathon – $70, 5K – $28

Virtual Marathon and Half – $50, virtual 5K – $30.

These races feature FREE PHOTOS and a secured bag check at the start.

The Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. The Ocean State Rhode Races Half is the final stop of the Rhode Race Series, a four stop series of Rhode Island Half Marathons.

This race harkens back to the original Ocean State Marathon with the start in Narragansett Beach.

It follows beautiful Rt 1a and showcases wonderful ocean views, old stone walls, working farms, estuaries and kayak stands. It really is a pretty one.

It is a smaller marathon so if you are looking to BQ – you won’t have to fight through crowds of people at the start.

Rhode Races & Events is committed to recycling at this year’s Ocean State Rhode Races. Road Races create a lot of waste, but we’ll reduce our footprint by diverting hundreds of pounds of cardboard boxes, water jugs, and plastic bottles from the landfill.

To learn more about our race day efforts and how you can help – please click this link. Additionally – all clothing discarded at the start of the race will be donated to North American Family Institute.

Rhode Races offers a variety of discounts and packages for companies looking to foster their corporate health and wellness initiatives. Employees training and participating together helps promote team camaraderie, increased branding and a sense of goodwill. Join our Corporate Fit Challenge and compete to be the “Most Fit” or the “Most Philanthropic” business. Learn more


Southcoast Wind Cape Cod Marathon and Half Marathon

Falmouth, MA | 7-8 October | 8:00 AM – Saturday and Sunday – 2023

cape cod marathon, New England fall marathonsThis is a great fall Cape Cod racing event presented by the Falmouth Running Club.

Registration for 2023 is open at: $95 for the Marathon, $85 for the Half, and $40 for the 5K.

Included in entry fee:

Gender-specific long sleeve shirt
Customized bib with the first name spelled how you registered (if registered by September 13, 2021)
Secure gear check
Boston Qualifier and certified race course stocked with water and Gatorade
Unique coastal medal
Hot clam chowdah and soup station with vegan, gluten free and dairy free options at the finish line!
Apple cider donuts!
The best town, volunteers and committee to support you!

The marathon was named “The Best Marathon in Massachusetts” by the RaceRaves in 2018.

All Event Results

Cape Cod Marathon Half

Falmouth, MA | 7 October | 8:00 AM – 2023

Please see above for details and registration.


Clam Chowdah Challenge

Falmouth, marathon, half, clam chowder, chowdah

The Clam Chowdah Challenge consists of the half and full marathon run on Marathon weekend.

Are you up to the Chowdah Challenge?

All finishers of the Clam Chowdah Challenge will receive a chowdah bowl and “medal” spoon, medals for both races and a race shirt.

Run the Chowdah Challenge for $185

Previous Marathon and Half Marathon results

In 2019 the organizers implemented changes to minimize the environmental impact of these races. They are reducing waste by:

Replacing plastic bags with Eco-Friendly for Number Pick Up bags
Providing compostable cups at all water stops
Replacing single-use plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles at the finish lines
Creating Compost/Recycle/Trash stations at the finish line
Providing compostable bowls and spoons for the soup and chowder at the marathon and relay finish line
Recycling left over medals when needed

While running your virtual race you can reduce your footprint also.

Don’t toss water bottles or drop that tare off from your gel pack. If you have trash while you are running, hold onto it and look for a trash barrel.

9th Annual LOCO Half and Full Marathon

Newmarket, NH | 22 October | Sunday | 8:00 AM – 2023

loco marathon, new hampshire marathon, Newmarket Marathon

The 9th Annual LOCO half and full Marathon is a spectacular 13.1 mile loop course run completely on tree-lined rural roads.

It travels through four local coastal towns: Newmarket, Lee, Epping and Newfields New Hampshire.

Not only is a scenic course, it is designed to be fast and easy. Half marathoners run one loop. Marathoners run a second loop. For the past two years over 32% on average of marathoners qualified for the Boston Marathon.

The Marathon is a double loop of the Half-Marathon. It’s all country roads and 3 miles of rail trail.

This is a runner’s race. The finish time cut-off for 59 years and under is 4:30. For 60 and older it is 5 hours even.

Most marathons have a 6 hour cut-off time. If you are running to see the foliage, you may want to pick another race. If marathon runners cannot make the half-way mark by 2:15 or 2:30 for 60+ years, you will be pulled from the course!

Oh, and marathon runners MUST bring photo ID. So no faking 60+ to get the extra 30 minutes to finish the race!

Cut-off time for the Half-Marathon is 2:30.

The course is USATF Certified at 13.10938 miles. Combined registration is limited to 1,000 runners. Finisher’s medals for all marathon finishers!

Hot food will be served after the race and Smuttynose Brewing will be pouring!

2023 registration is open! $79 for the marathon and $59 for the half marathon.

Events Results 2019

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon

Roxbury, CT | 12 November | 8:30 AM

The Roxbury Marathon and Roxbury Half Marathon are hilly, no-frills foot-races that are run over some of the roads used by the Roxbury Races annual series (about 40 races from February into early December each year).

The entry fee is $35 for the half marathon and $40 for the marathon to cover costs.

2023 registration has not opened yet

Manchester City Marathon, Half, Relays & 5K

Manchester, NH | 12 November | Sunday | 7:30 to 9:30 AM

You have the option to run in Manchester or run a virtual race.

Virtual races can be run between November 2nd and 8th.

New Hampshire Marathon, Fall marathon New England

This event will utilize “time trial start” format that will facilitate “social distancing” for the entirety of the event. Participants will be seeded based off their self-submitted paces. Athletes will start one-by-one in a time-trial format, 10 seconds after one another. Participants will be assigned a dedicated start time along with specific times for parking, check-in time and report to corral time.

See there website for more details.

The largest New Hampshire marathon, Manchester is USATF Certified and a Boston Qualifier.

The web site describes the race as hilly, challenging and scenic. Many friends have run this race and only had good things to say about their experience.

Registration OPEN – $90 for the Marathon, $75 for the Half, $160 for the 4-way Marathon Relay and $110 for the 2-way Marathon Relay. The 2-way Half Relay is $95. The 5K is $25.

The virtual marathon and half are $40. The virtual 5K is $30.

They are looking for volunteers.

The first 2,000 runners will receive a long sleeve event shirt. All runners will enjoy Sam Adams beverages as well as flat bread pizza, Dasani water and Stoneyfield yogurt.

Free race photos, finisher video and bag check will be available.

Event Results from 2007 to 2022 Manchester City Marathon course video

The Millinocket Marathon & Half

Millinocket Marathon, Maine marathon

Millinocket, ME | 2 December | Saturday

Marathon starts at 10AM
Half Marathon starts at 10:10 AM

The last of the New England Marathons for fall of 2022 and registration is closed!

2023 registration is open

There is no registration fee for this race. This New England Marathon was conceived of as a way to help the economy of a Northern Maine former mill town: Millinocket.

When I was growing up the paper industry made Millinocket a bustling town. While I was attending college at The University of Maine the mill was on it’s last legs. Everyone knew that hard times were coming, just like they did in so many other mill towns across America.

Just like other mill towns across the country, Millinocket is working to reinvent itself.

This race allows you to be a part of that revival and run a great marathon or half marathon.

This race is at least five hours north of Boston. Throw in some traffic or weather and you’ll be well beyond five hours. Just keep that in mind.

Oh, it it’s guaranteed to be cold. It’s just a question of how cold. Keep this in mind before you register.

A note from the Race Director:

Important: Please don’t register unless you are somewhat serious about traveling to Millinocket in the first place. Although our race is FREE, we still prepare bib numbers and accrue expenses to prepare for your participation. We totally understand that life happens, but if you can’t come, don’t just NOT show up; it’s very important to officially cancel your registration in a timely manner so that those volunteering their time and funds do not expend them unnecessarily. Thank you for your understanding — we can’t wait to see you in the Magic City!

2021 Race Results

Looking for a Winter 2013 marathon? Click HERE.

Run well my friends!


What distance can my child run?

Here are some guidelines and resources to help you decide what distance your child can run safely.

Updated May 19th, 2023

As parents we want to encourage our children to be healthy and active, and we want to make the best decisions for them.

And to make good decisions for our kids, a little advice and some good information can be very helpful.

We often talk to our friends with kids to get this advice and information, but how many parents know how far should a 7 year old run, or how fast can a 4 year old run.

For this article, I gathered tips and advice from the experts to help you make an informed decision about how far your child should be running.

In full disclosure, I am not one of these experts. What I offer here is expert advise from organizations with extensive experience designing running programs for chidren. I hope to make your decisions a little easier to make.

I do encourage you to consult with your pediatrician before you begin doing more than running around the yard.

What distance can your child run safely?

Children are born to run and love it. Just look at kids on a playground or at the park.

However, running for play and running for exercise or to train for a race are completely different.

At play, kids start and stop and make up their own rules as they play. The only goal is to have fun.

When you introduce formal exercise or training for a race, there are goals and a few rules. Your child may feel obligated to follow those rules and reach for those goals before they are ready.

This article can help inform your decisions when you are setting goals and making the rules.

Goals and Rules

When I talk about goals and rules we’re not talking boot camp or anything close to that!

The rules could be, you have to be able to talk while you run, who sets the pace, or that homework needs to be done before the evening run. Things like that.

Goals could be that you will run 2-3 times each week. Time and distance don’t matter. Or a goal could be to run one block or one telephone pole further each week.

You and your child can make the rules and set the goals. The biggest goal and most important rule is that it should be fun.

So how far can your child run?

The two things to keep in mind when considering how far your child can and should run are:

      • Your child’s health and fitness level
      • Your child’s age

Your child’s health and fitness level

While pediatricians disagree on how much children should run, all agree that children need exercise.

Some is better than none but you can have too much of a good thing.

At your child’s next physical let the pediatrician know that your child is interested in running.

This is a good way to start a conversation between your pediatrician and your child.

If there are limits or cautions, your child is more likely to be receptive if the pediatrician makes suggestions. The doctor’s enthusiasm may also help motivate your child and keep them going when running turns into work.

If you do not have an appointment coming up, a quick call is advised.

I suggest involving your pediatrician as a best practice.

Fitness and Activity Levels

Fitness and activity tend to go hand in hand.

Active play and sports help keep children’s cardio-vascular system in good shape. Active kids tend to be fit kids.

If your child comes in the house after playing and they are a hot sweaty mess, it’s safe to say they got some exercise.

For younger children, the vigor of their play time is a good indicator of their fitness.

If your child is older and participates in sports, they probably have a healthy level of activity. Drop by practice some time and ask the coach how they are doing.

Your Child’s Age

If your child is healthy, age is the biggest factor in deciding what distance your child should run.

children running. kids races, what distance can my child run

How far a 12 year old can run and how far a 6 year old can run will be quite different.

Older children are more physically developed, stronger and have better coordination.

Older children also tend to have higher levels of motivation, self control and understand goals.

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the largest running organization in the US and provides educational materials for running clubs who host youth running programs.

Established in 1958, they have extensive experience and expertise.

Their guidelines address appropriate race distances for children starting at Pre-K and give you some guidance on training and encouraging your child.

The RRCA guidelines recommend that children under 5 participate in kid’s fun runs which are usually under 400 yards.

These “races” do not require training and everyone gets a ribbon and lots of encouragement.

They are a great way for your child to try out running and have a good time. And that’s what it’s all about for this age group.

Not all races have a children’s fun run, so you will have to look around and keep your eyes open.

Mother’s day, Father’s day and some holiday races are your best bet.

RRCA FUNdamentals of Youth Running

These age bracket guidelines from the RRCA should be helpful to you.

  • Children 5 and under should focus on “dash” events that range from a few yards to 400 meters.
  • Children 5 and over, kids fun runs that are a ½ to 1 mile long may be considered, but allow for a combination of running and walking.
  • Children ages 12 and over may want to participate in a 5K run.
  • Children ages 15 and older may want to participate in a 10K to half marathon event.
  • Children 18 and older may want to participate in a marathon or further distance.

While every child is different, you should feel comfortable using these guidelines to decide what distance your child should run.

Running should be fun

Children should not be pressured into running longer distances than they want to. As any parent knows, it’s not unusual for a child to change their mind in the middle of something.

As adults we know about challenging our limitations and pushing through to the next level. Children often do not have these motivations and just know that “this isn’t fun anymore.”

If your child wants to stop or walk while training or racing you have the difficult task of knowing when to let them have their way.

For pre-teens, the emphasis should be on fun, participation and enjoying the event. The emphasis should not be on competition and attaining goals.

If a young child has a genuine enthusiasm for running, let it grow naturally. They will move up to longer distances as they mature and grow stronger.

As the parent your role should be to guide and encourage your young runner and help them make wise choices about running.

Additional Running Guidelines

child running distances, What distance can my child runHere are the distances that the Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) uses for their youth events.

Many HMF races have included FitKids fun runs as part of their races for many years. They have a lot of experience in this area.

HMF greatly expanded its platform of youth running programs in 2022 under the umbrella of the Susie Beris, MD Youth Running Program. With a mission to build lifelong runners, the expanded program encompasses the existing HMF FitKids offerings with additional resources and opportunities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

It’s exciting to see their program grow to include kids from age 2 to 12th grade!

If you click on the HMF FitKids tab they list races throughout the year that your child can participate in.

Most Fun Runs award a ribbon and sometimes provide a drink and a snack. They usually do not provide a medal or shirt as these are free events.

If these things are important to your child, you should see if you can buy an extra shirt for your child.

Omni Running does offer a medal for first time 5K finishers, but a younger child might be happy to receive it for running a shorter distance.

Some races allow you to register your child ahead of time for the Fun Run, but some only have “day of” registration.

suggested distances for kids, youth runningThe Healthy Kids Running Series was created by Jeff Long, Founder and President of Pattison Sports Group, to provide kids with a positive, educational, and fun experience in the world of running.

They help parents set up youth running programs in their own towns and provide these youth running distance recommendations.

On their web site you can find information on good running form and stretching. It’s important for kids to form good habits early.

The program emphasizes fun and encourages weekly organized runs for children. You can find out if there is a program near you by entering your zip code at their website.

Angela Bekkala wrote an article for How to Get Kids Ready for Their First 5K It’s a quick read and offers additional advice.

Your child wants to run a 5K with you. What should you do?

If your child has been running shorter distances, you can either run the 5K for fun or start increasing the training effort.

If your child has never really run before, I would suggest a few short easy training runs at the very least. They should know ahead of race day what running feels like.

If the easy training run doesn’t turn them off, both of you should work out a training plan.

You’re not training for The Olympics, you just want to improve their conditioning and get their bodies used to running.

  • Do not put any pressure on them to achieve a certain goal
  • Forget about your own time. You need to run their pace
  • Be prepared to walk and always be positive and encouraging
  • You are mom or dad, not their coach, so always be supportive

This applies to training runs and the race it self.

If your child has a positive experience with you at their first 5K, you may have a new running buddy. What could be better than that?

Make sure to emphasize the fun race environment. Make them feel like one of the other runners by introducing them to your friends and including them in conversations. Everyone loves a new runner, and your child will thrive on the positive energy at a race.

Some 5K races are adult events and can have loud music and drinking. If you run one of these 5Ks with your child it may be a good idea to only stay for a while after the race.

Competitive Running for your Child

Around the age of 12, the RRCA says children may participate in 5K races. Moving from fun runs to a 5K race should be your child’s decision. The emphasis should still be on fun and participation.

When a child starts running 5K races on a regular basis, they may become competitive. A child may compete with themselves, friends or you.

Competition is good and running competitively teaches many life lessons. As the parent it is up to you to guide expectations and be supportive.

It is important for children to understand that few of us ever come in first place. Most of us have friends who finish ahead of us. As adults we understand this and our self worth and image are not dependent on how we do at a race.

For a pre-teen or teenager, winning and loosing can become the focus of running. As a parent, it is your role to focus more on the fun and participation in the event and running community, and focus less on competition.

As your child runs more races and improves their running, competition can become more important.

Setting goals and training to achieve them are important life lessons. If a child sticks with running and maintains a healthy enthusiasm for the sport, your guidance can help them set healthy goals and expectations of themselves.

When your child moves from the 1-mile fun run to the 5K, let them guide you. You can see when they may be pushing too hard and you can see when they should push for the next goal. As the more experienced runner, you can guide them.

Moving to longer distances

As always, the age and the health of your child are your main considerations. Around age 15 it should be okay for your child to run a 10K or half-marathon.

Many marathons will not allow anyone under age 18 to run. Some will allow teens to run with a parent’s permission.

If your child has run a few 5Ks and enjoyed themselves, then it should be okay to try a 10K. While a child may not need to train for a fun run or a 5K, they should do training for a 10K and definitely for a half-marathon.

In your child’s mid-teens, running 5Ks and 10Ks should be sufficient. In the later teens an occasional half-marathon and perhaps a marathon should be okay.

As your child moves up to longer distances, you child should train with you or a coach at school. Fitness and conditioning become more important at longer distances in order to avoid injury and to run successfully.

If your child does not get an annual athletic physical as a requirement to participate in school sports, make sure you are making those appointments.

I hope this information is helpful. I want to emphasis again that this information should be used as a guide only.

races with medals, 5k medals, my first 5k medalIf your child is running their first 5K race and you would like to get them a medal to remember the race, check out the My First 5K medal. Many 5K races do not give finisher’s medals. Usually only the top male and female finisher and top age group finishers receive a medal.

And the sale of these medals helps support this web site.

Run well my friends and happy running with your child!


My 2023 Boston Marathon Experience

It took twenty years to run my tenth Boston marathon, and it took all of my experience to do it!

My 2023 Boston Marathon Experience was a celebration of twenty years of running. In 2003, my very first marathon was the Boston Marathon.

Back twenty years ago, I was excited to run my first marathon. The oldest and most famous marathon in the world. I was totally naïve and totally unprepared for that race!

You can read how my journey began and what My First Boston Marathon Experience was like.

Over the past twenty years, I’ve learned a lot. Mostly through making all the mistakes you can think of. All of those mistakes could fill a book or two!

Setting my sites on the 2023 Boston Marathon

In addition to learning a lot about running over the past twenty years, I’ve also become familiar with the challenges of getting a bib for The Boston Marathon.

2023 would be a special year for me, so I had to be intentional about getting a bib and couldn’t leave anything to chance. I analyzed the three ways that I know of to get a bib.

Qualifying had never been an option over the past twenty years, and it certainly was not an option this year. Even runners who qualify are not guaranteed a bib. Since CIVID-19 it has become easier as fewer qualified runners seem to be applying. But I know plenty of people who have qualified by a few minutes and still could not get a bib. Again, this was not an option for me!

My best marathon time of 3:47 ten years ago would not be a Boston Qualifying time even at my current age!

Andy Nagelin Boston Marathon 2019, running for MGH

2019 Boston Marathon

I could join a charity team and commit to raising as much as $10,000. I’ve run for MGH, now Mass General Brigham, and FamilyAid Boston before.

Running for charity is a great way to support an organization that you feel strongly about. But between training and fundraising, it’s about all you do for four months. And they take your credit card number when you sign up.

My best option seemed to be getting a bib through my running club.

The BAA donates invitational bibs to local running clubs. The Melrose Running Club usually gets two or three bibs and awards them based on volunteer activity.

Getting a bib can be very competitive, and you never know how many people will apply and how many points they may have. Celebrating twenty years of running was very important to me, so I had to be intentional and go after it.

I volunteered for everything that I could, including water stops during our summer and winter Sunday Long Run Series. I was in physical therapy all this time and many times I could not run far, or at all. So I made the best of a difficult situation.

I’m also a club board member and volunteered at all of our race events. All of my volunteering worked and I had more points than anyone else when it came time to select bib recipients.

Even with all of my points, it was still a relief to hear from The Board that I had been awarded one of the coveted bibs!

Training for My 2023 Boston Marathon

The other challenge I had to over-come was the fact that I’d been in physical therapy for over a year when I started thinking about doing this. At the time I couldn’t run even a 5K.

What started as Achilles tendonitis evolved into knee issues. We then threw in some back and shoulder issues for fun. Then I got into a minor car accident in November 2022 which effected my back and how far I could run.

Knowing that the best approach for a comeback was an intentional and methodical training process, I began in August of 2022.

As the 2023 Boston Marathon date drew closer, I read some of my recaps of previous Boston Marathons. I wanted to remember how those races and training went for me. I was surprised to read how often I have been injured. Less surprising was how challenging the training had been for each previous marathon.

I started my training nine months before Boston, in August. I ran 31 miles in August, up from twelve running miles in July. More than the 10% increase usually recommended, but I was careful and receiving guidance from my PT.

The chart below shows my nice progress through January. The first Sunday Long Run was on December 30th, 2022, a comfortable 10.32 miles at a 10:05 pace. I felt pretty good going into January.

January was a strong month with 91 running miles, of which almost 50 miles were Sunday Long Runs. But I was feeling too good and too confident and had a bit of a set-back in February.

My left knee started acting up again and I had to cut back. I didn’t even finish the first long run in February. I ran 13.6 miles that became increasingly painful. I skipped the next week’s run and cut the third February long run from 18.1 to 12.9 miles. The last February run on the 26th was 13.1 miles.

Even with knee pain at 5 out of 10, I was able to run a half marathon distance. Not how you want to run a marathon.

2023 Boston Marathon Training Miles
2023 Boston Marathon Training Miles

The first weekend in March I was on vacation, so I had to do the scheduled 20 mile run on my own. Twenty miles by your self is challenging enough, but my knee was the biggest challenge.

My PT, Dr. Sarah Marchionne, suggested a knee brace and showed me a few options. I picked up a “Shock Doctor” Level 3 knee brace at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Shock Doctor Knee Brace, Level 3

It looked and felt heavy duty, but I was able to run twenty miles with very little pain. I was both surprised and pleased with the result.

During my twenty-mile run I also tested my planned fuel for Boston: Snicker’s Bars. I ran The Portland Maine Marathon with two of them and it really worked well.

They worked well on my twenty-miler and on Marathon Monday.

I got back on track in March, didn’t cut any runs short and only missed one long run. I was also able to extend my Tuesday night club runs back to 6 miles and do five-mile runs on Thursdays.

When we did our 22-mile run on March 26th I ran a 10:43 pace, tested all of my race day items and felt pretty good. It was a real confidence booster.

According to the BAA, my pace during the 2023 Boston Marathon was 10:48. That 22-mile run was an accurate gauge of my fitness level.

Part of physical therapy was strength training. Dr. Sarah created a routine for me and eventually, I did the routine at home. During office visits, Dr. Sarah worked on my knee and back. Which was plenty!

Over twenty years, I had never incorporated strength training into my training. I think that it made a big difference and I considered it my “ace in the hole” to get me through the marathon.

Starting the 2023 Boston Marathon

By the time Marathon Weekend came around, I was ready to go. My training went pretty well, and Dr. Sarah’s “Marchionne Method” allowed my knee to improve, even as the miles increased.

A few days before The Marathon a buddy of mine who runs the BAA VIP program signed me up to join the VIPs. It’s mostly runners who work for the major BAA sponsors and not a bunch of sport and rock stars. I was really hoping to get some cool pictures.

BAA VIP Tent. Copley Square 2023

They had a huge tent in Copley Square about 100 yards from the finish line. It was heated, had food and drink and a place to stash our drop bags. They even had medical staff and supplies to treat about anything.

When it was time to go, we filed out of the tent and boarded two coach buses out to Hopkinton. The last time I took a coach to Hopkinton I was still working for HP. It was great!

In Hopkinton we pulled into the High School but parked out back near the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. A large building with plenty of art and seating! They had some food but no water bottles or Gatorade. After a bit it dawned on us that they were trying to avoid plastic waste.

Boston Marathon 2023, Hopkinton Center for the Arts

They also had real bathrooms and about a dozen porta potties just for us. At a marathon, that is a true luxury!

The only way to get water was to use their “bubbler” that used a filtering system and took several minutes to fill an 80z bottle. After waiting in line for 10 minutes behind just a few people, I went into the men’s room and filled my 2 water bottles from the sink.

On race day, unfiltered city water is the least of my worries!

On the big screen in the auditorium, they had WBZ’s broadcast of the race showing. It was great to see the elite runners and para-athletes. We could also see the weather conditions.

There were more than 150 of us in the BAA VIP group. Some people were in the first waves and most of us were in the last waves. Plenty of people were running their first marathon.

As I was leaving for the start line one of the volunteers asked if I wanted a trash bag. I knew that morning the weather was likely to be cool and wet, but I thought I had dressed appropriately.

But as we waited our turn to start, bands of rain came through and I knew I needed that bag! We tore holes for my head and arms, and I slipped on a super heavy duty trash bag for my run to Boston.

A clear mind and a calm heart

During taper time I never had the taper tantrums. Many runners get the blues when they basically suffer endorphin withdrawal when the long runs get too short to produce them.

Being in a blue mood, having lots of extra time to think and not being around that group of runners as much can be a tough few weeks.

I’ve experienced these runner’s blues and would find it hard to sit still. I coined the phrase “taper tantrums” a few years ago. It seemed an apt description of my restlessness and blue mood. But my mood never dipped this year.

Often I get a bit nervous before any race. Sometimes I wont get nervous until they call us to line up. Sometimes I’m a bit nervous for days before a race.

The way I run there are never any medals or prizes on the line. I think it’s just the pressure I put on my self. The desire to do a little better than last time, even as I’m getting older. Maybe place in my age group?

As I waited in the Center for the Arts, and even during the 0.7 mile walk to the start, I didn’t get nervous. It’s the strangest thing.

At the time I didn’t really think about it. It’s not like I was missing the feeling of butterflies in my belly or the need to pee every ten minutes.

I really had things dialed in. My PT and training went as well as I could have hoped for. I had trained and raced using the same food and hydration many times. Most of my clothing had been through many races and hundreds of training runs. I had run this race nine times before and ran 22 miles of it during training at least three other times. I knew each hill and turn as well as anyone could.

My 2018 Boston Marathon Experience, Boylston Street, Rain

Boylston Street – 2018

In 2018 I ran in much worse conditions. I literally have been there, done that and have the t-shirt.

A little rain, a light breeze and cool weather wasn’t going to phase me a bit.

Just like tap water, I had bigger issues on my mind.

The First Half of the 2023 Boston Marathon

As we walked up the hill to the start line, it was nice to see enthusiastic spectators. The course marshals directed us to a corral, and we kept walking and had a rolling start just like 2018 and 2019. I was ready.

As we ran down the hill from the start, I looked at the people there and and let out a few whoops of my own. It was time to have some fun!

While I had double tied my shoelaces, apparently, I hadn’t tied my shorts tight enough after the last porta potty stop.

As I ran along, I noticed that my running belt was pushing my shorts down! I had a trash bag on, but I couldn’t let me shorts slide down my legs. And while running to Boston dressed in just a trash bag may have been novel, I did have things I needed in my short’s pockets.

So, at 0.43 miles I went to the side of the road, hiked up my trash bag and re-tied my shorts. What a foolish, rookie mistake! It’s not like I was going to make up for that lost time. It was just lost.

I got back up to speed and before I knew it I was at 5K and it was time for my first bite of Snickers bar. While holding a Gatorade bottle, I had to take off a glove to tare the wrapper. Then I had to stuff the remainder into my pocket, not drop it, get my glove back on, and try not to inhale a peanut or piece of chocolate!

At 5K the BAA clocked me at 32:04 for a 10:20 pace. This was about where I wanted to be and wasn’t too fast for the beginning of the race.

At the 4-mile mark I was thinking that I still had my longest long run in front of me: 22.2 miles! And these would be hilly miles including the infamous Newton Hills. I resigned my self to the fact that I had a long, wet slog in front of me.

At the 10K and 15K mark my pace was 10:12 and 10:14 respectively. I hadn’t planned to speed up, but nothing hurt. At each 5K increment I kept up with my fueling and hydration.

Around Mile 12 the run began to feel like work. At some point in a marathon, it always begins to feel like work, you just never know how soon. I was happy it didn’t begin to feel like work before Mile 12, but I had 14.2 miles of work in front of me.

The half-way mark, 13.1 miles, always seems anti-climactic. Running half a marathon is just half of a marathon so we can’t expect a grand reception. But it’s still 13.1 miles.

2023 Boston Marathon at the half-way mark of 13.1 miles

The BAA clocked me at 2:15:19 at the half for a pace of 10:28. Still below my pace goal of 10:30, but slower than the even two-hours flat I would have preferred.

Finishing the 2023 Boston Marathon

Right after the half-way mark we approached Wellesley College. In the past I felt that the crowd wasn’t as big as the hype.

But this year, the hype was real. There were hundreds of enthusiastic girls up against the barricades. I have to say that there were some really cute girls, but I’m more than old enough to be their father. While I was temped to stop for a quick kiss, it just didn’t seem right.

After the pick-me-up at Wellesley it was back to business. At mile twelve it had begun to feel like work and at mile fourteen it was time to get down to business.

I still had over twelve miles to run and the “easy” miles were behind me. I could actually feel that my legs were pumped up like a speed skaters. They also felt rather tired.

My knee was still in good and my hydration and fueling were right on track. The pain that I felt in my legs was from fatigue and not from injury. There is a big difference.

Overcoming fatigue is a matter of will power. Running through an injury can screw you up for good. I wasn’t injured.

Running into The Abyss

At this point in the race I decided to dig in and run through the fatigue. To do this I needed to tune out the crowd and the runners around me as much as possible.

I had to narrow my focus to one foot and then to the other. I had to pay attention to the water stops and what I had in the bottles on my belt. I had to remember to eat. It was time to use everything that I’d learned over the past twenty years.

There were seven more miles to the Melrose Running Club tent and my big pit stop. I felt like I was running into the abyss and it was just me and the road. The black road.

In my mind, I visualized myself running into the darkness. Total darkness. Like a door had opened into a dark room. It wasn’t a scary darkness, but the absence of everything. It was me against me in a battle of wills.

At 25K, between miles 15 and 16, the BAA clocked me at a 10:42 pace.

Three miles after opening the door, I can recall running past Newton-Wellesley hospital and seeing the MGH logo. Another part of the empire I thought. There were lots of people cheering but I barely paid any attention.

Then there was the big turn at mile seventeen and a half, at the Newton Fire station. The road is so wide there and the crowd is huge on both sides of the street. It’s not unusual for someone to say they saw me there or looked for me there. So I scanned the crowd.

It was mental over load to try and actually look at all of those faces. I had to stop scanning the crowd after a few seconds because it was exhausting!

Running The Newton Hills

I was so in the zone that I don’t recall the descent of over 100 feet into Newton Lower Falls, which is before the Route 128/95 overpass. It’s usually a nice down hill run with a huge enthusiastic crowd. The area has a village feel with lots of shops and restaurants and we cross The Charles River.

Just after mile 16 we climbed out of Newton Lower Falls and summited the Route 128/95 bridge. It’s about 89 feet of elevation gain over 3/4 of a mile and really is the first Newton hill.

Around the fire station there are some small rolling hills so you can kind of enjoy the crowds. Then at about 17.5 miles the first of the Newton Hills begin.

Mile 18 had 80 feet of gain in less than half a mile. My pace for mile 18 dropped to 11:26. This was really a lot of work! Mile 19 is mostly down hill and my pace was 10:56.

Mile 20 had 62 feet of gain in about of a quarter mile. There were lots of spectators and running club pop-up tents in this area. I had it in my mind that my club would be at mile 21. So I dug in deep and kept on going.

Then all of a sudden I heard people calling my name. I looked up and saw familiar faces and the club pop-up tent. My watch said 20.3 miles. They were early. I wasn’t expecting them. Turns out, we’re at this spot every year!

Thuy Dang had a cold, flat Coca-Cola for me and it really hit the spot. Cold and full of sugar and caffeine! It had to be cold to be refreshing and flat so I could chug it like a college freshman!

  • Melrose Running Club water stop at the 2023 Boston Marathon. At 20.3 miles with a cold flat Coke
  • Jeff Rushton and AJ Drummond on Heartbreakhill
  • 2023 Boston Marathon, muffin and a coke to go

Then I saw Mary O’Connor holding a bakery bag with a muffin in it. Chocolate chip, just as I requested.

She moved the bag towards me, being careful not to touch the muffin. I reached in with my gloved hand and grabbed the muffin with delight.

She had been so careful not to touch it and here I was grabbing it with the filthiest glove you could imagine. I had wiped my nose and sweat with it and did a few hand slaps along the way as well.

I stayed for a few photos and words of thanks, about one and a half minutes. Then I headed out with a Coke in one hand and a muffin in the other. I know a lot of people got a kick out of seeing me with my snacks!

I jogged a bit and then walked another minute and a half to eat and drink.

Then Heartbreak Hill began. 100 feet or so of elevation over about 3/4 of a mile.

My legs were tired and my mind was in the zone. But I had just consumed a lot of sugar and was well hydrated. I was ready to run the hill!

My pit stop and Heartbreak Hill were both in mile 21 and my pace was 13:21. The BAA clocked mile 21 at 13:24. But if you take out the time I took to stop, my pace was around twelve minutes.

As I ran the hill, I still had my coke and muffin. I was breathing as deeply as I could to make it up the hill, so I couldn’t really eat.

At the crest of the hill they had a large banner strung across the road informing us that we had just run Heartbreak Hill. It felt great. A significant section of the race had been run.

Running into Boston

Not that the hard work was over, but all of the big hills were behind us. After reaching mile 21 and conquering The Newton Hills, we still had 5.2 miles to run.

Most runners will tell you mile twenty is where the race really begins. Even on a flat course, twenty miles takes a lot out of your legs. And my legs felt like a speed skaters – huge and tired!

Earlier in the race I asked my self, “how much do you want this?” That got me to mile 20 and over Heartbreak Hill.

Now with about five miles to go I answered that question again. I wasn’t going to PR or BQ, but I sure as hell didn’t want to run for five hours, or more.

As I ran past Boston College, the mile 22 marker is kind of in the middle, I thought the crowd was louder than Wellesley. And I felt encouraged that I was still running while in previous years I had walked this stretch of road.

At mile 22 I thought, well I just ran my longest long run. Only 4.2 miles to go!

I got a bit of a lift running down hill into Cleveland Circle and the crowd was great.

Then from behind I heard a colleague from the office call me name. It was Larry Bradley and he had recognized me even though I was wearing a trash bag!

I don’t recall what we said other than “how’r you doin” and agreeing to see if we could run this in together. But at some point I lost contact with Larry.

Just before mile 23 I decided it was time to ditch my trash bag. It had served me well but the end of the race was only 3.2 miles away. It was impossible to run and take it off, so I walked for about a minute at the end of mile 23.

I tried to hand it to someone in the crowd, but no one was going to touch that! So I had to stuff it into a barricade so it wouldn’t blow back into the street.

After ditching my trash bag, I ran the rest of the way.

At mile 24 we reached Coolidge Corner in Brookline. The crowds were building and the end of the race was so close!

My inner voice said “I can do this”. Everything was tired or hurt, but it was low level pain. So why walk?

Through mile 25 it was a long slog. I was wiped and there was still running to do. I came out of my abyss and started engaging with the crowd a bit. This late in the race you need the fun and distraction of engaging.

As I approached Kenmore Square, Larry came up from behind again. Not sure how I passed him. But we ran through the square together and agreed to run this in together.

It was a truly unique experience to run this part of the course with someone I know. I’ve started the race with someone I know several times. And I’ve run parts of the course in between with someone I know. But never the last section through Brookline and into Boston.

Running through Kenmore Square

Comm Ave – Leaving Kenmore Square

Kenmore is another wide section but the crowd was huge and very loud. I raised up my arms and waved them around a bit and the crowd responded. It was awesome!

As we ran under the Mass Ave. bridge I commented to Larry how much I hate the hill on the other side. He totally agreed.

I couldn’t believe that we were running down Comm. Ave and headed for one of the most famous intersections in running: Comm. Ave and Hereford Street.

Larry and I made the turn close together and I’ll never forget looking up that street. Up. It never seemed like a hill to me before, though it definitely has a rise to it. In 2018 I passed a hand-cyclist going up that hill and the poor guy was barely moving. So I knew it was a hill.

As we ran up the street I waved my arms some more and the crowd responded. How often do you get to feel like a rock star? I was working it!

Larry and I headed for that other most famous turn in running: left onto Boylston Street. The widest and longest road in America! The turn was easy and not very crowded.

As we ran down Boylston Street the crowd was loud and there were runners on the road, but we had plenty of room.

It felt great to be finishing the race with someone I know. The only other times that happened were when my oldest daughter jumped the barricades and ran the last quarter mile with me.

I saw my coral number on the right side of the super structure and headed that way. Larry stayed left and I never saw him after that.

As I crossed the finish line the announcer mention The Melrose Running Club and my buddy Paul Clark, who got me into the VIP group, reached out to shake my hand. Again, nice to see a familiar face.

2023 Boston Marathon finish line

The BAA VIP tent was within 200 feet of the finish line. I didn’t do the usual walk to get my medal, bag of food and something to drink. Or to pick up my drop bag. That was all inside the tent.

As I approached the tent a volunteer put the medal around my neck and congratulated me. It felt great.

I found the food bags, grabbed a bottle of water and found a place to sit.

Apre the 2023 Boston Marathon

As soon as I sat down my phone started going off. People had been following me and my sister started texting me. Somehow my 85% charge was down to 5% on my phone. I had a charging battery, but if I kept texting I’d kill my phone before the battery could recharge.

After a few messages I got to the business of recovering. I hydrated and ate some food, though I really wasn’t that hungry or thirsty.

I walked around a bit and chatted with a few other runners.

I was smart and paid to park my car about a block from Copley Square where the race ends. In my altered state, I asked a cop for directions to the wrong garage and walked twice as far as I needed to!

I took the elevator to my level and quickly found my car. Getting in was a bit of an effort but it felt good to be situated.

During COVID I became familiar with this part of Boston and getting out to Mass. Ave and over to Cambridge was a breeze.

My 2023 Boston Marathon Experience was complete!

Run well my Friends


2 mile Tuesday

Check out my running activity on Garmin Connect. #beatyesterday

Forgot to wear my knee brace for the first time in about 3 months. On top of that I’m still recovering from Boston.

So I cut my 4.5 mile run to 2 miles just to be careful I’ve come to far for a setback now.

It was great to see all of our walk to run crew out doing their thing. And getting to talk to everyone. We have a good group this season.

My buddy Mike asked me if I wanted to run the New Jersey marathon in October. That sounds like a great idea! A great way to stay motivated all summer.

Run well my Friends,


Cambridge 5K Race Directory 2023

Find all of the 2023 Cambridge 5K races in one place. Check back often as some races have not updated for 2023.

Cambridge 5K Race Directory

Updated April 30th

The Cambridge 5K Race Directory 2023 is taking shape. A few races have been run, and the Cambridge 5K summer season is just beginning!

Click any race name to go to that race web site.

Please note races that have published their 2023 date.

The Cambridge 5K Race Directory - for your next 5K Click To Tweet

Super Sunday 5-Miler and 5K

* February | 10:00 AM | Sunday  – see you in 2024!

The Super Sunday 5 is back in Kendal Square!

2023 registration was $50 for the 5K and $56 for the 5 Miler.

Cambridge 5k race directory, 5k races near me, 5k race in Cambridge

The 5 Miler and 5K  drew about 2,000 runners in 2022 and should be even better in 2023! 

I’ve run the 5K in freezing cold and I ran the 5 Miler in above freezing temps. You never know what you will get, but you will have a good time.

This well-organized running event features hot food and a huge beer garden. They always have a dozen or so local breweries on hand to get the party rolling and keep it going into the early afternoon.

Proceeds benefit the RACE Cancer Foundation. Leave the keys and the kids at home. The Kendall/MIT red line station is right around the corner from the race area. 2019 Race Recap 2020 Race Recap

Cambridge City Run 5K and Andrea Harvey Walk

* April | 9:00 AM  | Sunday – see you in 2024!

2023 was the 35th running of this race. It’s great to see a race that has endured through the years and survived COVID-19.

Managed by Friends of Cambridge Athletics, this race loops the Fresh Pond Reservation. It stays on the trail and the service road inside of the reservation.

I ran this race when it was a 5 mile race in 2015. My recap from 2015.

Fees benefit CRLS student-athlete scholarships, team travel/equipment, and The Andrea Harvey Memorial Fund to help victims of domestic violence.

Parking is available at the Tobin School, 197 Vassal Lane. NO parking at Fresh Pond, and they will ticket!

2023 registration was: $35 for adults and $25 for students. Race day registration will be $45 for adults and $35 for students. CRLS students 18 and under can register for FREE.

Fee for walkers is $35.00

2019 Results

2022 Results

Bionic 5K

Bionic 5K, Cambridge 5K

30 April | 9:30 | Sunday – see you in 2024!

The Bionic5K celebrates hope over despair, diversity over uniformity, possibilities over disabilities.

Run in Harvard Square or Virtually from anywhere in the world!

The Bionic5K recognizes the resilience and tenacity of disabled athletes while celebrating advances in science and technology that are ushering in a new bionic age.

Whether you are running with a prosthetic, an artificial hip, an upgraded knee, an Apple Watch or a fitbit, join us. All are welcome: disabled runners, able-bodied runners, walkers, scientists, technologists, students, teachers, kids and parents. 

All proceeds will benefit the Bionic Project Inc, a non-profit whose mission is to help advance new prosthetic technologies and to broaden the access to resources that promote active lifestyles and athletics for those who must overcome physical challenges.

Race Photos   2019 Results

2022 Race Results

Cambridge Spring Classic 5K

30 April | 9:30 AM | Sunday  – see you in 2024

Cambridge Spring Classic 5K, fun races in Cambridge

This race takes place off of Mass Ave on Sidney Street.

This is a large race with a great post race party. Public transportation is a good idea, keys and kids are optional.

I’ve run this race several times and it is always a good time. It’s great to see the fast runners and hang out with friends, old and new, at the apre race party.

This is a flat course and over a mile of the race is down Mass Ave. Total elevation gain for this Cambridge 5K is 30 feet. Get 19 of your friends to form a team and get a VIP tent complete with cold beer. The tent comes with a table and they are close to the music and pouring stations. Plus they make a great place to stow your gear and hang out with your friends.

2023 registration was $43.  Get the Season Pass for $140, run all four races and get a cool 1/4 zip fleece!

2022 Event Results

REI Co-Op 5K at Cambridge Crossing

? June | 9:30 AM | Sunday – This may have been a one and done

Cambridge 5K race

Starting and finishing at the REI Co-op store in Cambridge, this double loop 5K course explores the new Cambridge Crossing neighborhood as well as the waterfront along North Point Park.

2022 registration was $45 through day of race. All participants will receive a branded Nalgene bottle and a neck gaiter with registration.

This may have been a “one and done” as I have not seen any information for the 2023 race.

2022 race results

RACE Cancer Summer Series 2023

Since the American Legion Marsh Post #442 is such a great location for 5K races, the Race Cancer Foundation has relocated their Summer Series to this location.

2023 registration has opened

There are six races this year, each on a Thursday evening. Registration is $40 per race or $159 for a season pass. If you run all six, that’s getting two races for free!

If you work in Cambridge or Boston, these events make great after work races. Recruit some friends or get together an office or company team to enjoy the summer running season!

These after work events are a great way to relax with colleagues and build relationships.

Registration opens 30 minutes before the Women’s 5K (start times vary by date) Women’s 5K starts first – Open 5K starts ~35 minutes later May 27th 7:00/7:35, June 22 7:00/7:35 July 20 7:00/7:35 August 10 6:30/7:05, August 31 6:30/7:05, Sep 14 6:30 (Men’s only race) Races begin at 5 Greenough Blvd, Cambridge, MA

My First 5K medal, runners medal
Click to order!

A finisher’s medal is not offered for these races. If your company team has first time 5K runners make it a night they will never forget with a 5K medal! It’s a great way to build comradery on your team!

Cambridge Summer Classic 5K

13 July | 6:30 PM | Thursday 

Cambridge Summer Classic 5K Road Race, Cambridge race

Part of the Cambridge Classic Series, this race was introduced in 2016.  This race encourages teams and since it is on a Thursday night, it’s a great way to get together with friends and colleagues!

Registration is open. This has become a very popular race and always sells out. So get your friends together now. Get 19 friends and colleagues to join you for a beautiful evening run through Cambridge and as a team you will get:

  • Reserved tent and table in the post-race area
  • Cold beer waiting for your team after you finish
  • Pouring station near your tent
  • Prime spot to enjoy our post-race music

These races are all children and car-key optional. This is a great summer, after work race. Especially if you work in Cambridge! If your company team has first time 5K runners have a special awards ceremony at your tent with the My First 5K medal! They will be excited to receive a medal and everyone will have a great time!

My First 5K medal, runners medal
click to order

Surprise your first time runner with a medal at the finish line! It’s a great way to build comradery on your team! 1770 runners finished this race in 2018 and 1,649 finished in 2022. It looks like this race is back! 2022 race results

Cambridge Fall Classic 5K

1 October | 9:30 AM | Sunday – 2023

Cambridge Fall Classic, 5k race, running shoes

Brought to you by the same folks who brought you the Cambridge Summer Classic.

This race takes place at the same location and runs the same course. This is another large Cambridge race with a fast, young crowd that runs hard and stays until the beer is gone. Kids and keys are optional. The Kendal/MIT station is a short walk from this event.

My First 5K Medal, company running events

If your company team has first time 5K runners have a special awards ceremony at your tent with the My First 5K medal! They will be excited to receive a medal and everyone will have a great time! Registration is $43 

2020 race results

2121 race results

2022 race results

Paddy’s Cambridge Classic 5K

24 September | 10:00 AM | Sunday

This race benefits the girls of Cambridge by supporting the Cambridge Girls Softball League and other girls’ sports. These great organizations work on team building, athletic skills, and strengthen the connection among physical, mental and social well-being of girls.

Post-Race Block Party After the race there will a block party will be held outside Paddy’s until 7PM! Walden Street will be closed off to traffic and there will be a large beer garden and local food trucks.

Registration is: $35 through July 31st, then $40 through September 23rd and $45 for day of registration.

Cambridge Winter Classic 5K

3 December | 9:30 AM | Sunday

Registration is open!

Cambridge 5k races

The Winter Classic was live and in person on December 5th 2021 with 2268 runners. This is one of the very few races that I ran in 2021.

The last in the Cambridge Classic Series for 2022 and you don’t want to miss it. Bring some extra clothes and leave the kids and keys at home! The Kendal/MIT station is just a short walk from the party.

Teams of 20 get their own tent with their own beer and great location near the pouring station.  Race Day registration was $45.00.

Medals will be given to runners who have a recorded finish time for all 4 2022 Cambridge Classic 5Ks – Spring Classic (5/1/22), Summer Classic (7/14/22), Fall Classic (9/18/22) & Winter Classic (12/4/22).

Your bib will have an indication on it so you can claim a medal when you cross the finish line.

Medals will be given out after you receive post-race water, along the left hand side of the finish shoot, prior to getting to the after party area.

Please collect your medal after crossing the finish line. Medals will not be mailed after the race.

2020 Virtual Results

2021 Race Results

Get a finisher’s medal for your first time Winter Classic 5K runner!

do I get a medal
click to order

If your company team has first time 5K runners or you are trying to recruit non-runners to join your team the medal could be just what you are looking for. Who doesn’t love a medal and the bragging rights that go with it? You can have a special awards ceremony at your tent after the race! Click the photo to order.

Run well my Friends, and I look forward to seeing you in Cambridge!