On Sunday, April 1st over 1300 runners and walkers gathered at the West Cambridge Youth Center to participate in the 26th annual City Run on a sunny, brisk day. It was a Cambridge event through and through, with support and volunteers from diverse departments and groups in the city. The 5-mile road race and 3-mile walk are a collaboration between several Cambridge City Departments, Marathon Sports, the Cambridge Public Schools Athletic Department, Saucony, and FOCA (Friends of Cambridge Athletics, the booster club at the high school). Funds raised support athletic teams at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and the Andrea Harvey Memorial fund, which provides scholarships to graduating seniors, offers domestic violence awareness, and girl empowerment training.
Paul Ryder, Director of Recreation, coordinates the many details of City Run and described the event as stated, “This is a partnership between City of Cambridge departments, Marathon Sports, and FOCA. Much of the funds raised from an athletic recreational event go to support athletics at the high school.”
Colin Peddie, owner of Marathon Sports, gleefully noted that this was the first day with no significant wind in several weeks, which is wonderful weather for the runners. He added that “City Run is a traditional road race that has stayed true to its spirit and intention since its founding 26 years ago.”
Maryann Cappello, Director of Athletics at the high school, shared her appreciation for the event. “As Director of CRLS Athletics, I think this is great opportunity for our students to raise funds for their teams and to benefit from the support of the community. We are very fortunate, because this event brings in over $10,000 to the FOCA booster club. Many of our students run and win awards. A lot of others walk with their teams and it is a bonding experience. The money raised is crucial to supporting teams.”
Other community partners included Whole Foods, who supplied water and snacks for athletes once they crossed the finish line, and Harvard on the Move, a group that sponsors weekly runs and walks that are open to all in Cambridge and offer a chance to forge connections with people from diverse parts of the community. City employees from a number of departments participated as runners and volunteers, and several 8th grade students from Graham & Parks School earned community service hours by helping organizers with the many details involved. A large contingent of walkers participated in honor of Andrea Harvey, a beloved Cambridge resident and teacher in East Boston, who was murdered in a domestic violence incident. Money raised for the memorial fund supports professional development for teachers to increase their understanding of relationship violence and support girl empowerment so that they can address these issues with students in Cambridge Public Schools and East Boston, where she taught. FOCA volunteers who are parents of CRLS athletes helped with registering participants and handing out numbers and t-shirts. Officers from the Auxiliary Police helped with traffic control as the crowd moved through the course.
Mayor Henrietta Davis held the “pistol for peace” as Ryder counted down to the start on a megaphone. She pulled the trigger, and smiling runners surged over the starting line. Once the race started, organizers rushed to set up the finish line in preparation for the first runners to arrive. Ryan Neely of Somerville was the first male finisher, and Kristin Martin of Dracut was the first woman to cross. CRLS runners earned trophies in both youth divisions. The girls swept theirs, with senior Emma Payne in first, sophomore Ariela Schear in second, and sophomore Noa Randall taking 3rd place. In the boys division, sophomore Michael Scarlett took first place and freshman Logan Chen earned 3rd.
We would like to thank the following corporate and community organizations whose support contributed to the success of the 2012 City Run/City Walk:
C.S. Draper Laboratories
Whole Foods Markets
Well Bridge Athletic Club-Harvard Square
Cambridge Trust Company
FC Facilitation/Forest City
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone
Harvard University Credit Union
East Cambridge Saving Bank
Hildebrand Family Center
Thomas Coughlin Insurance
Cambridge Family YMCA
Laborer's International Union