The sky was overcast, but the mood was undeniably cheery as 108 runners gathered at the starting line of The Soles of Medfield Running Club’s 3rd Annual 10k race last Saturday. Bellforge Arts Center, Medfield’s preeminent venue for a vast array of events, served as the picturesque backdrop for the start & finish, as well as for post-race festivities.
After welcoming the crowd, Race Director Adam Graber highlighted The Soles’ goal to keepeveryone safe on the roads whether they’re cycling, running, or walking. Graber also included a land tribute acknowledging that Medfield is located on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Nipmuc and Massachusett Peoples.
The 6.2 mile route traversed a variety of running surfaces (pavement, stone dust, & dirt) while treating the runners to scenic vistas. Runners circled the center quad of the former Medfield State Hospital (MSH) campus, headed toward the Charles River, went along McCarthy sports fields, continued on a trail past Kingsbury Club, followed the newly finished Medfield Rail Trail, ran through the Blacksmith/Colonial & Hickory/Evergreen neighborhoods, trekked up the Longmeadow hill, and finally returned to Bellforge. The course was hilly, but runners’ spirits were high and smiles abounded as Soles members who volunteered as course marshals cheered them on.
To ensure runner safety, which was of the utmost importance, numerous course marshals were stationed at intersections; a cyclist marshal also rode around the course.
For the second consecutive year, a lifesize banana provided levity and encouragement as runners neared the end of the race. The course was decorated with lighthearted & comical signs created by Memorial MAP students.
A fitness store located in Walpole, donated prizes for the top three male & female finishers; they printed the race tee shirts as well. Prizes were also awarded to age group winners. Congratulations to all of the prize recipients!
All proceeds from the race (over $2,500) will benefit the Medfield Pedestrian, Runner, and Cyclist Safety Fund, which aims to make Medfield roads safer for all who use them. The Soles are committed to aiding in education about road safety, including the new Vulnerable Road Users laws (for more information, please visit www.mass.gov/info-details/mass-general-laws-c90-ss-14).
The Soles would like to thank all of the race sponsors!
Community members are always welcome to join The Soles on their weekly runs around the ‘052. Check them out on their website (www.solesofmedfield.com), Instagram (@thesolesofmedfield), and/or Facebook (The Soles of Medfield Running Club).