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Organizers Create Innovative Finish for Harvard Pilgrim 50 - 5K & 10K

25 Jun, 2013


Both Race Courses Will Include Gillette Stadium Ramps Before Thrilling 50-Yard-Line Finish, Captured on The Stadium’s Giant HDTV Screens

Sometimes, attracting runners to a race depends on offering a big-name experience.

Organizers of the upcoming Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 - 5K & 10K at Patriot Place are preparing a three-day event Monday-Wednesdady, July 1-3 that includes a fitness expo, food, live music and an extensive fireworks display.  But more importantly, the race will allow finishers to be pictured on Gilette Stadium’s giant HDTV screens

Race organizers are encouraging runners and walkers to sign up as soon as possible at www.harvardpilgrimfinishatthe50.com. The family-fun event at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Mass., now in its fourth year, will once again feature free select pre-race meals to registered participants at Patriot Place at select restaurants.

“We are pleased to sponsor this healthy, family-friendly way to kick-off July 4th festivities,” said Eric H. Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.  “We encourage runners and walkers to test their mettle in these unique races and we invite everyone to come and learn more about fitness options,” he said.

New this year are staggered starts for both races and the stadium ramps have been added to the last part of the 10K course. The entire 5K course is within the grounds of Patriot Place and 1.3 miles is run inside Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

Both races will continue with a thrilling finish, as participants running onto the Gillette Stadium field can watch themselves on the stadium’s giant HDTV screens as they run across the finish at the 50-yard line.

In 2012, 2,901 runners finished the 10K race, while 3,404 runners and walkers took part in the inaugural 5K event.

 “We are thrilled with our partners Patriot Place and the 10 pre-race meal sponsor restaurants,” said Mike St. Laurent of Loco Running, who organizes the race with B.A.A. Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports. “Join us at Patriot Place on Monday, July 1, or Tuesday, July 2, when participating restaurants will provide select free menu items to registered participants with the purchase of an entrée menu item.” Participating restaurants include: CBS Scene, Qdoba, Five Guys, Davio’s, Skipjack’s, Tavolino Pizza Gourmet, Dunkin Donuts, Tastings Wine & Bar Bistro, Twenty8 Food & Spirits, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill.

Family teams are also a large part of the fun with more than 750 entrants in this category for 2013. Last year in the 5K, Blood, Sweat and Beers won for women, while the Cloutier team captured the men’s team title.  For the 10K, Team Hillary 21 took top honor for women, while REDMEN RUNNING took top honors for the men’s side.

“The key is to have fun and invite as many people to be part of your team to make it a great family event,” said St. Laurent. Three team prizes will be awarded: Fastest Five Male Runners in a Team, Fastest Five Female Runners in a Team (determined by aggregate times) and Most Family Team Members.

Race organizers decided to stagger the start times of the two road races on July 3 to relieve runner congestion at the finish. The 5K now starts at 5:30 p.m., while the 10K starts when the evening is cooling down at 6:30 p.m. Coordinators also  modified the 10K course to include the Gillette Stadium ramps in the final segment to enhance the experience for runners.

A Kid’s Fun Run on the Gillette Stadium field will take place on Wednesday, July 3, at 3 pm prior to the other races. Parents and families will have the opportunity to cheer on the children from the stands.

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care fitness expo on July 1-3 at Patriot Place will include a wide-range of free family activities, vendors and products. Bib pickup will occur during this time. For more information, go to the race website at www.harvardpilgrimfinishatthe50.com. Parking for the event at Patriot Place is free and plentiful.

Both the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 5K and 10K events begin outside Gillette Stadium. The 5K route, beginning at 5:30, is traffic-free with the 3.1-mile course completely inside the Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium grounds, including stadium ramps and the 50-yard-line finish. The 10K, beginning at 6:30, starts with 3.1 miles of beautiful tree-lined streets in Foxborough before utilizing the same 5K course for the second half of the race.

Runners and their families are encouraged to stay after the race to enjoy food, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display above Patriot Place. Patriot Place is home to exciting attractions like The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, CBS Scene Restaurant & Bar and Bass Pro Shops.  Visit www.patriot-place.com to learn about all the shopping, dining and entertainment options.

Registration and additional information is available by visiting the event’s newly revamped website at www.harvardpilgrimfinishatthe50.com. Find race updates and information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HarvardPilgrim10k.

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