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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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Inaugural Run the Fens 5K fundraiser invites all to run

Runners+begin+the+5K+on+Brookline+Avenue%2C+taking+off+down+the+path+to+the+finish+line.+Runners+followed+along+the+sidewalk+around+the+Fens%2C+which+is+surrounded+by+trees%2C+parks+and+the+Muddy+River.
Margot Murphy
Runners begin the 5K on Brookline Avenue, taking off down the path to the finish line. Runners followed along the sidewalk around the Fens, which is surrounded by trees, parks and the Muddy River.

Running around the Back Bay Fens, dodging puddles and waddling geese, over 400 Bostonians participated in the inaugural Run the Fens 5K Saturday to benefit Big Sister Boston, a program that pairs girls with mentors to foster a supportive and encouraging relationship.

Originally a 5K, the run’s length was altered to a 4K, roughly 2.5 miles, to minimize potential running hazards, such as muddy terrain, due to the rainy weather. Despite the dreariness, over 400 participants showed up in high spirits.

“You have to be passionate about running and exercise to do it in the rain, but to also do it for a good cause, I think it brings a lot of people here joy,” CEO of Big Sister Boston Annissa Essaibi George said.. “It’s a great thing for us at Big Sister; it’s a community-building event.”

Beginning at Time Out Market, runners could start anytime between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Participants were placed into different groups depending on their arrival times. The course took runners around the Back Bay Fens and Emerald Necklace following Park Drive and Fenway Park. Participants traveled along the green space before returning to the food hall to collect their commemorative race medal, a $10 gift card to Time Out Market and an event t-shirt. 

“No rain would have definitely been excellent, but the view was cool,” said Daphne Evans, a special education paraprofessional for Boston Public Schools. “Just to see everybody out there going hard, it was like motivation.”

Time Out Market transformed into a lively and comfortable atmosphere, with tables stretching the length of the space, free beers offered to everyone 21 and older and delicious local food to eat. 

Around 10:30 a.m., the emcee introduced an array of activities including performances by Ivory Bloom, a band consisting of members from Legends of Summer and Beach Nights, a prize ceremony for the top runners in the men’s and women’s divisions and a raffle for the chance to win a $25 gift card to Marathon Sports. Both Essaibi George and Time Out Market General Manager Michael Minichello thanked the crowd for supporting the cause and showing up to run. 

“It’s International Women’s Month, and we said we need to find a female-based charity that we can support locally, so we came up with the idea of a 5K partnered with Big Sister, which is an amazing charity that really supports young women within the Boston community,” Minichello said.

With a starting goal of $5,000, all benefits from registration, sponsors and extra donations went to Big Sister Boston who surpassed its goal. Both Essaibi George and Minichello were excited to have raised money for a good cause and plan to collaborate in the future. 

“At Big Sister, we have a running hashtag: Be present, not perfect,” Essaibi George said. “The weather isn’t perfect, but [the runners’] presence makes this special.”

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