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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the 22nd annual mayor’s cup cross country races-championship races, open 5k, and kids' events in boston

The 22nd Annual Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races-Championship Races, Open 5K, and Kids' Events in Boston
The Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races are a Premiere Running event in Boston's Franklin Park. It is one of the most competitive cross country events in the eastern United States, and for many local runners Mayor’s Cup is their best cross country racing event of the year. Everyone is welcome--elite down to beginners, and kids of all ages.

The 22nd Annual Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races-Championship Races, Open 5K, and Kids' Events in Boston

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By Noreen Cohen
Posted Wednesday, 12 October, 2011

Fall running and cross country racing are among the most enjoyable seasons for running and one of the most exciting and fun types of running we have. Be a part of the excitement and thrill of cross country at Franklin Park on Sunday, October 23rd, 2011. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to experience cross country running at its best. Cross Country is a great change of pace for all runners; it is not just for high school and college. Cross country spices up everybody's routine, and fall foliage time at famed Franklin Park is the ideal setting. The B.A.A. is the primary sponsor with assistance from the USATF-New England Association. These races provide thousands of runners the opportunity to enjoy cross country at one of the most recognized and respected venues in the sport--and at an ideal time of year.

A welcome departure from ordinary road racing, the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races are just the ticket to a rewarding and memorable experience that is in a class by itself. A great opportunity for a change of pace and a unique challenge, here’s your chance to say goodbye to noise and traffic, to trade the humdrum pavement for the thrill of the earth beneath your feet.

Photos by Lisa Coniglio, Photo Run for the Boston Athletic Association

If you have run cross country in the past, you know what that thrill is all about and will be eager to recapture the spirit. If you have never run a cross country race, you owe it to yourself to refresh and jumpstart your running by adding a fresh, new dimension to your racing repertoire. You will be glad you did! Grass, dirt trails, trees and tradition give runners the excitement of the sport as it was meant to be--open air and off road.

Presented by the Boston Athletic Association and adidas, the races are directed by USA Track and Field – New England for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families. In addition, the Boston Parks and Recreation and Boston Park Rangers lend a vital hand in the preparation of the race site.

The Course
Historic Franklin Park, part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s famous Emerald Necklace park system, is the ideal setting for this fabulous autumn event. The park is located 5 miles southwest of downtown Boston and is bordered by White Stadium, Franklin Park Zoo and Franklin Park’s William Devine Golf Course. Runners will feel excitement in the air as they approach the Playstead, a large field within the park where both the start and finish are located.

In keeping with true cross country spirit, runners can anticipate a challenging course with excellent footing comprised of dirt and grass. Of course, there are sometimes mud, rocks and roots! Get ready for exciting running on both flats and small quick hills. Wide trails, grass pathways and open fields provide runners with plenty of variation and are sure attention-getters along with the beautiful autumn splendor that highlights Franklin Park. Runners will notice that the course requires strategy; traversing such varied terrain takes endurance and changes in one’s stride. But is this just one of the elements that makes this kind of running so much fun. Many participants in the Championship races prefer to wear spikes, but racing flats or trainers are acceptable and preferred by most, especially in the youth races and the growing Franklin Park 5K.

All races are timed using ChampionChip technology and are subject to USATF rules and regulations. Teams of seven or more entries will receive $2 off each entry when received together by October 19. The first 500 adult and first 350 youth entrants will receive Mayor’s Cup T- shirts.

Championship Races
The Women’s Championship 5K and the Men’s Championship 8K generate a powerhouse of excitement on the field. The Championship Races offer top runners the opportunity for a race at a high level of competition. Spectators and runners alike will be inspired and thrilled as these elite runners blast around the multi-loop course. The eligibility requirements for the championship races are that participants must be a minimum age of 18 years old or by invitation. Check the race website for eligibility requirements. Anticipated finishing times of 21:00 or under for the women’s 5K and 30:00 and under for the men’s 5K are guidelines for participation in the Championship races. Revere bowls will be awarded to the overall winner and first place masters (40 and older) finishers. Prize money will be awarded to the first five eligible finishers. See the race website at for more details on awards and prizes.

Franklin Park 5K
The Franklin Park 5K, which is open to female and male runners age 15 and up, offers the same race course and cross country experience as the Women’s Championship 5K and the Men’s Championship 8K. This might be your only chance to run a cross country race this year! The 5K has been placed on the Mayor's Cup schedule to allow participants to watch the championship competitions following. Team scoring, as in the other races, will be featured in the Franklin Park 5K. Scoring members of the winning team will receive an award. The top five men and top five women will receive awards. Winners of the 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and older age groups will receive medals.

The Franklin Park 5K and the Women’s Championship 5K will run three loops, while men in the Championship 8K will run four loops. Spectators can get in on the fun and lend their enthusiasm because the course offers wide open bird’s eye views. Each loop passes the “Team Area” where many teams, clubs and schools set up their headquarters, tents, banners and coolers.

Kids Races
Kids can get in on the action with 1.1-mile races for boys and girls in three different age divisions. Girls and boys will run one lap around White stadium, including Bear Cage Hill. Help them get there to participate, and come cheer the kids on whether or not you run! It is always great to see young runners enjoying the sport. What a fantastic way to promote health and fitness among our youth, and a change of pace from ordinary road running for all others.

Traditions of the B. A. A.
Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the Boston Athletic Association was established in 1887. Thanks to the successful partnership between the Boston Athletic Association and adidas, the Mayor’s Cup has earned a prominent place on the national calendar among cross country events. Our hats are off and many thanks to the B.A.A. for their tireless efforts and involvement in the Mayor’s Cup Races and other community events throughout the years. The sold out and hugely successful B.A.A. Half Marathon was run on Sunday, October 9 in Boston. The B.A. A. is much more than the organization that brings you the Boston Marathon. The new B.A.A. 10K is another great example of community events--very high quality events--provided by the venerable B.A. A.

Their contribution has been directly responsible for the Mayor’s Cup’s resurgence and significant growth, progression, quality and overall success. The Mayor’s Cup has enjoyed an excellent reputation as a highly competitive cross country race in which many top level clubs and individuals participate as preparation for the USA National Cross Country Championships. At the college level, the Mayor’s Cup is an ideal preparatory race prior to the championship portion of the season.

While its signature event remains the Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. manages a comprehensive year-round schedule of events that advances its mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging fitness through running, all ages and all abilities. The B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon, will be in its 116th year next April 16th. Learn more about the organization, running club and events at

USA Track and Field-New England directs the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races under the watchful eye of Executive Director Steve Vaitones and board member Justin Kuo. USA Track and Field is the governing body for track and field, long distance running, mountain, ultra and trail running, and race walking. Their mission is to drive excellence and popular engagement in the sport. From establishing grassroots programs such as the Junior Olympics to promoting programs of training and competition for men and women and girls and boys of all ages, to sanctioning more than 5,000 events a year, the USATF truly means it when they say “A Sport for Everyone for Life.” Nearly 100,000 Americans, including over 4,700 in the New England Association, are members of USATF. Learn more about the organization at or

The Spirit of Franklin Park
Franklin Park itself is as much the essence of the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races as the runners who compete. Franklin Park has been the setting for the regional, national and world Championships. Because of the terrain, great location and course design it has become a prominent cross country venue; and one with a very proud history.

Get ready for a whole new running challenge that will push you past the plateau of road running. This race really lends itself to team spirit and camaraderie, so make it a point to gather your fellow runners and form a team for the ultimate enjoyable running experience. Discover the unique exhilaration and satisfaction, the sheer joy of leaving the street behind. As a two-time participant, I wholeheartedly recommend this race. It just might be the most fun you will have running this fall! Register now at



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