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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the jolly jaunt race series - five 5k races and walks in massachusetts to support special olympics

The Jolly Jaunt Race Series - Five 5K Races and Walks in Massachusetts to Support Special Olympics
For New England, a series of five 5K events across Massachusetts: Boston, Danvers, Hyannis, Taunton and Springfield. The Jolly Jaunt for Special Olympics has a growing fan base – 12,592 Special Olympics Athletes relying on financial support from these events. The Special 5K Series for Good! Thousands will participate. Be one of them!

The Jolly Jaunt Race Series - Five 5K Races and Walks in Massachusetts to Support Special Olympics

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Saturday, 24 November, 2012

This unique five-event series, with races running the weekends of December 1st and 2nd, and December 8th will bring over 4,000 runners and walkers, plus hundreds of kids in the Junior Jaunts to participate in these holiday-themed events. The Jolly Jaunt race series will run in Boston, Taunton, Danvers, Hyannis, and Springfield on Saturday, December 1st (Boston and Taunton); Sunday, December 2nd (Danvers and Hyannis); and Saturday, December 8 (Springfield). “Jolly Jaunters” will take to the streets of these communities, running and walking for this very special cause.

All five events feature a timed 5K race and walk as well as fun fitness walks, and most have a kids' Junior Jaunt before the big race. Lots of food, fun, raffles and awards will be part of the mix for those participants and volunteers that want to join the festivities. Some will attend and contribute simply to support the Special Olympics Athletes in any way they can.

Who better to support the Special Olympic Athletes than runners who value the health benefits and the unique camaraderie and social fabric of the sporting/running communities. For them, the benefits are clear and should be extended to all—especially these very special athletes. The 2012 season is still in process and wrapping up. There are at last count 12,592 special athletes with over 120 competitions being provided by Special Olympics Massachusetts. There are more than 11,000 volunteers and 1,290 coaches in 27 different disciplines, team and individual. These races support programs geared to provide experiences, education, and competition for these special athletes--developing skill sets, sharing, camaraderie, friendship, joy, sense of accomplishment, fitness, heath screenings, and much more. These events give back to those who would not have the satisfaction and dignity that comes with competition without Special Olympics Massachusetts.

The five-race series is sponsored/presented by the New Balance Foundation. Registration includes a donation, of course, but there are also fundraising pages available with the registration process.

There will be serious competition at each of the five, and there will be holiday revelry and holiday costumes and jingle bells too. Anything goes, and spirits are always high. Excitement is building. Participants do good while feeling good. The dual contests of racing and raising funds kick off the "season of giving" for many. And it is oh so much fun no matter which race you choose. In fact, be a Super Olympian Participant and get your kicks in two or three events--this year it is possible. Here is the schedule with date, time, location of each:
(Listed time is 5K Run/Walk--other events come before. Please check race website for each location.

Saturday, December 1--Boston, MA, (the "Hub" of the series) Boston Common at Charles Street, Noon. 5K Run, 5K Walk, 1 mile Fun Walk, Kids' Junior Jaunt.
Contact Cassandra Anderson SOMA, 508-485-0986 x 245 or

Saturday, December 1--Taunton, MA, Holiday Inn, 700 Myles Standish Blvd., 10:00 a.m. 5K Run, 5K Walk, 1 mile Fun Walk, Kids' Junior Jaunt.
Contact Cory Zarrella SOMA, 508-821-3635 x 5 or

Sunday, December 2--Danvers, MA, Beverly Hospital, Danvers Campus, 480 Maple Street, 12:30 p.m. 5K Run, 5K Walk, 1K Fun Walk, Kids' Junior Jaunt.
Contact Diane Agganis SOMA, 978-223-6004 X 402 or

Sunday, December 2--Hyannis, MA, Resort and Conference Center of Hyannis, 35 Scudder Ave., Noon. 5K Run, 2K Fun Walk, Kids' Junior Jaunt.
Contact Cory Zarrella SOMA, 508-821-3635 x 5 or

Saturday, December 8--Springfield, MA, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, 10:00 a.m. 5K Run, 5K Walk, Kids' Junior Jaunt.
Contact Jon Scully SOMA, 413-420-0020 X 311 or

The Jolly Jaunt series is a fundraiser, and as such all participants are encouraged to raise $100 to support Special Olympics Massachusetts. Each race provides a special prize for the top fundraiser, as well as awards to the woman and man winning the race; age group awards go to the top two in these divisions: 19-and-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60+.

Special Olympics—Special Cause
It is only fitting that Special Olympics fundraise through running. It is an organization that vaulted into the public conscience for allowing individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in organized sports (with Track and Field still being the most popular sport offered). They now embrace the running community to help support its year round training. As the season wraps up for 2012, Special Olympics MA will have organized and conducted 122 competitions for Special Athletes. The Jolly Jaunt Series is at the forefront of a number of special programs that support those 122 events.

In Massachusetts for 2012, the Special Olympics MA (SOMA) Athletes will compete in 27 sports across four sports seasons. Athletes of all ages and abilities will share in the joy, socialization and sportsmanship that so many of us have enjoyed throughout our lives—especially in organized running events. The Jolly Jaunt Race series helps to directly fund the community-based and school-based teams. The series also helps to cover the significant costs associated with hosting 10 state-level tournaments where Athletes compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, the benchmark of competition within the Special Olympics world.

Twenty-three Years Ago, the Jaunt
Though Boston is now the "Hub" of the series, SOMA held that first 5K fundraising race and fitness walk in Taunton, which helped to support the growing number of Athletes and teams in Southeastern Massachusetts. And the Taunton Jolly Jaunt is still a cornerstone of the series. The Jolly Jaunt has grown to include five excellent races; and of course, the need has grown as the number of Special Olympics Athletes has increased dramatically.

All five Jaunts have the same roots and the same goals, but each race has a unique and different feel specific to its community and unique scenery and course. Each embraces the holiday season with many participants dressing for the occasion as the holidays approach. Costume contests with fun prizes for the most festive attire, along with some serious competition, have defined the unique sparkle and enjoyment of this Series.

The Series, 5K All the Way—5K for All
The 5K's provide for the serious, avid runner looking for a legitimate, timed race. However, these events all welcome beginners, mid-packers and walkers who embrace fundraising and the holiday spirit to support SOMA. Most participants come from the regular running community. Some walkers and party/holiday folks out for a fun time. For some this will be their only road race of the year. All are welcome. Participation is on the rise in all five communities. The events have flourished with direct relationships and involvement of the families and local programs that Special Olympics MA serves.
For information about the Jolly Jaunts, please visit and click on your 5K Jaunt for event-specific details.

Saturday, December 1st
Jolly Jaunt Boston – Jolly Jaunt Boston, the center of the sereis hits the streets at 10:00 a.m. with a USATF-certified and professionally timed 5K run on the streets of Boston; the start and finish are both at the Boston Common on Charles Street. The course travels out and back on Commonwealth Avenue, circumnavigating the Boston Public Garden. Registration and packet pick-up will be available race morning beginning at 8:00 a.m. All pre-registered runners will receive the Jolly Jaunt long sleeve race T-shirt, gift bag and access to the post race party. Prizes will also be awarded for best costumes, top fundraisers and others in addition to the top woman and man and top two in each age group as noted.
Visit the race website at and click on Boston.

Jolly Jaunt Taunton – Jolly Jaunt Taunton,also USATF certified and sanctioned, takes off at noon from the Holiday Inn in Taunton at the Myles Standish Industrial Park, 700 Myles Standish Blvd. Registration and packet pick-up begin at 10:00 a.m. and things really get rolling with the kids' Junior Jaunt at 11:30. A 5K Run and 2K Fun Walk precede the celebration, excellent lunch and post race party. Each participant receives a gift bag and Jolly Jaunt long sleeve T-shirt. As with all five events, there are prizes for the top runners in each ten-year age group for women and men. Prizes will also be awarded for best costumes, top fundraisers and others.
Call 508-821-3635 x 5 for more details or visit and click on Taunton.

Sunday, December 2nd
Jolly Jaunt Danvers – It is USATF certified and sanctioned, will be chip timed this year and better than ever. Registration and packet pick-up at 11:00 a.m. The Fun Run hits the streets at noon with the kids' race and immediately followed with a USATF timed 5K Run and walk at 12:30 p.m. Runners will receive the Jolly Jaunt long sleeve race T-shirt, gift bag and access the post race party – a Taste of Danvers with food from many of the local restaurants. Awards as noted above. Please see the website for course info and directions.
Call 978-223-6004 x 402 for more details or visit

Jolly Jaunt Hyannis – Jolly Jaunt Hyannis has become a Cape Cod favorite. In its 7th year, the event continues to grow, as does the presence of Special Olympics throughout the Cape and Islands. The registration and pick-up starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Resort and Conference Center @ Hyannis with the Junior Jaunt races for children under 13 at 11:30 and then at noon the 5K road race and 2K Fun Walk blast off for a scenic tour. Participants will receive the Jolly Jaunt long sleeve race t-shirt, gift bag and access the post race party; awards as noted above.
Call 508-821-3635 x 5 for more details or visit

Saturday, December 8th
Jolly Jaunt Springfield – This event at Western New England University is in its 10th year. The main event starts at 10 a.m. with a 5K run AND walk through a nice, flat clockwise loop course. There will also be a Fun Walk and Kids Dash—something for the whole family. Participants may register online prior to the event or the day of the race. Participants will receive the Jolly Jaunt long sleeve race T-shirt, gift bag and access the post race party. As with all five events, prizes for the top two runners in each ten-year age groups for women and men as well as both winners. Prizes will also be awarded for best costumes, top fundraisers and others.
Call 413-420-0020 x 311 for more details or visit

Volunteering for SOMA
Special Olympics MA is a volunteer driven organization. With more than 11,000 volunteers and over 1,200 coaches, they include event planners and day-of event volunteers--critical to the success of the program. SOMA is always looking for additional support, and the rewards are heartwarming, especially in the spirit of the season. If you are interested in volunteering for Special Olympics MA, these events or the SOMA competitions, please visit

Feel Good by Doing Good
Get moving, plan for your Jolly Jaunt and broaden your racing experience. Get ready for the holidays and a jump on your training and goals for 2013. These events are terrific because they benefit others. These special athletes deserve our support, and these events are perfect to provide it. Make Jolly Jaunt one of your races, enjoy the sport and experience something special. Enjoy the race, the special feeling and the celebratory post race party. Make this a goal and a destination. Pick the one (or more) that is right for you, gather teams, family and friends, select your costume, come with bells on and enjoy the Jolly Jaunt Series.



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