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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the fourth annual mass dash and new half dash - running massachusetts end to end for the jimmy fund

The Fourth Annual Mass Dash and New Half Dash - Running Massachusetts End to End for the Jimmy Fund
Are you feeling a little “selfish” about your running? Make your miles count by joining the fight against cancer and running in the fourth annual Mass Dash from the Berkshires to Boston. And new this year, the Half Dash, an 85-mile, single day relay from the Berkshires to Amherst. The Mass Dash and Half Dash are THE relays, Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, created by an all-volunteer organization with 100% of the proceeds going to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Fourth Annual Mass Dash and New Half Dash - Running Massachusetts End to End for the Jimmy Fund

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Mass Dash Relay Website

By Traci Joy
Posted Monday, 27 May, 2013

The Mass Dash is back and will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 13th and 14th, 2013. A two-day team adventure relay race with a very significant purpose, the Mass Dash will bring together hundreds of runners, sharing their time, their thoughts and themselves while racing across Massachusetts on a summer weekend, all dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support family, friends and neighbors in the fight against cancer…

Starting after sunrise, teams of 7 to 12 runners (up to 18 runners on a “BIG” team) will run 200 miles in a non-stop relay race of thirty-six legs across Massachusetts--- from the foot of Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest point, to Carson Beach on Dorchester Bay in Boston. Along the way, the teams will run through Massachusetts' beautiful state parks, forests and reservations, its storied colleges and universities, and its many historic and picturesque towns and villages. In the past three years, 1500 runners and volunteers have joined in the Mass Dash, and have raised over $325,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The experience will leave you absolutely breathless--- in more ways than you can imagine!

And new for Mass Dash Weekend in 2013 will be the Half Dash! The Half Dash will take place on Saturday, July 13th, 2013, alongside the Mass Dash. But instead of running all the way across Massachusetts over two days, our Half Dash teams of 3 to 6 runners (up to 18 on a “BIG” team) will start from the foot of Mount Greylock and “only” run 85 miles across the first eighteen race legs of the Mass Dash to the half-way point of the Mass Dash at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in one day, finishing with a party on Saturday night at the UMass football stadium!

This relay is very special, and unique in the field of proliferating overnight relays. Founder and Race Director Bruce Leshine and his outstanding Race Committee have created an event for runners, but it is so much more than that. This event is an athletic challenge combined with a passion to do good, and teams have embraced it.

Hundreds of runners will once again gather to share an adventure and an experience unparalleled in their running careers, sharing the athletic challenge and the camaraderie that only a team event like this can provide. There are no registration fees; teams are instead asked to raise funds for the Jimmy Fund (a commitment of $300 per runner) and to help raise awareness, other facets of this unique happening that hundreds have embraced in the first three years of the event.

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund are important for every runner. This is the time to make your running mean something more. You can dramatically increase the value of every mile your team runs. It is a great feeling to know that you can give something back through the sport you love. Set your team goals—pace and time as well as fundraising--and lend a helping hand in the fight against cancer simply by doing something you enjoy.


“Five years ago, in the darkness and driving rain of one of many team relay races that we had run over several years, I couldn’t stop thinking about a very dear friend who couldn’t join us on these adventures any longer because he was deep into his own life-and-death fight with cancer.


Spread the word, gather your friends; get your club involved. Everyone will want to participate in this priceless experience, making a difference in the lives of individuals battling cancer. There is no better inspiration and motivation for maintaining or increasing your running goals than the satisfaction and joy of knowing that your effort will enable Dana-Farber researchers to achieve better cure rates and enhance the quality of life for many cancer patients.

This is an ideal time to redefine your personal best by combining personal fitness goals and commitment to a healthy lifestyle with a meaningful, worthwhile cause. Explore new territory, not just on these 200 miles of Massachusetts roads, but within yourself. Reach beyond what you thought possible for yourself as well as for those in the determined fight to reach the ultimate finish line--a cure for cancer.

The Mass Dash is THE relay for those who love running and are motivated by running for a great cause. And you don’t need to be a veteran runner to do it. Whether your first relay or 100th, the feeling of accomplishment and contribution to this cause will inspire all. Teams will enjoy the camaraderie that only a distance relay can bring; and will proudly recall helping the Jimmy Fund and the work of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, while building memories and friendships for a lifetime. What a celebration when you cross that finish line!

There’s no question that the Mass Dash will be a lot of fun. It is also a challenging race, and we know that you and your team are up to the challenge. You’ll run to the summit of Mount Greylock and through the Savoy Mountain Forest. You’ll run along the Deerfield River and through the college towns of Northampton and Amherst. You’ll run across the Connecticut River at sunset, and atop the Winsor Dam at the Quabbin Reservoir in the moonlight.

You’ll race along Marathon Way in Hopkinton, and then through the colonial towns of Sherborn and Wellesley. You’ll run along the Emerald Necklace to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and finish the Mass Dash at Carson Beach on Dorchester Bay! All in all, the Mass Dash itinerary includes six different Massachusetts DCR state parks, forests and reservations: Mount Greylock, Savoy Mountain, Daughters of the American Revolution, Quabbin, Wells-Sturbridge and Carson Beach-Boston.

Of course, there’s more to a relay race than just running. You’ll also need to rest along the way. And there are plenty of great places along the Mass Dash for this. Take in the views at the summit of Mount Greylock and along the Deerfield River. Go for a swim at North Pond in the Savoy Mountain Forest or in Upper Highland Lake in the D.A.R. State Forest. Pitch your sleeping bag at the bonfire and listen to a little music at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for the overnight, or with just the crickets chirping at Walker Pond in Wells State Park near Sturbridge.

And you’ll need to find time to eat--- you can stop in North Adams, Charlemont or Williamsburg on Saturday for lunch. And we’ll be serving dinner in Amherst and there’ll be a middle-of-the-night breakfast specially prepared by the Knights of Columbus in Ware. And, of course, there’s music, a barbeque by Kittredge Equipment and J. Polep Services, and Harpoon beer at the finish at Carson Beach!
Information is available at:

I like to think that this award is really given to the thousand runners and volunteers who have shared their hearts, their souls and their legs racing across Massachusetts on a summer weekend.


The New Half Dash
This one-day adventure runs on Saturday, July 13 and runs the first 18 legs or about 85 miles of the Mass Dash. In all respects it will run the same course along side the full Mass Dash, but the finish line and celebratory party are at UMASS Amherst on Saturday night. Normal teams can be anywhere from 3 to 6 runners with the “standard” team being six runners doing three legs each; they are also allowing “Big Teams” of up to 18 runners (one for each leg) as explained on the race website. Otherwise the legs and handoffs will be the same as the Mass Dash—the first 18 legs. Please check it out at the website:

Please check the website also for volunteer and sponsorship opportunities—two other great ways to contribute to this essential cause that supports families, friends and neighbors in the critical, literally life and death fight against cancer.

Sadowsky Visionary Award—You’re in Good Hands
Mass Dash Founder and Director Bruce Leshine was presented with the prestigious Sadowsky Visionary Award during a meeting of the Jimmy Fund Council of Western Massachusetts. The award by the 64-member Council was in recognition of the planning, formulation, development, and implementation of the Mass Dash, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This award is presented annually to a person who “conceives, leads or dedicates themselves to an event that delivers annual financial support and/or long term volunteer commitment”.

Mr. Leshine, a Longmeadow resident and attorney at Robinson and Cole, LLP, Hartford, CT, would be the first to thank and recognize other “founders”, Pauline Craven, Jason Dominick, Sean Wandrei, Ruth Griffiths, Mark Devlin, the Mass Dash organizing team and all of the runners and volunteers who he loves spending an absolutely sleepless weekend with: “Five years ago, in the darkness and driving rain of one of many team relay races that we had run over several years, I couldn’t stop thinking about a very dear friend who couldn’t join us on these adventures any longer because he was deep into his own life-and-death fight with cancer. That rainy night sowed the seed of a dream. I like to think that this award is really given to the thousand runners and volunteers who have shared their hearts, their souls and their legs racing across Massachusetts on a summer weekend. They have made that dream come true.”

Get That Team Together for the Mass Dash or Half Dash
Since 2010, over 1,500 people have made their mark in this classic charitable endeavor, building friendships and memories that will echo for decades, not to mention the thousands of dollars presented to Dana-Farber, now at work in fighting all forms of cancer. Put your team on this honor roll and bring your friends for a terrific adventure that will be the highlight of the running season—and perhaps a memorable highlight of all seasons.

They have done a terrific job to assure a wonderful running experience for all. Run the Mass Dash—the experience will leave you breathless.



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