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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the marine corps honor run in south boston—a flat and fast springtime 5k

The Marine Corps Honor Run in South Boston—A Flat and Fast Springtime 5K
With terrific organization, 12 years of tradition, neighborhood pride, military bearing, and the colors of spring plus red, white and blue, this race serves as a way to honor uniformed personnel through the running community and the community at large; and it is evolving into a major New England classic!

The Marine Corps Honor Run in South Boston—A Flat and Fast Springtime 5K

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Related info:
The Marine Corps Honor Run Event Website

By Skip Cleaver
Posted Thursday, 14 March, 2013

The Marine Corps Honor Run—the name says it all! But this race is for everyone to participate and enjoy. What are you looking for when you sign up for a road race? Do you want to honor those who have served their country, support a worthy community charity, compete against some of the best New England runners in arguably the Boston area’s fastest 5K, take a leisurely jog or walk with family and friends along the water? The Marine Corps Honor Run 5K boasts all of the above! And it is a celebration of spring.

No matter what kind of a runner you are, from beginner to marathon qualifier, scholastic runner to Olympian, a member of the military or appreciative civilian, this race in South Boston is where you should toe the starting line on Saturday, May 11, 2013 with a 9:00 a.m. start. And this one is for everyone!

The atmosphere will be colorful and inspiring with hundreds of military personnel and law enforcement officers—many in uniform; and some of them will run the 5K in formation. There is a spirit about this run; there will be color guards with flags flying in the breeze, along with musicians and a spirit of camaraderie, and sense of purpose. This is much more than a race!

Now celebrating its 12th year, the Marine Corps Honor Run 5K has become a running celebration for the South Boston community, as well as an event to honor military personnel and police officers throughout the region. Brought to you by Conventures, Inc., with the able assistance of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, in cooperation with the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund, this race has evolved to one of the most unique races in Boston. Check out details and register now at

This is the flattest and fastest course you will find in the Boston area. Perfect for beginner runners or for experienced runners looking for a PR! Packet pick-up and race day registration will go from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. There will be a professionally directed warm up and stretching period before the race led by trainers from one of the event sponsors, Reebok Crossfit Back Bay Facility.

The start of the race will begin at Carson Beach/Mother's Rest Area. Runners will run northbound on Day Boulevard making a hairpin turn just before the intersection of Day Boulevard and Farragut Street. The participants will return to Carson Beach traveling southbound on Day Boulevard. This event will effectively close Day Boulevard from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. as well as create minor traffic delays at Kosciusko Circle, Mount Vernon Street and Columbia Road. But for runners it will be super fast.

Over the years three major changes are obvious: It was once a 10K, then changed to a 5K to be more inclusive. It once toured the Blue Hills Reservation and then moved to South Boston to be more accessible (including close proximity to MBTA service—see Race Website for directions and public transportation). And finally, it moved from a fall event toward the end of the season to embody a spring tune up and celebration—especially important since it now tours along Carson Beach, Day Boulevard, Pleasure Bay, and Castle Island. Oh yes, it runs adjacent to Marine Park as well.

Springtime in Southie and great views make this an especially sweet road race .The course is entirely flat and fast, taking in some of South Boston’s most striking waterfront scenery. Starting at Carson Beach it progresses north and then eastbound on William Day Boulevard to the hairpin turnabout at the intersection of Day and Farragut Street, in the shadow of Fort Independence. It is nearly all on William Day Boulevard, which borders Pleasure Bay. The out-and-back course follows the same route on the return; it passes the fort and presents views of the bay and the Boston Harbor beyond.

Last year the race attracted 1,400 runners, and should easily exceed that number this year. It has color and pageantry—you can’t help but be moved and happy to participate. Kristen Iworsky of Brighton won the women’s division in 18:19; and Justin Schneider of Boston took the men’s crown with 16:55.

The race raises awareness for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and is held in cooperation with the Semper Fidelis Society. The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation was formed in 1995 by former Marines and law enforcement personnel. The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation has awarded over 40 million dollars nationwide in scholarships and bonds to children of Marines and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The Marine Corps Honor Run was organized for this purpose and raises awareness for this vital work while recognizing the sacrifices of our nation’s men and women in uniform.

One of Many--This year’s run honors Corporal Nicholas "Big Nick" G. Xiarhos

Nicholas George Xiarhos was the first child of Yarmouth Police Department Deputy Chief of Police Steven G. Xiarhos and Lisa Xiarhos and the beloved big brother of his siblings Alexander, Elizabeth, and Ashlynne Xiarhos of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. Nicholas attended Yarmouth schools and graduated from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in 2006. His family, friends, teachers, and coaches remember him as a kind-hearted, selfless person who went out of his way to help others. He was affectionately nicknamed "The Mayor of DY" due to his outgoing personality and his ability to get along with everyone.

Nicholas had an enduring passion about serving his country and joining the military, which was heightened by the events of September 11, 2001. Nine days after graduating from high school, he entered the United States Marine Corps Boot Camp at Parris Island in South Carolina. On September 22, 2006, he earned the title of United States Marine. Nicholas served as a 0351 Infantry Assaultman with the 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment in Iraq and the 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Nicholas died on the battlefield in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan on July 23, 2009 while going to the rescue of his fellow Marines in combat. Nicholas fought for the freedom of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. He chose to make a difference in the world and was a true American Patriot. See more about Nicholas and his legacy on the Race Website.

Race Information
The Marine Corps Honor Run 5K starts Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m. at Carson Beach in South Boston. This is arguably the fastest 5K course in eastern Massachusetts. The race website

DCR’s Carson Beach
125 Day Boulevard
South Boston, MA 02127

There will be age group prizes. First overall female and male in the open and wheelchair categories will receive awards. And there will be team awards (four score) for first in military, law enforcement, and JROTC divisions. The scenic course is an award in itself!

There will be distinctive custom race T-shirts for all participants. T-shirts and race packets may be picked up race morning at the registration tent adjacent to Carson Beach beginning at 7:00 a.m.

This year the event sponsors will include Civilian Military Combine, Reebok CrossFit Back Bay, Core Power, b Positive, and Naked Juice. Make sure to come early to sample their products and test your strength!

If you do not wish to run but still want to be involved, we encourage you to lend a hand. Assistance will be needed at water stations, number pick-up, the finisher area, and along the course. All volunteers will receive an official race T-shirt. To volunteer please call 1-888-767-RACE or email Jessica Urban at:

So remember, it’s a rare race that has it all – competitive and recreational running, leisurely walking, food, beverages, entertainment, a flat course with beautiful scenery, and a terrific cause. Where will you be on May 11th? South Boston will be hopping—give it a go and enjoy a flat, fast, well managed event while honoring those who serve.

For race questions please contact 1-888-767-RACE or email



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