28TH Annual Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women—National Championship and Celebration of Women’s Running
This is the 10K National Championship. It is THE race for women in New England and across the country—beginners to elite racers. Thousands of women will be celebrating their running and walking route to fitness and health.
Posted Sunday, 29 August, 2004
The 28th running of the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women will power up on Monday, October 11, 2004, in what many refer to as the Running Capital of the Country, Boston, Massachusetts. It will be a true celebration of the sport for women, as they blast off on Beacon Street adjacent to the Boston Common at Noon on the Columbus Day holiday.
In a region known for great races and racing traditions, this race has so much to offer women of all ages and abilities—for individuals and for teams. And this year there will be a new opportunity for friends to register and run together, the You Go Girl! Club. Two women signing up together will receive a gift from the Tufts Health Plan, and a discount on registration; and, most importantly, the opportunity to share this unique celebration. Walkers are also very welcome to participate. All involved will share the same event, and the same course, at the same time, as many of the best women distance runners in the world.
Whether beginning runners or walkers enjoying their first-ever racing experience, or world-class elite stars—participants will all be impressed and excited by the great numbers of women athletes as they prepare for the start on Boston Common. The experience will be empowering, beginning with the warm-ups along the famous Common. And the bonding and camaraderie will continue to grow along the course, and awe spectators too, as they speed along the beautiful Charles River Basin. It will be a colorful parade of thousands. The field will be all the more impressive, and visible, as they zip across two of the bridges of the storied Charles River.
This event is managed and directed by Conventures, Inc. Conventures, Inc. has over 25 years experience in event management for clients worldwide. They manage athletic, maritime, social, and educational events, including strategic planning, budgeting, site planning and preparation, marketing, and promotion.
Recent running events they have managed include the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, the Susan B. Komen Race, and others. For more information, visit their Website at www.conventures.com.
Another Conventures managed race to include on your calendar will be the Third Annual Boston Marine Corps 10K, which will run on September 26th at 10:00 a.m. at Houghton’s Pond, Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts. That race is open to all runners, and includes military and law enforcement divisions. It is held in conjunction with the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, and will benefit the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. For information visit http://www.conventures.com/marines10k.html website, or call (888) 767-Race.
Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, The Course
Those thousands of women athletes will be experiencing one of the fastest 10K’s anywhere. It is mostly flat, with long, straight stretches along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, as well as the bridges. After a run down the wide-open Commonwealth Avenue, the finish is on the broad and straight Charles Street, between the Boston Common and the distinctively beautiful Boston Public Garden.
The start is on Beacon Street, one of the loveliest streets in Boston, just below the golden-domed capitol building, and just a few blocks from Cheers. The first turn is on Charles Street, heading toward the Longfellow Bridge, which will provide a beautiful panoramic view of the Charles Basin resplendent in its fall coat of many colors. After reaching the Cambridge shore, the field will turn west on Memorial Drive, with the MIT campus on the right and the river and its yacht clubs and boat houses on the left. Split times will be provided each mile to check your pace and progress.
Runners will speed past the Harvard (Massachusetts Avenue) Bridge, heading for the turn-around at the loop approaching the Boston University Bridge. Runners will greet each other—and get a great view of the leaders as they return east on Memorial Drive. The runners will pass the Harvard Bridge once again to the hairpin turn at the MIT Sailing Pavilion, then head back west on Memorial Drive to the Harvard Bridge, which will take them to Boston’s Back Bay and impressive Commonwealth Avenue.
Two blocks on this section will tread the course of that other famous Boston race, the BAA Boston Marathon (from Massachusetts Avenue to Hereford Street). The last few blocks of the course surround the Public Garden back to Charles Street, and the finish is only 200 meters from the start. Championchip computer timing will provide your precise net and official time as you dash through that finish on Charles Street.
New This Year
“Stronger Together” is the theme of an innovative introduction to this year’s race. The You Go Girl! Club is an opportunity to pair up with a friend, relative, training partner, coworker, or teammate, and celebrate your goals and accomplishments together. Each of the thousands of participants will have her targets and goals set for this race. Most have found that sharing this with another makes it all that much more meaningful and enjoyable. Many veteran participants find it tremendously rewarding to share this experience with a friend who may be new to the race. This is the perfect opportunity to do that, to share.
Club members get a discount on the entry fee, a gift, and a chance at the Club Grand Prize, a package that includes breakfast with the most famous distance runner in the world, Olympic Champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, as well as access to the VIP tent on race day. Check the Website for details on this unique opportunity at www.tuftshealthplan.com/tufts10k. Inspire each other! Enjoy this experience to the fullest.
Also new this year, those signing up before September 24th will receive their bib number and Championchip in the mail, thus avoiding lines on race morning at the Boston Common. The only thing they will then have to pick up race morning is the prized Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women T-shirt.
Click here to register.
Celebration and Convenience
There will be plenty of time on race morning to register, if that becomes necessary. Registration, number, chip, and T-shirt pickup will be available for four hours, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in preparation for the blast off at noon.
There will be a Race Day Expo on the Boston Common on race morning, with many sponsors and race partners represented from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There will be excellent opportunities to sample and evaluate fitness-related foods, beverages, goods, and services. Other health and fitness related activities will also be available, including health screenings and complimentary massage. Friends and family members will want to take advantage of the Expo as well.
There will also be a baggage check (10:00 a.m. -- 2:00 p.m.), which adds to the convenience of changing and/or getting warm clothing quickly if the weather is brisk. And traditionally the weather has been ideal for running. Keep in mind that running is an all-weather sport, and the race will go rain or shine. This feature will also be helpful for those using the MBTA; closest T-stops at the Common are Arlington Street or Boylston on the Green Line, or Park Street on the Red Line.
There will be music, and a professionally led series of warm-ups.
Runners will seed themselves according to time and pace, to insure a safe and smooth start for all. The Championchip timing system assures everyone that her time will be measured from the exact time she crosses the start line, even for those in the very back of the field. The current course record of 31:38 was set by Anne Hannam in 1988.
The racecourse will be entirely traffic free. There will be six water stations and three aid stations along the route.
Adding to the excitement, there will be three types of team competition, with each team consisting of three to five runners, with the top three scoring on a timing basis. There will be USATF Association Teams, such as running clubs. The club must be USATF affiliated, and each scoring member must be a USATF member to qualify. The top five association teams will receive cash awards, including $500 for first place. There will also be national teams, with a separate prize structure. Thirdly, there will be corporate teams; each member must be employed by the same company. The You Go Girl! registrants will not be considered teams for scoring purposes, although they may be included, if qualified, in any of the above three team categories.
Kids’ Fitness Walk
The entire family can participate, including the kids. There will be a 1K Fitness Walk for Kids stepping off at 10:30 a.m. on the Common. This is open to kids of all ages—and those who want to walk with them—sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Incidentally, runners and walkers with baby joggers will be allowed to participate in the 10K. They must, however, seed themselves according to their actual expected time, and always stay to the left on the traffic-free course.
Throughout the festivities there will be a moon bounce and face painters available for the kids to enjoy.
Awards and Prizes
There will be $33,000 in prize money awarded for this prestigious event. The majority will be given to the top ten American women, since it is the USA National Championship. The first American will receive $6,500. There will also be cash awards for the first three overall, the first three masters, the top three Wheelchair racers, the top five association teams, and the top national team.
There will be age division awards in nine categories, including two youth divisions and 10-year age groups through 80+.
Elva Dryer of Albuquerque was the winner last year, sprinting to 32:34, with twins Kate O’Neill (33:02) and Laura O’Neill (33:21) of New Haven, Connecticut, running second and fourth. Jenny Crain of Eugene, Oregon was third (33:16), and Nancy Tinari of British Columbia (35:33) was the top master.
Olympian Marla Runyan of Tennessee won in 2002, with Teresa Wanjiku of Kenya pushing to a second-place photo finish. Both were timed in 31:46, just a few seconds off the course record. Amy Rudolph of Providence was third in 32:05, a time that would have won in 2001 or 2003. Colleen de Reuck, now a master, was the overall winner (32:11) in 2001.
Training Sessions Available for Local Runners
Fitcorp, one of the race partners, has created a training schedule and training runs to help beginners build up to the distance. These sessions will be held every Monday (except Labor Day), beginning August 12. These will run for eight weeks up to the last Monday before the big race. Distances begin at two miles, and work up to six miles. They will be held at various Fitcorp locations around Boston, and all sessions are completely free for all registered runners. For information on these sessions, go to the www.fitcorp.com/tufts10k Website.
There will also be a series of five training advice seminars at Fitcorp, Prudential Center, Boston, and one at Marathon Sports, Beacon Street. Check the race Website for locations and times. The Site also includes training information and a terrific collection of links to many running and fitness Sites.
Opportunity Knocks for Women, Don’t Miss This Race
The Tufts Health Plan 10K presents an outstanding opportunity to compete with, and participate with some of the world’s most talented and well-known runners. The atmosphere surrounding this event is always tremendous, and must be experienced. The course, the camaraderie, and the opportunity to be apart of the experience—all will be memorable. Click here to register. For additional information e-mail thp10k@Tufts-Health.com.
Whether a long-time goal, a seasonal search for a personal record, or an inaugural experience, you will be very happy you took part. This race is a proven, well-organized classic in the city of Boston. Please don’t miss it.