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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the 30th annual tufts health plan 10k for women—the power of women’s running

The 30th Annual Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women—The Power of Women’s Running
Run and celebrate 30 fantastic years at the National Women’s 10K Championship; experience the strength and joy of women’s health and fitness.

The 30th Annual Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women—The Power of Women’s Running

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 11 September, 2006

Thirty Years! This is historic, and a wonderful milestone—you simply have to participate in this event. Since 1977 some of the very best women runners in the world have competed in this race. Greats will run this year, electrifying the crowd and the rest of the field as they compete for the National Championship and $36,600 in prize money. This is an opportunity for regional stars to compete against the world’s best. It is also a chance for runners of all paces and abilities to compete in a world-class event. Yes, “It’s Any Woman’s Race.” And, it is every woman’s race. This is IT--women only at the Tufts 10K. Thirty years!

Check the countdown clock on the Website—this classic is only eight weeks away! It is the USATF National 10K Championship for the twelfth time in thirteen years. Why? It has tradition, history, a deep elite field, great prize structure, size, tremendous sponsorship, and excellent management. And the USATF New England Association is one of the strongest, with a hotbed of powerful USATF teams.

The 2006 Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women is also part of the Women’s USA Running Circuit, where results and standings determine points with a separate prize structure.

“Thirty Years and Running Strong”, is the theme for this milestone in women’s running. It’s the largest women’s 10K in the USA, and one of the largest women’s races. It’s the fourth largest road race in New England after the BAA Boston Marathon, Falmouth Road Race, and the Beach to Beacon 10K.

The Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women will draw thousands to run the streets of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday, October 9, 2006. It is the definitive race for all ages and abilities, a true celebration. Held in the Running Capital of the nation, it starts at Noon on Columbus Day…the excitement is already building!

This classic will be held at venerable Boston Common, starting on Beacon Street adjacent to the State Capitol and the Common. The Celebration of Health and Fitness will offer information, products, and services before and after the race. And the 1K Fitness Walk for Kids makes it an exciting family day.

Both USATF Association and corporate teams will be a big part of the competition, and walkers are also welcome on this flat, fast, closed, traffic-free course. This is an event for every woman interested in health and fitness, a terrific opportunity for participation in a classic. All will be awed and motivated as thousands of athletes prepare for the start on Boston Common and Beacon Street. The camaraderie and bonding will be empowering, exciting, and fun.

Runners will enjoy every memorable moment along the beautiful Charles River Basin, part of a colorful parade of thousands. The Charles and the Boston skyline will be visible for much of the race for the entire field as they zip along Memorial Drive and across two of the Charles River bridges. Thousands of spectators will line the route, adding to the excitement.

Veteran participants find it tremendously rewarding to share this race and training experience with a friend, especially someone new to the race--friends, relatives, training partners, coworkers, and teammates. Sharing makes the celebration more meaningful and more fun.

Public transportation is ideal for this event with three convenient MBTA T-stops at the Boston Common: Arlington Street and Boylston on the Green Line, or Park Street on the Red Line and Green Line. The convenient bag check option (unusual for a 10K) makes public transportation easy and practical.

Get ready for this exciting, memorable event!

Register early! There are four ways to register: pre-registration on-line, pre-registration by mail, registration at City Sports Friday through Sunday before the race, or race-day morning at Boston Common. All runners are urged to save money and time with on-line registration. Entries are $29.00 for all above options except race day at the Common, where it’s $37.00. Registration will be accepted on-line through Sunday, October 8 at 9:00 a.m., or via USPS mail through October 2. You can print applications from the Website, or call Conventures at (888)-767-RACE.

All participants will receive their classic 30th Anniversary long sleeve T-shirt (a real keepsake) when they pick up their number.

Hours for registration and number/T-shirt pick-up at City Sports are: Friday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday October 7 and 8, from noon to 4:00 p.m. City Sports is located at 480 Boylston Street, Boston, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Late registration is $37.00, and will be available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on race morning at Boston Common.

All registrants must pick up numbers, chips, and T-shirts at City Sports Thursday through Sunday, or race morning at Boston Common. Please note that bib numbers and chips will not be mailed.
Note also that if you register on-line after October 2, you must pick up your number and chip at Boston Common on race-day.

Please click on the registration button below, or visit for further information.

Training Sessions
Tufts Health Plan and Boston Sports Clubs will hold a series of training clinics for registered 10K participants at the Copley Square location of Boston Sports Clubs, 505 Boylston Street, Boston. They will run every Tuesday evening from August 15 through October 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Trained coaches will help runners with nutrition, skills, motivation, confidence, and training plans. Call (617) 236-1189 for information on these sessions. You can also find Boston Sports Clubs training tips on the race Website.

While visiting the Website, don’t miss your 20% discount coupon for City Sports along with many other helpful links and resources.

Celebration of Health and Fitness
The Whole Foods Market Health and Fitness Pavilion—and surrounding tents--will open at 9:00 a.m., with many fitness and health related companies, race partners, and sponsors on display. Samples of beverages and foods, as well as information on services will be available. There will be apparel, accessories, foods, and beverages for sale. Other fitness related activities include health screenings, demonstrations, and complimentary massage. The Celebration of Health and Fitness will be open until 3:00 p.m., and everyone is encouraged to check it out, including friends and family. There are too many exhibitors to detail here, but don’t miss it.

1K Fitness Walk for Kids
None other than Joan Benoit Samuelson will lead this exciting tour around Boston Common for youngsters. The entire family can participate. The 1K Fitness Walk for Kids, sponsored by, begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Common.

This is open to kids of all ages—and those who walk with them. Healthy snacks and drinks will be available for the kids following the walk, along with face painting and many other fun activities. During the main event, and throughout the entire Celebration of Health and Fitness, there will be much to learn and do for adults and children.

The Boston Globe Pre Race Warm-up
Beginning at 10:50 a.m. runners will prepare for the race with professionally led warm-ups and stretches courtesy of the Boston Globe. Music and energy will add to the excitement on the Common. Coaches will also lead post-race stretching sessions at 1:00 p.m.

Great Course
The racecourse will be traffic free, so runners can experience one of the fastest 10K’s anywhere. Runners will seed themselves according to time and pace to insure a safe and smooth start on Beacon Street. The Championchip timing system assures everyone her time will be precise as she crosses the finish line (net time begins when runners actually cross the starting line). There will be six water stations and three aid stations along the route. Split times will be provided every mile.

The course is mostly flat, with lengthy straight stretches along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, and on the bridges. The start will be on Beacon Street, just a few blocks from Cheers. The first turn will be a right on Charles Street, heading toward the Longfellow Bridge. From Longfellow Bridge in Cambridge, runners hit one mile turning west on Memorial Drive. The MIT campus will be to the right and the river left.

Runners will zip under the Harvard (Massachusetts Avenue) Bridge, passing two miles just beyond. They continue west on Memorial Drive to the turn-around at the Boston University Rotary approaching the BU Bridge, with the three-mile mark just beyond the turn. Participants then head east on Memorial Drive.

Runners enjoy cheering each other on Memorial, a parade of runners covering both the west and eastbound lanes—what an awesome view of the field. Leaders inspire others, and others en-mass inspire the leaders as they speed along Memorial Drive (one of the most memorable aspects of the race). There will be loud screams in the underpasses, a fun, energizing tradition. Music at those underpasses will inspire, as thousands streak toward fun, fitness, and health.

There is a hairpin turn at the MIT Sailing Pavilion (four miles is just after), as athletes head west again to the Harvard Bridge; runners then cross the bridge to tour Boston’s Back Bay. Turning east on Commonwealth Avenue, participants pass the five-mile mark. The six-mile mark is adjacent to Public Garden on Boylston Street. That tremendous sense of camaraderie and accomplishment kicks in as runners make the final turn to the finish on Charles Street, only meters from the start.

Anne Hannam set the current course record of 31:38 in 1988.

There will be $36,600 in prize money for this prestigious event. Most will be awarded to the top ten Americans ($23,000)--it is the National Championship, the twelfth time in thirteen years this event has been selected. The overall winner will receive $3,500, with the first American capturing $6,850. There are also cash awards for the first three overall ($7,300 total), the first three masters, the top three Wheelchair racers, and the top five USATF association teams.

There will be individual age division awards in nine categories going five deep, including two youth divisions, 14-and-under, 15 to 19, with 10-year age groups through 80+.

There will be two types of team competition, with each team consisting of three to five runners, with the top three scoring on combined time. There will be USATF Association Teams, or 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 $650 for first place. There will be corporate teams (members must be employed by the same company) with awards going to the top three teams. All teams must be declared on race morning at registration.

Results will be posted following the race, and will be available race day evening for family and posterity on the Web here at Cool Running, and on the race Website.

Race Day Schedule at the Common
Packet Pickup and late registration is from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Celebration of Health and Fitness goes from 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. at the Whole Foods Market Pavilion, and associated tents.
There will be baggage check (10:00 a.m. -- 2:00 p.m.).
The 1K Fitness Walk for Kids steps off at 10:30 a.m.
Boston Globe Pre Race Warm-ups kick in at 10:50.
The National Championship 10K blasts off at Noon.
There will be post-race stretches at 1:00 p.m.
A $10,000 grant will be awarded to the American Heart Association at 2:00 p.m., followed immediately by individual and team awards.
Running is an all-weather sport—race is on rain or shine.

Joan Benoit Samuelson
Joan is the spokesperson for the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women. She is a three-time winner of the race, and her name is synonymous with women’s distance running around the world. She was the first Olympic Marathon Gold Medallist, and a two-time Boston Marathon Champion. She set the world record at the Chicago Marathon at 2:21:21, which stood as an American record until 2004. And she has been amazingly versatile, including setting the Masters record on the Mount Washington Hill Climb.

She was an All-American in both Track and Cross-Country at Bowdoin College. She now lives in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine with her husband and two children. She is still running strong.

Regional Stars Get a Chance to Shine
This is a National Championship, but some of the very best of the region will place well too.

Tammie Robie is a teacher in Nashua, New Hampshire, and a cross country and track coach. She leads the tough USATF-New England Grand Prix after five of seven races, and finished third among women at the CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K in Manchester last week.

“It is a special feeling to walk up to the starting line next to an Olympian, or someone you’ve only seen competing on TV,” she said, sounding excited to have the opportunity. “I’m a big fan of the Tufts 10K. Many women enjoy competing in a race just for them,” she said. “It’s amazing, but 6,000 to 7,000 women there tells you something about how they feel about a ‘women only’ race.”

“There are so many women out there who are not at the top level, just to enjoy the opportunity,” she concluded.

Recent Classics
In last year’s contest Katie McGregor edged Marie Davenport 32:26 to 32:38.
In 2004 Marie Davenport of Ireland won by 32:48 to 33:09 over Ethiopia’s Genet Gebregiorgis. Amy Yoder-Begley won the US National 10K Championship, finishing third (33:12).

Elva Dryer of Albuquerque was the overall winner in 2003, sprinting to 32:34,

Olympian Marla Runyan of Tennessee won in 2002 in the closest finish ever (2/10 second) over Teresa Wanjiku of Kenya. Both were timed in 31:46, only eight seconds off the course record. Colleen de Reuck was the overall winner (32:11) in 2001. Katherine Ndereba edged Libbie Hickman by ½ second in 2000 following back-to-back wins by Hickman.

This race began in 1977, and was one of the first all-women races in the country. It was originally named the Bonne Belle Mini Marathon. They expected about 200 runners that first year, and 2,231 finished. Lynn Jennings was the first winner in 34:31 at age 17. Jennings went on to win six times, including five consecutive from 1989 to 1993. Jennings has 13 top three finishes, running second five times.

Joan Benoit won in 1978, setting a national record at 33:16. Five national records were set in a six-year span. Benoit returned to win in 1983 with a course record 31:39, still second fastest time (one second off the record). Joan also won in 1985, the first “Tufts”. Ingrid Kristiansen won in 1986 with the third fastest all time, 31:40.

Elana Meyer of South Africa matched Benoit in 1994 with 31:39, the first year the race was the National 10K Championship (Jennings was national champ, second to Meyer in 31:48).

The race name was changed to the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women when Tufts took over sponsorship in 1985, focusing on health and fitness for women, and a tremendously enjoyable holiday tradition. Since then it has been popularly referred to as the “Tufts 10K”. It has always been held on Columbus Day, an ideal time for running in Massachusetts.

After 30 years, this event is a National and Regional classic, a fixture on the national running calendar.

Eighteen Women have Done Them All
The “30 Year Runners” have developed into quite a sorority. There are 18 members of this exclusive club, and many of them share their thoughts and feelings on the race Website.

One of them is Marilyn Licciardello, a nurse from North Andover, Massachusetts. Her daughters, who were babies when she began in 1977, now run with her. She is looking forward to the day when her two infant granddaughters will run with them.

“Competing in the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women makes me feel strong, happy, connected, and grateful for my good health,” she explained. She noted that there was no opportunity for girls to run when she was in high school.

Running has provided many women their first chance at competition and team spirit, which is one reason why the Tufts 10K is so important for many.

“It’s like an annual reunion,” Says Mary Tyler of Framingham. She finds the level of participation inspiring, “Seeing all those thousands of runners at the turn-arounds, with the elite runners only a few feet away.”

Tyler has also been amazed at the work that goes into preparations for the race, noting, “The race highlights women’s health and fitness, not only with the race itself, but with the (Celebration of Fitness) booths on the Common.”

This event is managed and directed by Conventures, Inc. Conventures has three decades experience in event management worldwide (started the same year as the Tufts 10K). They manage athletic, maritime, social, and educational events, including strategic planning, budgeting, site planning and preparation, marketing, and promotion.

Boston area events include the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, the Susan B. Komen Race for a Cure, and others. For more information, visit their Website at

Another Conventures production, the Fifth Annual Boston Marine Corps Honor Run 5K and 10K, will go on September 24th at 10:00 a.m. at Houghton’s Pond, Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts. Open to all runners, both races include military and law enforcement divisions. Held in conjunction with the Semper Fidelis Society of Boston, they will benefit the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. For information visit,, or call (888) 767-RACE.

Opportunity Knocks, Don’t Miss This Race
Celebrate healthy living, and help commemorate this milestone 30th running. It has become a Columbus Day tradition, with an ideal locale and course. Great traditions include participation by world class Olympians and inspiring women of all ages. The Celebration of Health and Fitness will generate excitement well before and after the race--an exciting holiday. What a terrific event!

Thousands of women will enjoy bonding on the Boston Common and on the course. Be one of those celebrating your sport on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. It will be uniquely memorable.

Log onto to register, or call (888) 767-RACE. For questions, e-mail The atmosphere surrounding “Tufts” is strong and joyous, and must be experienced. Whether your first race or 5,000th, this is a proven, well-organized classic. Please don’t miss it.



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