Running in Somerville

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The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set

118 Broadway
Somerville,
MA
US

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to begin a race than near a sculpture of Aesop's Tortoise & Hare. Add to that its proximity to one of the nation's most well-known cross-country tracks, and it's the perfect starting point for Trail Master Killah, a 5K through Van Cortlandt Park's hills, wetlands, and forests. Participants will receive a race T-shirt, and top performers will take home a handmade trophy from SKT Ceramics. Registration also includes food and beer at the post-race party, which, thanks to organization by one of A Tribe Called Quest's producers, will feature some of the city's best hip-hop DJs. Proceeds go to Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, a community group that promotes conservation of the park and texts the trees when they're feeling lonely.

1 Hampshire Street
Cambridge,
MA
US

Josh Konoff has never been one to wait around for change. When he decided that he wanted to move to Boston in 2008, he moved to Boston. And then when he discovered a flaw in Boston’s volunteer scene, he fixed it.

The flaw was that most organizations required their volunteers to make a hefty commitment, alienating a large portion of community members with full-time jobs and otherwise busy schedules. And so Josh quickly launched Boston Volunteers, a nonprofit that matches eager volunteers with organizations for short-term projects.

Today, the "s" at the end of Boston Volunteers says it all: the outfit features more than 5,400 members. It has organized and run more than 500 volunteer events, ranging from Habitat for Humanity gatherings to cooking for Boston's veterans. To this day, Boston Volunteers is a no-commitment venture, meaning that its members choose when and where they'd like to offer their time. At the core of every volunteer opportunity, too, is the chance for members to meet new friends who share similar values.

61 Locust Street
Medford,
MA
US

Josh Konoff has never been one to wait around for change. When he decided that he wanted to move to Boston in 2008, he moved to Boston. And then when he discovered a flaw in Boston’s volunteer scene, he fixed it.

The flaw was that most organizations required their volunteers to make a hefty commitment, alienating a large portion of community members with full-time jobs and otherwise busy schedules. And so Josh quickly launched Boston Volunteers, a nonprofit that matches eager volunteers with organizations for short-term projects.

Today, the "s" at the end of Boston Volunteers says it all: the outfit features more than 5,400 members. It has organized and run more than 500 volunteer events, ranging from Habitat for Humanity gatherings to cooking for Boston's veterans. To this day, Boston Volunteers is a no-commitment venture, meaning that its members choose when and where they'd like to offer their time. At the core of every volunteer opportunity, too, is the chance for members to meet new friends who share similar values.

3000 Mystic Valley Parkway
Medford,
MA
US

In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.

The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.

2 Center Plaza
Boston,
MA
US

Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.

4 Yawkey Way
Boston,
MA
US