Esplanade Assoc Announces Major Expansion of 5K Run

Boston’s most popular running route will see even more foot-traffic than usual at the Esplanade 5K Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( on Sunday, May 20, at 9 a.m.

Hosted by the Esplanade Association, the 100-percent,  privately funded friends group for the Charles River Esplanade, the 5K race (3.1 miles) will be open to runners of all ages and abilities.  Rain or shine, it will start and end at Fiedler Field and will loop along the Esplanade, allowing runners to enjoy both water and garden views set against the iconic backdrop of the Boston skyline.  For the first time, the race will take place on a Sunday morning and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will serve as the Presenting Sponsor, demonstrating the company’s commitment to helping the people of Massachusetts stay active and healthy.

“We are pleased to partner with the Esplanade Association on the Esplanade 5K,” said Jeff Bellows, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs. “This race will bring community members across the Boston metro region together to enjoy a morning of active recreation in a beautiful natural space. Events like the Esplanade 5K bring us one step closer to our vision of a Massachusetts where all residents are empowered to lead healthy lives.”

“We are thrilled to have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts as the first Presenting Sponsor of the Esplanade 5K,” said Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association. “They’ve been a long-time partner of the Esplanade Association’s programs, such as our Healthy, Fit & Fun free outdoor fitness classes, and this sponsorship agreement further demonstrates their commitment to improving the health and wellness of all those who enjoy the Esplanade as a premier space for outdoor recreation.”

Blue Cross is committed to helping Massachusetts residents lead healthy lives. In 2017, the company and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation contributed $10.5 million in financial grants and pro-bono volunteer service to over 500 nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth. The company believes in addressing the inter-connectedness of healthy eating, active lifestyles, and positive environments, in order to influence behavior change and make a lasting impact.

The Esplanade Association executes a number of other projects and programs for the Esplanade, including planting and maintaining 12 ornamental garden beds, caring for over 1,700 park trees, bringing nearly 2,000 volunteers to the Esplanade each summer, Healthy, Fit & Fun free fitness programming throughout the summer, and the Children in the Park program which brings children from across the Greater Boston area to the Esplanade to enjoy active play. For the first time in 2018, the Esplanade Association has partnered with local non-profits to bring a series of free musical performances to the Esplanade.

Proceeds from the race will support the Esplanade Association’s work to revitalize and enhance the Esplanade, preserve its natural green space, and build community in the park. All participants will receive a T-shirt, a bib with timing chip and official race results, and be eligible to win prizes across various age brackets. Up to a thousand runners are anticipated. Immediately following the race, the official race After Party will be held at the Liberty Hotel.  The Esplanade 5K would not be possible without the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Presenting Sponsor), Wayfair (Sponsor), the Dashing Whippets (Supporter), Polar Beverages (Water Station Sponsor) and the Liberty Hotel (After Party Sponsor).

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